Interior and Exterior Maintenance Tips

G – G – D

Before anything else, you always want to check your Gutters, Grading and Downspouts!!! Keeping your gutters clear, your grading appropriate and your downspouts extended far enough from your home are they key things to do to help prevent water seepage in your basement.

Try these other interior DIY tips to help prevent foundation problems:
1. Once a month, check your sump pump for proper operation and settings. The water level and float should both be below the drain tile entrance. Poor drainage can result in plugged tiles and leaks.
2. Keep the one-way Palmer valve (typically located in the side wall of the floor drain) open and clear at all times for proper drain tile operation. Palmer valves are found in homes that were built between 1920 – 1956.
3. Check that the sewer lateral to street is open and clear of debris.
4. Run your dehumidifier year-round, on the normal setting.

Try these other exterior DIY tips to help prevent foundation problems:
1. Maintain proper grading!! Keep all grading around building pitched away with a 2 inch pitch for every 5 feet.
2. Clean gutters and downspouts regularly. Seal any leaking joints. Extensions and splash blocks should carry the water at least five feet away from the walls.
3. If you have a sump pump discharging on the ground, make sure it carries water far enough away from the walls. If it discharges below ground, make sure connections don’t leak and are not in danger of freezing in cold weather.
4. Assure that all concrete surface areas and driveways are pitched away from your home.
5. Clean all debris out of window wells. There should be 18″ of #1 washed stone in the bottom of each window well for proper drainage. If the original stone is packed with dirt, dig it out and replace it. The edges of the wells should be tightly fitted to the walls, and the ground around them should be raised so the rain and melting snow will run away from the foundation.
6. Roots from nearby trees can creep through the ground in search of water and grow right into drain tile or create undue pressure on the walls. Consult a professional landscaper if you have any questions about the possible danger posed by trees or shrubs in your yard.

Back to Education Station
Top Ten Problem Areas
What Do These Cracks Mean?
Do I Have a Wet Basement?
Common Basement Problems
Common Causes of Foundation Problems
Interior and Exterior Maintenance Tips
Why is it Important to Fix My Basement
Glossary of Terms