This year’s rain has been insane. Honestly, I can’t remember a rainier summer in Minnesota. We’d get one day of sun, and then the next three would be nothing but rain — hey, at least my lawn was super green.
Another silver lining was that my basement stayed pretty much moisture-free. Few things are less satisfying than a day spent dealing with wet carpet or ruined belongings. And the potential aftermath of mold and mildew is nothing to mess around with.
My husband and I were obviously prepared, but not everyone is. And with 20 percent of flood damage claims coming from areas considered “low-risk,” it pays to keep yourself out of the deep end by taking stock of a few things:
- Grade. Take a look at the grading or slope around your home. Make sure it directs water away from the foundation. If you’re uncertain, watch the flow of water the next time it rains. Does it move towards or away from your house? Water is sneaky and goes where it wants to, so make sure you point it in the right direction.
- Gutters. Periodically check your gutters and downspouts for debris. This was an issue with our house. We would find water in one spot of the basement, and it happened when our gutters and downspouts were not clear in one corner of the house.
- Foundation. Kicking the “tires” of your house, so to speak, is a good habit to get into. Take a stroll around your home and look for any cracks or crumbling in the foundation. Follow that up with a walk-through of your basement. Fix any damage immediately.
- Attachments. Anything attached to the structure of your home, like a porch, deck, or balcony can pose a problem. It can change the way water runs away from the foundation and may even cause it to pool, increasing the chances of moisture in the basement. Nexttime it rains, watch for any pooling, and then adjust the grade or gutters to correct the problem.
I’ve read stories of homeowners being told that they need to regrade their foundation or add in new drains and that can be costly. But think of it this way, would you rather pay a few thousand dollars upfront and fix the issue? Or would you rather pay a few thousand later when you have to clean up from a flooding? I’m not much of a gambler, but I’d hedge my bets on this one.