3335 W St Germain St.
Suite 108
St. Cloud, MN 56301

(320) 656-8890

Habi-Home Maintenance and Improvements: Wet Basements

Mar 27, 2024

Welcome to Spring- Almost!

Spring is a time of warming weather, Easter, and wet basements! Why is that? Typically in spring, the ground thaws at the top and works down. Since the water has no where to go, is saturates the ground seeking a place to go. A warm house that has thawed the perimeter ground is a good place for water! Indeed, water loves foundations. Overall foundations can be pretty good about keeping water out, but in clay/ silt soils, rain and snowmelt can get the best of you. Let’s remedy this situation with a few simple fixes.

Drainage: Make sure you have positive slope away from your home. If you have slope toward your home, life can get difficult! Therefore, positive drainage of at least 5% slope away for the first 10’ from your home. Any settled concrete or pavement should be raised. Also remember to keep water resistant continuous planter edging away from your home. It makes great moats next to the home! If you have a lot with no possible way to create full drainage away due to poor design, consider a rain garden.

Covers: Cover your window wells! They are water traps in the making. Of course, make sure any egress window wells can be moved easily for emergency purposes.

Gutters: Most water by your home is coming from the roof. Utilize gutters and downspouts to divert the water to points of good drainage. If you have gutters, make sure they are clean.

Interior foundation drainage: If you have a sump basket, make sure your pump is working. If you don’t have a foundation drainage system, it can be done, but is pricey. Every home is different, but I have spent $6k-$8k for such systems.

Interior foundation wall water proofing: If you have a exposed foundation walls, and you see leakage in the walls, a water sealing paint (such as Drylok or other) can be useful. This can work, but water can find new cracks also.

A simple term to remember for a home “Water is the enemy.” The first line of defense (and usually the cheapest), is to keep the water away from your home. Drain away and preserve your home for another day! For further ideas and understanding, see the link provided. Good luck, and Happy Easter!

Basement Leak Remedies

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3335 W St Germain St.
Suite 108
St. Cloud, MN 56301

(320) 656-8890

©2023 by Central MN Habitat for Humanity.