Spring is right around the corner and most Midwesterners are excited for the warmer weather and snow thaw. However, the transition from winter to spring weather can cause problems for homeowners when it comes to basement water intrusion. It's common to experience problems with water in the basement when it rains, but melting snow can have the same effect. Here are some tips to help prevent water in your basement when it rains and thaws this spring.
Check Downspouts and Sump Pump Drainage Lines Around Your Home
It's common for snow to pile on top of downspouts and prevent water from escaping. This can be an even larger issue when we've got snow melt and rain around the same time. Removing snow from around your downspouts will ensure your gutters are able to work as they normally do to capture water and redirect it away from your home and foundation.
Much like downspouts, above-ground sump pump drainage lines can be a problem in the winter. If snow is not removed from around the discharge lines, the drainage pipe can freeze, leaving no way for the water to leave the discharge line. This means water that enters your sump pump in your basement has no way to escape. This will make your sump pump run constantly and it will eventually burn up.
Knowing this, you may ask “How do I know if my sump pump discharge line is frozen?” Your sump pump will be running non-stop and it will actually begin to feel warm to the touch. If your sump pump or the water in your sump pump feels warm, you likely have an issue. You can also look at your outside drainage or discharge line and see if water is leaving the PVC pipe, or look inside the pipe to see if you have ice buildup. If your discharge line is frozen, you will likely end up with water in your basement.
At Thrasher, we recommend a product called IceGuard. It fits the sump pump discharge line on the outside of your home and allows for water to escape even if the sump pump exterior drainage line is frozen.
Create Paths for Water to Drain Away From Your Foundation
Create paths for water to drain away from your foundation. If the soil around your basement is saturated with water, hydrostatic pressure will build, and water will find its way in through the path of least resistance. These paths of resistance can include porous concrete foundation walls, form ties on poured foundation walls, cracks in foundation walls, and the cold joint where the foundation wall and footing meet.
Move Snow Away From Your Siding
If snow is built up against your siding, shovel it away. There is a wood sill plate that sits on top of your foundation wall and the water from the melting snow can seep underneath your siding and come in between your sill plate and foundation wall.
Prevent Future Basement Water Problems
The best way to ensure your basement stays dry no matter what the weather conditions are is by having a properly working drainage and sump pump system in place. The keyword here is properly working. Not all basement waterproofing systems, including the one that may have been installed when your home was built, are built to operate effectively for years to come. Additionally, because of the mechanical nature of a sump pump, even the best basement waterproofing systems require regular maintenance to ensure everything is in working order.
With a properly working basement waterproofing system, water is collected, directed to a sump pump, and pumped out of the home. If your home is in need of a basement waterproofing system, or an update to the existing system, Thrasher is here to help. We offer free in-home inspections and same-day estimates. Our basement experts will diagnose your problem and walk you through the options for repair. Contact us online or at 800.827.0702 to schedule a free inspection today.