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Basements can be used as storage space or finished to make a warm, beautiful, new living space in your home. One of the most expensive crises that a homeowner in the Worcester and Middlesex areas can experience is a flooded basement. While we may not get hurricanes here, water leaking through concrete, stone, block or tile basement walls can cause damage to structures and belongings. “This Old House” suggests some preventive measures will help keep your house dry from the bottom up.
When clogged gutters overflow, water can pool around your foundation. Remove any leaves and debris left over from winter, then install leaf guards and downspout extenders to direct water 10 feet from the house. Inspect the roof annually for damage that could allow water into the home.
Make sure surrounding soil is pitched away from the house at a slope of at least 1/4 inch per foot so that water drains toward your yard, not your foundation. Simply add soil, making it smooth, until the grade is highest at the house’s perimeter. Water it well; it will settle and compress a little.
Shade trees with aggressive roots, like silver maples, should be planted at least 20 feet from your house to protect your foundation. Smaller species, like white fir, require only 10 to 15 feet of clearance. If you can see that an existing tree will eventually be to close, plant the replacement tree now, in a better spot. Then in a year or two, remove the offending tree and let the little one have all the sun it needs.
Acute problems such as frozen pipes, clogged laundry outflows or cracked basement windows could allow a lot of water into your basement all at once. However, the most common cause of basement flooding is a leaky foundation caused by excessive rain, sewer backup, and changes in the landscaping.
The urgent call!
If you discover standing water in your home, stay safe! Don’t risk serious injury if your basement floods. Avoid venturing down into the basement if possible. Standing water can contain harmful bacteria. If you must venture down into a flooded basement, wear waterproof rubber boots. Avoid touching or using electrical devices (except for a battery-powered flashlight) because this puts you at risk of electrical shock or electrocution.
Contact a professional water remediation team with a 24-hour service team such as MA Restoration to pump standing water out of your basement and help you deal with water-damaged items. MA Restoration also offers repair and rebuild services after such a loss.
Long range protection
If you’ve seen moisture or smelled mildew, contact a mold specialist to inspect your basement. Controlling the humidity levels in your home is key to protecting your home, health, and family. High humidity in your basement/home can cause the areas to smell, have poor air quality and produce mold growth. Installing the proper dehumidifier is very helpful in controlling the humidity in your home. Look for a provider with the knowledge and training to effectively dry the area, one with extensive experience in the construction industry to intelligently demo material that cannot be restored while saving material that is costly to replace.
Use the MA Restoration Water Damage Restoration Emergency Line at 508-762-1383 or marestoration.com!