Chances are that your home's basement is the area that is going to be affected first when you have a water leak. This part of the home is also used for storage, so leaks have the best chance of causing damage to things like holiday decorations, photo albums, and other personal items. The best way to prevent water from getting into a basement is by waterproofing and repairing your foundation. It will reduce the chance of water getting inside, keep your basement dry, and prevent items from being ruined by water damage. Here is how you can do it.
Seal The Cracks
Cracks can happen in the foundation of your basement due to the foundation gradually shifting over time, or a build up of pressure on the other side of the wall. Unfortunately, these cracks are how water can seep into your basement. You should be sealing these cracks when you first see them to prevent the cracks from becoming larger. You can use a urethane or epoxy to fill in the cracks on your own, and then finish the repair by covering the area with a special masonry cement that is waterproof.
Drain The Water Around Your Home
Water could be building up around your foundation because of a problem with drainage. A common way to remove the water is with a sump pump. The water will drain into well located below your home's foundation. When the water level in the well reaches a specified height, the pump removes all of the water and gets it away from your foundation. The water can go far away from your home into a drain field, or get pumped directly into the city sewer system.
French drains are also used with sump pumps, since they are designed to collect water before it builds up against the foundation. The drains collect the ground water near your home, and much like a sump pump, have it drain far away from the foundation.
Replace The Foundation
Sometimes the damage to your foundation is so bad that the only solution will be to replace parts of it that are failing. A foundation specialist may need to hold up part of the home with jacks so that they can replace individual foundation walls. Since this is a labor intensive and expensive job, you should only have it done when it's absolutely necessary.
If you are not sure of the extent of foundation damage you have, have a professional foundation replacement contractor come to your home to give you a consultation.