Whether you’ve got a crawl space or a basement, your goal should be to keep it safe and dry. This can be tricky, because a basement is naturally going to be prone to dampness, along with some other hazards that come from being located underground. To keep it in great shape and keep the rest of your home stable, follow a few simple guidelines.
- Be vigilant about drainage. It’s vital that water drains away from your house, so make sure the grading of your yard slopes away from your home, your downspouts carry the water away from the foundation, and your gutters and window wells do not become clogged.
- A sump pump is your friend. Sump pumps collect water and carry it out of the basement, so make sure yours is operating properly and discharging water correctly. It should turn on when the water in the pit reaches a certain level, turning off again when the level goes back down. Maintain your sump pump by checking it and leaning the strainer screen, and if it discharges on the ground, make sure it carries the water away from your home. If it discharges above the ground, check to see that the connections don’t leak. If your sump pump is more than five years old, consider replacing it.
- Pay attention to any signs of moisture. Water in the basement, dark areas on the walls, floors, or storage boxes, or a musty smell can all indicate a damp basement. Find the source of moisture and fix the problem as soon as possible, to prevent major issues.
- Protect against pests. Watch for signs of pests, like droppings along the tops of the basement walls. The more quickly you discover an infestation the more easily you can eradicate it.
- Be mindful of ducts and pipes. Make sure your ducts aren’t blowing air into unfinished areas, and seal any leaks with duct tape. Consider insulating your ducts and pipes, to save energy.
- Inspect your supports. There should be no gaps between beams and the main house girders, no sloping, slanting, or leaning, and no signs of damage from moisture or insects. If there are, fix these problems as soon as possible.
- Put radon on your radar. As the house shifts and tiny cracks form in the slab, radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas, can seep into your house. Call a professional to check radon levels.
If you need help with your basement, Reliable Basement Services is here for you. A family-owned and operated company, we’ve served the greater Chicagoland area for more than ten years, offering a full spectrum of basement services, charging reasonable rates for work that includes crack repairs, sump pump systems, basement waterproofing, basement windows, and floor repair. Our high standards have made us an award-winning Chicago basement waterproofing contractor and earned us satisfied customers all over Chicago. For more information, call (630) 777-0539 or visit our website for a free quote.