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Water in my basement?! Where to look first.

One of the most common phone calls we receive at MLM is the “help me” phone call from homeowners who have water in their basement.  We have a tremendous amount of compassion for people who call with this dilemna.  Most people have recently purchased their home within the past year and are, as you can imagine, suprised and shocked at their flooding basement.  The good news is there is generally a solution to the problem that isn’t going to break the bank, which I will describe below.

The most common problem we see in DMV homes regarding flooded basements is POOR DRAINAGE.  I put this in caps locks to emphasize the importance of proper drainage and so you won’t overlook this as a possible solution to your problem.  Most people end up spending tons of money on expensive drain systems that may not be necessary.  Below I will list some questions that may help you decide if proper drainage is your problem.

1. Are your gutters clean?  (Most homes need to have their gutters cleaned several (2 to 4) times a year, especially if you have large trees around your home)

2. Are your gutters downspouts clogged?  (your gutter cleaning company should verify all downspouts are clear when the gutters are cleaned. This can usually be done with a hose with decent water pressure and sometimes a leaf blower).

3. Are your downspouts draining into the proper place?  (Whether it’s your yard or into a drainage system your downspouts SHOULD NOT be draining directly next to your foundation, at the minimum a splash block should be placed under the downspout. Most of the time we recommend getting the water away from your houses foundation.

4. Are you at the bottom of a hill?  (Does water from your neighbors yard flow into your yard, do you feel like you are the last stop on the block for everyones rain water?  If this be the case you may need to look into additional drainage or grading).

5. Is the land around your foundation graded away from your home?  (This can be a fairly larger project that takes more labor and material cost, but in the end can save you from having to replace your basement drywall or carpet)

These are some of the basic questions you can ask yourself before making a decision to fix your basement water problem.  For more info and for an in home consultation call MLM Home Improvement today!

-John McCambridge

-founding partner