In general, if you have an older home, you probably have a damp basement. A damp basement is fairly normal, given that your basement is underground and that the moistness from the surrounding soil tends to permeate the concrete just a little. However, when your basement is more than damp and is actually wet, you may want to investigate the reasons why your basement is wet. Then you can figure out the best ways to fix each of these situations and order a basement waterproofing after they're fixed.
Check Your Gutters and Downspouts
Gutters collect rain from the roof and channel it into your downspouts. The downspouts channel the water away from your foundation and your basement. If the gutters are damaged, the water flows down right to your foundation. If the downspouts are not connected, the water comes down the vertical part of the downspout and straight to the foundation. In both examples, the water has no other way to move away from the house, so it sinks and seeps into your basement. Check all of your gutters and downspouts to make sure they are attached, leak-free, and working as they should. If they are, you can check this off the list of possible reasons why your basement is wet.
Look for Cracks in the Basement Walls
During or after a good storm, go into the basement and check all of the walls with an LED flashlight. This light is bright enough to find even the most hairline-thin of cracks in the basement walls. Bigger cracks will undoubtedly be obvious from all of the rainwater seeping through them, but the finer cracks need a little extra work to find. If you have cracks, they can be repaired by contractors who specialize in basement and foundation repair.
If you live on a flood plain or near a moving body of water, there is a good chance that your basement will be flooded at least once during the time you own your home. You can grade the soil away from the foundation and stack up flour sacks of sand against the foundation to help with the flooding, but ultimately, you will need something more aggressive to address the flooding. You will need a sump pump to get most of that water out of the basement and to help water stay out of your basement. A waterproofing and sump pump contractor can help.
When I started looking for someone to build my dream home, I realized that I was going to need to be very picky about how I wanted things to proceed. Instead of just choosing anyone to do the work, I started realizing that I needed to work harder to find the perfect team of experts. I started looking everywhere for just the right people, and I was really impressed with one team that stood out to me. They built an absolutely breathtaking home for us, and I know that it might not have worked out that way had we worked with different people. This blog is all about interviewing contractors.