One of the biggest nuisances a homeowner can experience is a problem with their residence. While most things are fixable, some problems are worse than others. One of the worst is a leaking, flooding basement or lower level. In addition to the structural damage that you incur from these types of pesky problems, you risk loosing precious family memories, furniture, and more. It’s a situation that most homeowners have experienced in at least some degree, but oftentimes it’s one that can be easily prevented. It partially depends on the type of basement you have and what your foundation is made out of, so the first step involves understanding the bones of your home.
Every basement is unique and has it’s own problems, strengths, and weaknesses. In general, basements are made out of one of three of the following: stone, block concrete (slab) and/or brick, or poured concrete. If you have stone, block concrete, or brick foundations, tuckpointing can help combat and prevent any intrusive leaks. First, however, you want to make sure that the leaks aren’t coming from another source such as inside your walls or from the floors above.
There are a couple of different measures you can take to fix a leaky basement, but they all depend primarily on what the source of the leak is. Whether you call in professionals immediately or try to handle the problem yourself is up to you. To start, try some of the following.
The first things you should check are your gutters. Keep them clean and avoid any blockage to make sure they’re draining into your downspout the way they should be. Then, check your downspout to make sure that it’s guiding water far enough away from your house—at least 5 feet. If it’s not, install an extender to help avoid water from pooling around the foundation of your home. You can also opt for a more discrete, underground drainpipe so you or your family members don’t keep tripping over a long, usually unappealing, downspout during the time spent enjoying your yard.
Another fairly easy fix is checking your plumbing to make sure that leaks aren’t coming from any cracks or gaps. If you find there are any openings or problems, you can fix them for cheap using hydraulic cement or caulk. If you find your leak coming from other sources, such as the ground, you’ll have to try another method.
If your water leak is coming from above, it’s likely because water is collecting around your home’s foundation. Ideally, a strong foundation will sit on a “crown” of earth that slopes downwards in all directions. This protects your lower levels and leads settling water away from your home. However, as time passes, your crown can settle and even out. If this is the source of your leak, restoring the crown will help combat the problem of water entering lower levels.
If you’re having trouble keeping water from getting in, you might want to consider creating an efficient indoor draining system using pipe drains and water pumps. This is a bit pricier than the other options, but it means you’ll avoid major destruction of your yard.
For more structural problems, you may need to go as far as waterproofing the walls, which can be an expensive fix. If your home is made of brick, instead of waiting, make sure your mortar stays in good shape over the years. Tuckpointing will help you keep up with maintenance and should be done on both the interior and exterior parts of your brick or concrete block home. The more solid your mortar is, the less likely you are to experience any frustrating water leaks.
If you notice any deterioration in your mortar or brickwork, don’t wait until it’s too late to call a professional. It’s always better to get an inspection and a professional opinion before the water starts pouring in. Plus, fixing a problem early enough will be much more affordable than waiting until an entire teardown or rebuild is needed. To work with a mason you can trust, call the professionals at Chicago Tuckpointing today. All of our masonries have years of experience, dedication, and the patience it takes to create seamless and beautiful finished products, no matter the current condition. If you want your tuckpointing job done by someone you can trust, call us today at (708) 942 1951 or visit our website chicagotuckpointinginc.com.