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Keep the water out of your basement

With all the rain we’ve had lately, some people are finding parts of their basements a bit soggy. Not everyone has had time to do their spring check-ups for their house and yard, and the varying temperatures haven’t helped.

So as the weather improves, there are things homeowners can do to make sure water stays outside where it belongs.

Clean your gutters. If your gutters are full of winter debris, they can overflow during a big spring storm. This will send water over the edges of the gutter and into your basement.

Install gutter extensions that are at least 5 to 10 feet long. These will direct roof water farther out into your yard, making it less likely to end up in the basement.

For a more permanent solution, consider installing permanent, underground drain pipe. According to, this pipe “is invisible and capable of moving large quantities of gutter runoff much farther from your house. A landscaper or waterproofing contractor will dig a sloping trench and install pipe to carry the water safely away.”

Close gaps around plumbing pipes. If water dribbles in through openings around these pipes, you can close the openings yourself with hydraulic cement or polyurethane caulk. However, warns, if the water is coming up through the floor, or at the joint where floor and walls meet, the problem is groundwater, and plugs won’t do the trick.

Check the grading. If water trickles in from high areas on foundation walls, this is a sign that surface water isn’t draining away from the house properly.

“Your house should sit on a ‘crown’ of soil that slopes at least 6 inches over the first 10 feet in all directions,” according to This soil settles over time. You can replace it simply by adding and contouring dirt.

AmeriSpec Omaha and Lincoln’s home inspectors can answer your questions about keeping your basement dry and safe. Call us at 402-393-3696 in Omaha or 402-483-2010 in Lincoln.

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