Your home is a protection and a security to yourself, your family, and your possessions, keeping them safe from adverse weather and theft. For this reason, it is essential to inspect and repair necessary areas of your home's exterior foundation to keep out even the smallest trickle of water. Here are two areas of your home you need to focus on to help keep out exterior moisture intrusion to keep your home protected and dry.

Basement and Foundation Moisture Barrier

The foundation or basement on your home can often be susceptible to cracks and gaps, which can lead to water intrusion from the outside. After a heavy rain storm, if you notice your basement feels or smells damp, or you notice moisture leaking from the foundation corner against the wall or through cracks in the wall, your basement foundation likely has moisture intrusion or high interior moisture levels.

To determine if the moisture in your basement is originating from your home's interior or from the exterior, you can complete a simple test. With duct tape, attach a length of tinfoil onto your concrete basement wall and leave it there for a couple days. After the elapsed time, peel back the tinfoil to see if there is moisture that has collected behind the tinfoil and against your wall or on the front side of the tinfoil. If moisture is behind the tinfoil and against the wall, the moisture is coming in through your home foundation and should be blocked. If the moisture has accumulated on the front of the tinfoil it has come from a heavy level of air moisture.

To remedy high interior moisture levels, install a dehumidifier in the basement or cover your interior pipes with foam insulation to prevent water condensation getting into the air. To block exterior moisture intrusion inside your basement, talk to a local foundation waterproofing company about treating your basement interior. They can install a vapor barrier or insulative wall protection to keep your basement space dry. Basement waterproofing professionals can also install a French drain and sump pump in your basement to pump any water to the outside.

You can also fill any cracks in your foundation walls by applying hydraulic cement into the cracks. This type of patching will expand when it dries and will be able to set up while it is under pressure in the wall and can stop the leaking of exterior moisture into your basement.

Exterior Home Drainage

The exterior of your home needs to be protected to stop water from entering into it through the foundation walls. The first step to accomplish this is to make sure your home's roof runoff is properly diverted well away from your foundation. The soil around your foundation can become over-saturated when rainwater pools next to your home, allowing it to seep into your basement. Experts recommend installing downspout extenders to move water away from your foundation by 5 to 10 feet away. And it is best to place the end of the extender on a paved or gravel-covered surface.

If your foundation is showing a great deal of cracking or shifting that causes interior moisture intrusion, check the type of soil that is around your home. Expansive soil around your home foundation can expand excessively when it becomes wet, and shrink excessively when it is dry, causing the foundation to shift and crack. It is estimated by the American Society of Civil Engineers that approximately one-fourth of all homes in the U.S. have some damage from expansive soils.

You can have your soil tested around your home to find out if they are prone to expansion, so you can remedy the problem by various treatments to the soil. A foundation repair professional, like one from Seagate Roofing and Foundations, can repair any damage and provide exterior waterproof protection to keep moisture from leaking into your basement. 

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