Howe Logo

Wet basements are a common problem – according to the American Society of Home Inspectors, nearly 60 percent of houses in the United States suffer from below ground moisture problems.

A sump pump is a pump machine installed in the lowest part of a basement to help keep the space dry and prevent flooding. Generally installed in a hole about two feet deep and twenty inches wide, the sump pump’s job is to move water out of its pit and away from the building’s foundation.

It doesn’t take much water to cause a lot of damage. Water flows into a sump pump via drains, or by natural water migration through the soil. Most sump pump models turn on automatically through either a float activator arm or a pressure sensor, removing moisture before it can cause problems. Moisture in a basement can harm the foundation and ruin possessions, as well as cause the growth of mold and mildew. So along with water proofing a space, a sump pump ensures a healthier home environment overall.

Since a majority of basement moisture concerns originate from water problems outside of a house, this makes it especially important for homeowners to maintain their gutters and downspouts.

Gutters safeguard against moisture seeping into your foundation by directing rainwater away from the perimeter of your house. Their proper function is an essential part of any roofing system. As a result, the National Center for Healthy Housing recommends cleaning your gutters at least twice a year, in the spring and the fall. Clearing gutters reduces the risk not only of water damage, but also pest infestations, loose gutters, and ice dam formation.

Cleaning your gutters is just a matter of clearing debris and ensuring that water can flow through them and any downspouts. Gutters should be directing water at least six feet away from your house’s foundation, so consider adding downspout extenders if necessary.

Start gutter maintenance by flushing the downspouts to ensure that water has a clear path away from the house. Debris caught in a downspout can be cleared with a plumber’s snake. Then, use a garden trowel to scoop leaves and other debris from the gutter into a bucket or onto a tarp. If there’s encrusted dirt, use a brush or rag to scrub it loose. Finish by blasting the troughs with a water hose – working the spray toward the downspouts.