Waterproofing basements can help homeowners prepare for storms

WASHINGTON – Though Superstorm Sandy has passed, another big storm is likely to hit at some point.

Wet basements are often par for the course after big storms like Sandy and waterproofing them properly is key.

Robert Krughoff, founder and president of the group that publishes the Washington Consumer’s Checkbook Magazine, says it is critical to be sure that water around the perimeter of a house is draining away from the building.

“Make sure that the gutters are working, there are no leaks in the gutters,” he says. “Make sure that the downspouts are extended away from your house.”

Krughoff says this kind of prevention will keep residents from paying for expensive basement waterproofing contractors, who may recommend a sump pump to pump the water out.

“That just means you’re taking the water in and pumping it back out,” he says. “Why let it in in the first place? Regrade around your house and make sure the water is flowing away from your house.

If homeowners take steps to be sure the water doesn’t come into a basement in the first place, they most likely won’t have any other problem and will save a lot of money, he says.

“Make sure that the land is graded away from your house,” Krughoff says. “Over the course of years, sometimes that grading changes. Once that water starts flowing toward your house, it will get down and it will seep through your basement walls.”

WTOP’s Veronica Robinson contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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