November 21, 2016

Cracked FoundationBasements are an essential part of homes in Ann Arbor, Michigan. They get turned into recreational rooms for the grandchildren, small apartments for graduate students, and even storage spaces. So when one of them gets water leaks, it is a very discouraging and expensive mess that no one looks forward to. Because of this, it helps to know a few things about basement leaks that can help prevent some of the damage from occurring.

The Correlation Between the Seasons and Water Leaks

Basements can leak no matter what the weather is outside. However,┬áthe spring is the most common time of the year for this catastrophe to occur. Michigan gets a huge amount of snowfall and ice each winter, which usually won’t do any damage until the warmer weather hits. The increase in the temperature outside makes the wintery mix melt. When the extra moisture is mixed with heavy spring rains, it pours through the basement walls rapidly if they are not properly cared for.

Why Leaks Happen

A poorly constructed basement will not block out water as it is supposed to, so this is often the most likely cause of the leaks occurring. However, even new bricks, mortar, and cement can all begin to crumble if they are exposed to too much moisture for too long. So the next common cause of basement leaks is poor drainage. Water has to be diverted away, so the house will stay dry. And the last cause has to do with the plumbing. If water or sewer lines going to the house happen to break or leak, they can cause water to seep through the walls too.

Water Damaged BasementPreventing Leaks

Ann Arbor, Michigan residents have unique challenges when it comes to home maintenance. The spring is the most common time of the year for leaks to occur, but there is little that can be done to fix this problem in the winter season that happens beforehand. It is just too cold and wet outside to do any repairs. So this means that work done to prevent leaks usually has to happen in the summer or early fall seasons. Some of the preventative repairs that can be done during this time include:

-Digging French drains to trap water away from the home
-Inspecting the outside of the home for signs of cracks or loose bricks where water could get through and repairing any that are found
-Installing eave spouts to divert rainwater away from the foundation
-Inspecting and repairing plumbing lines that are inside the home

Landscaping and Basement Leaks

The last area that should be considered to protect the basement from leaks is often the one that is the most important, and that is taking care of the landscaping. Landscapers can build beautiful retaining walls that block water from over-saturating the ground next to the home. They can also plant trees, shrubs, and other plants that can help to absorb some of the extra water from the ground. Once the warmer, dryer weather begins, they can maintain these plants and the rest of the lawn too.