There is a snow storm swirling outside the window of my office today. Yes, it’s the same one that is swirling outside your office too. This is the middle of March! The first day of spring is officially 5 days from the day that I’m writing this column! Doesn’t look too springy out there to me….But just you wait. It will be spring soon. And as soon as spring is sprung our fair little city is going to be submerged in melting snow. That melting snow wants badly to get into our basements and crawl spaces.
Well, you know what they say; an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. With that in mind I called my esteemed colleague Dan Bastiaansen, the owner of Pro-tech Home Inspections for some tips on keeping my basement dry. He is, after all, the local expert on such things. In the name of good citizenship and with Dan’s permission, I now share those tips with you.
The biggest concern right now are these ridiculous snow drifts that are up against our houses. The only way to protect your basement from water infiltration from this type of threat is to get out there and shovel it away from your house (note: this would be a very good business for an enterprising individual to start right about now; if you want to do so, call or email me and I will hire you. I will also give you a shout out in my next column).
The next line of defense is to ensure that your gutter system and downspouts are unblocked and working properly. According to Dan “Their job is to get moisture away from [your] home”. He says to check for blockages and leaks, particularly at the corners. Also make sure that your downspouts aren’t frozen and pick them up out of the snow to make sure that water has the chance to flow away.
For many of us, our last line of defense is our sump pump. If you have one, make sure it works and make sure that it drains out of the house. It doesn’t make much sense to have it pumping back into your basement. It also doesn’t make much sense to have it sitting there not working.
The last thing that Dan told me regarding defending my house against an infiltration of melting snow is to keep a close eye on things. Some moisture issues will take some time to present themselves and you don’t want to be caught off guard. The sooner you catch a problem, the better you can remedy it.
So there you have it. Some solid tips on keeping your basement dry as given to you by the local authority on the subject; Dan Bastiaansen of Pro-Tech Home Inspections. Now get out there and get it done. It will be a badge of honour for any house that hits the market over the next few years when you can say: “You remember the great melt of 2011? Ya, we didn’t get any water in our basement.”
Dan Bastiaansen is the owner and primary inspector of Pro-Tech Home Inspections. He is extremely good at his job and comes enthusiastically recommended. He can be found online at www.protechinspections.ca. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at 250.782.2288.