The winter holiday season is here. That means festivities and fun galore. Across Winston-Salem, homeowners will be busy decorating their homes. You’ll probably join them as you gear up for Christmas and the New Year. Everything may seem to be fine until you realize your decorations in the basement are water-drenched. That’s a common script across many homes where the basement serves as storage.
Some homeowners stash their holiday decorations, lights, and keepsakes down in the basement, and don’t bother checking the prevailing conditions down there. Big mistake. When they go to the basement, they get a rude surprise. All their holiday decorations are moldy, soggy, and smelly. Sounds like a déjà vu?
Don’t let water or moisture dampen your holiday mood or cut short the fun. Here are six things you can do to create a dry, healthy, and mold-free basement.
Basement Waterproofing Solutions
A lot of water problems and moisture issues occur due to two things – structural issues in the foundation and inadequate waterproofing.
Get a Basement Dehumidifier
You’re probably thinking moisture won’t trouble you. After all, the ground is frozen. Right? Wrong. Temperature fluctuations mean snow and ice will melt. Some of the water will evaporate. If you open your windows, air will bring in the vapor. You’ve got to deal with this moist air before it causes problems. And the best way to that is to dehumidify the basement.
Seal and Repair Basement Cracks
Cracks aren’t just unsightly but are conduits for moisture and water. Even the tiniest of cracks can allow water through dampening your floors, walls, and decorations. If you notice small cracks, ask your contractor to come and seal them. If these are significant and the result of foundation issues, your contractor can use a variety of foundation repair solutions to stabilize the walls.
Install an Interior Drainage System
Melt-offs can cause water to infiltrate your basement. To keep it out, install an interior drainage system in your basement. The drainage channels used for this system go under the subfloor and stop water from building up and causing water damage.
Maintain Your Sump Pump
Wet spring isn’t the only time your basement is under threat from flooding. Winter too can cause burst pipes. Add melt-offs and you’ll see the sense of having a functional sump pump during the snowy holiday season. This device can protect your decorations and belongings from water damage.
Grade the Yard Properly
Whenever it rains or snow melts, you want to make sure water flows out to prevent pooling. Water can pool and seep right into the foundation. You can avoid water problems by re-grading your yard. The ground has to slope by one inch for every six feet. Remember to backfill dirt around your home’s foundation
Insulate Your Basement
Winter is a heating month. So, you can expect to see beads of moisture around the wall and at the floor corners. That’s a sign condensation is taking place. The cure for this problem is basement insulation. It entails covering ducts, walls, and supply lines that run through the basement with foam insulation. This material will stop warm air from sweeping over cool surfaces.
Even if no one visits the basement regularly, that doesn’t mean it’s intact and safe. Soil shifts, melt-offs, underground water, frost, and hydrostatic pressure can all gang up and damage this space, causing cracks and water leakage. We encourage you to check this area regularly. Delay unnecessarily, and your basement will turn into a water park and a breeding ground for mold. Your once-dry and clean basement will become deplorable and set you back several hundred dollars in repairs—certainly not what you’d want to experience this festive season.
Be sure to contact the experts at Tar Heel Basement Systems for a free basement waterproofing inspection and quote. We’re happy to diagnose issues affecting the basement and apply appropriate waterproofing solutions so it stays dry, clean, and mold-free during the festive season.