Take On The Role Of A Contractor In Your Home

As the father of an autistic child, I have been faced with more than a few necessary home modifications projects. Unfortunately, with the high cost of raising a special needs child and my wife's decision to stay home and raise our son, there simply was no room in our budget to hire a contractor to complete these projects for us. Each weekend for nearly a year, I would pick a project to work on. This past month, I finally finished every project on my list. After learning more than I thought I would ever know about home construction and repair, I have a new found appreciation for the skills of general and specialty contractors. That is why I decided to start this blog to pay tribute to the job these contractors do, and help to empower more homeowners to take on the role of a contractor in their home.

3 Outside Factors You Have To Check Before Waterproof Your Basement

Construction & Contractors Blog

Basement waterproofing starts to seem like a great idea the first time there's a heavy rain and standing water in your basement. But incoming water usually indicates a problem with the water building up around the exterior foundation of your home. And if you don't fix that problem before you apply waterproofing measures to the interior wall, you will still experience moisture issues.

There are three key outside factors to check before you start to waterproof your basement.

Yard Grade

The "grade" of a yard refers to the downslope the ground takes to deliver pooling water from around your home down to the street and its storm sewer. Ideally, your yard should slope down a minimum of three inches per 10 feet of lawn.

If you have a large yard that isn't properly graded, it's often cheaper and easier in the long run to hire a landscaper. The landscaper can use topsoil and heavy machinery to greatly change the slope of your yard to increase drainage. This step alone can often be enough to stop any water from entering your basement. You can then proceed to regular waterproofing methods for the interior walls and enjoy your newly dry room.

But if you don't have enough yard to grade, or are prohibited from grading due to local laws or regulations, you might need to find a different way to drain that water away from the foundation.

Drainage Pipes

Drainage pipes can be used in situations where grading either can't be done or isn't sufficiently draining. A French drain is a subtle yet effective pipe system that can drain your water away without creating an eyesore in your yard.

A French drain is essentially a system of pipes that run from around your foundation, sometimes from the end of your gutter downspouts, and under your yard. The drain then exits the water at the street and storm sewer.

You will need to hire a professional excavating company or a plumber with an excavator in order to have the drain installed properly. This will result in some minimal short-term damage to your lawn. But the end result will be healthier for both your lawn, your home's foundation, and your basement.

Gutter Downspout Positioning

Have you tried grading and/or drainage pipes and water still collects around your home? Have you checked that your downspouts are properly positioned?

You should have at least one downspout on each corner of your home including a downspout per corner of an extended roofed porch. The drainage end of the downspout should have an extender that will push the water out at least two to three feet away from your house's foundation.

If your yard is still improperly graded, your downspout water can end up splashing back towards the house even with the extensions. You can fix this by placing splash tiles under each end. These tiles force the water to splash out away from your house rather than towards the house.

For more information about basement waterproofing, visit FreeFlow Environmental.


28 July 2015