If you have a leaky basement no matter how diligent you are about having gutters and downspouts in good repair, the problem might be the grading around the outside of your home. Low spots in the soil next to the foundation makes it very easy for water to run down through your foundation and into the basement. Here's one easy fix using plain sand.
Things You'll Need
- Driveway marker, very long screwdriver
- Flat shovel
- Play sand
- Grass seed
Even if the soil and landscaping around your home appears to be sloped and properly draining water away, there can be low areas and crevices that aren't easy to spot. This will be more common with older homes, especially if you have sandy soil to begin with. Using anything long, skinny and rigid, walk around your home and see if you can slide it down into the soil right next to the foundation. A driveway marker, poker or a very long mechanic's screwdriver works. See if you can slide the poker down easily. Check about every foot or so. If you can slide the poker down more than a few inches, water can get down there, too.
Using a flat shovel, pull the soil away from your foundation anywhere it will give. Trickle the play sand down the voids. You might be surprised at how much it takes to fill it. Sand works because, like water, it will fill in and seal even very small cracks and crevices.
The sand will settle over time and with some more rain. Recheck it every week or so and pour more sand down. You can hasten this process by simply running water from a hose along the edge of your foundation. Be aware that this will probably cause some basement leaking, but it will also tamp the sand down. Keep refilling low spots with sand until you're sure it's all settled.
In places where you have grass growing along the side of your house, you can now set several inches of topsoil along the edge. Tamp it down and apply grass seed. As the grass growns, the root system will further prevent water from going into your foundation. If there is decking or cement up against the foundation, all you need to do is get as much sand down into any crack you see.
Of course you also want to do everything you can to divert water from your home's foundation and this means having gutters, downspouts and diverters clog-free and in good condition.
How to Install French Drains Around a Foundation
If soil drainage is poor, water can build up around a foundation and, over many years, cause the foundation to move, crack...
How to Build a Patio Foundation
Before you start laying tile or stone for a new patio, you need to build a foundation. With a proper foundation, your...
How to Seal Foundation Cracks
A home is built on top of a foundation. When the ground underneath the foundation begins to settle, the foundation will often...
How to Seal a Concrete Block Foundation
Concrete blocks are naturally porous, and when they are laid into a block foundation, they tend to absorb water from the surrounding...
How to Insulate Below Grade Basement Walls
Below grade basement walls can remain much colder than walls that are located above grade because of the dampness in the surrounding...
How to Seal Between a Driveway & a House Foundation
Homes with a concrete driveway that runs from the house foundation can have water issues. If the driveway was built with an...
Ideas for Flower Beds Along the House
Use the available space along your home to create colorful flower beds. A little imagination is all it takes.
What Is Good for Wrinkles Around The Mouth?
Wrinkles form as skin loses its collagen and elastin, causing it to sag. Environmental factors such as sun exposure, smoking and pollution...