Your unfinished basement provides you with additional storage, and most likely also houses important components of your home, such as your water heater. Unfortunately, unfinished basements can also be especially vulnerable to water damage, especially if you live in a flood plain or an area prone to major storms. Luckily, there are steps you can take to prevent water damage in most cases. Here are a few water damage prevention steps to implement today:
Pay Special Attention to Gutters
Water damage in the basement often starts all the way up on your roof. If your gutters and downspouts are clean, positioned properly, and in good repair, they will direct storm runoff and rainwater away from your roof, siding, foundation, and basement. If your gutters are clogged or cracked, however, water quickly accumulates and flows downward toward your basement instead of away from your house.
For these reasons, it really pays to clean out your gutters and downspouts at least a couple of times a year. It's also a good idea to periodically have them inspected by a professional, so that cracks and other damage can be repaired promptly.
Add a Sump Pump
An unfinished basement is a perfect location for a sump pump. The sump pump turns on automatically whenever there is even a slight amount of water in the basement, whether from a burst pipe or from flooding. It then pumps the water away before it has a chance to accumulate and cause water damage and mold to set in. Since most sump pumps need electricity to operate, you may need a backup generator if you live in an area with frequent power outages.
Have Water Well Covers Installed
Water well covers are an effective way to prevent water, snow, and hail from making its way into your basement window wells and basement. Window well covers are an affordable option and have the added benefit of preventing squirrels, raccoons, and other pests from falling or climbing into your window wells. If you are concerned that window well covers will block out too much natural light, look for clear hard plastic or acrylic options.
By following these tips, you will gain peace of mind and take practical action to prevent a flooded or water damaged basement. If you already have existing water damage, be sure to have it remediated by the professionals as soon as possible, before the damage grows.