Spring in Raleigh is on the way, which can be exciting - warm weather, trees and flowers coming to life, and more opportunities to get outside. Spring also brings a lot of rain, which are normally nothing to worry about, but this season has meteorologists and insurance companies concerned over flooding. The area received a warmer winter than usual, especially in the mountain areas which means that a slow-melting snow and ice pack is replaced with rain, causing rivers to run higher than usual. This, along with high levels of soil saturation means we're already near capacity. Add regular spring rain onto that, and you may be at high risk for basement and crawl space flooding along with other concerns. If you're already experiencing moisture problems in your basement or crawl space, it's important to take action and contact a waterproofing contractor immediately. Otherwise, we're sharing some ways to protect your home from spring rains.
Prevent Soil Erosion Around Your Foundation
Soil erosion around your home's foundation is much more damaging than you may realize. Without soil to hold moisture, water ponding against your home can occur, leading to severe structural damage and expensive foundation repair. Standing water can also seep into your basement or crawl space, leading to mold and basement flooding. Fortunately, simple measures can minimize the risk of soil erosion.
Adding hardy shrubs and perennial plants have long roots that can hold soil in place, while adding good quality mulch can reduce the amount of water ponding against the foundation.
Check Gutters & Downspouts
Water runoff from your roof and eaves can also cause soil erosion. Keep your gutters clear and downspouts directed away from your home and able to flow freely.
Have a French Drain Installed
For homes that generally have good drainage, where water rarely ponds, a French drain can be a good stop-gap for exterior basement waterproofing, though it's not ideal. A French drain is a trench with a perforated pipe that's surrounded by gravel so when water seeps in through the gravel, it's directed away from the foundation. However, in heavy rain or where the ground is oversaturated, water may still seep under the pipe and into your basement or crawl space.
In addition to preventing soil erosion and ponding, foundation or crawl space waterproofing can prevent structural damage from excess moisture and standing water. A waterproof compound can be applied to the below-grade walls to stop water from seeping in through the concrete. In extreme situations, water can continue down under the home and come up through the basement flooring or seep into your crawl space.
Waterproofing Your Basement
If your home has a basement, most often, water enters at the gaps where the foundation walls meet the floor, and in times of heavy rain, this can lead to mold, poor air quality, and at worst, serious flooding. The only way to prevent this is through interior basement waterproofing, a comprehensive method that involves releasing trapped water within the wall, installing a free flowing drain pipe to discharge water that is collected and laying it over with gravel, then installing a vapor barrier to block any moisture or humidity from rising up. From there, flooring can be reinstalled, making your basement dry and clean.
Crawl Space Encapsulation & Waterproofing
Crawl spaces pose a different problem during heavy rains and flooding. Water that ponds under the home not only sits on the interior of the foundation, leading to severe structural damage, it also attracts pests and can lead to mold growth under your home. As water evaporates, that vapor comes up through your floor and leads to damage at the interior of the home, too. While crawl space waterproofing works similarly to basement waterproofing in which a special drainage pipe is installed in a trench around the interior of the base block, crawl space encapsulation is a more comprehensive solution. This is where a waterproofing contractor completely seals the ground, walls, and joists, preventing vapors from rising from the ground and closing off any possible gaps, cracks, or crevices where moisture around the foundation could get in.
Does Homeowner's Insurance Cover Crawl Space or Basement Waterproofing?
While homeowner's insurance should cover waterproofing - after all, preventing water and mold is much less expensive than mold remediation and cleaning up after a flooded home - it generally does not. Here's the thing to check in your policy, though - your homeowner's policy may not cover damage due to ground water flooding, which is what it's considered when water enters at a sub-level and your basement leaks or floods. Therefore, even though insurance may not be on your side to prevent damage to your home, you should absolutely be proactive about contacting a contractor for crawl space or basement waterproofing before you're dealing with a major catastrophe.
Contact Us for Crawl Space and Basement Waterproofing in Raleigh
At CBT of NC, we specialize in keeping your home dry, healthy, and free from mold, flooding, and other problems. If you want to learn more about whether crawl space sealing or basement waterproofing is right for you, or to set up a quote, reach out to us today at 919-847-7072 or fill out our contact form to get started!