Damp basements are not only unpleasant places to spend time, but they can also be hazardous to your health. Since mold needs moisture to grow, if your basement is dry, you can transform it into a space for your family while eliminating the negative health impacts mold poses.
While having good drainage underneath your foundation is important for ensuring a dry basement, controlling surface water is equally critical keep your basement dry. Read this article for information on how you can control surface water around your home.
Many people are amazed when they learn just how much water can run off their roof. It's estimated that 1-inch of rain falling onto 1000-square feet of roof translates into over 600-gallons of water. With that amount of water, you can see why it's important to move it away from your foundation.
Since most roofs are sloped to guide the water to their edges, the first step is having functional eave troughs to channel the water into downspouts which guide the water away from the foundation. If rainwater is allowed to just run off the roof, moisture will accumulate around the outside of the foundation walls and eventually work its way through them.
Installing extensions onto the tail end of your downspouts which stretch at least 6-feet from your home will help guide the water away from your foundation. If possible, having the extensions drain onto a solid surface such as the driveway will ensure that the water doesn't soak into the ground around your foundation walls.
The ground around your home should be graded or sloped away from the house. A slope of 1-inch to and 1.5-inches per foot for at least 6-feet around the perimeter of your home is enough to drain moisture away from your foundation and prevent rainfall from soaking the ground close to the walls.
When builders back fill around a new home, the earth close to the walls can get compacted. When that occurs, the ground actually ends up sloping towards the walls rather than away from them. Fortunately, it's relatively easy to add extra soil around the foundation to create the proper slope.
Trees in the yard are beautiful, but it's important to realize that as they grow, they can cause significant moisture problems around a home. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development recommends that no trees be planted closer to a home than the distance of their mature heights because when trees are closer to a home, their growing roots could reach out and block the underground drains. Trees can also cause compacting of the soil around the foundation if their roots take up all the moisture from the soil close to the foundation walls.