A dry basement begins with keeping water out

After a cold and snowy winter, the prospect of a rainy spring can put home owners on edge with the threat of water problems and flooded basements.

Jack Day, owner of The Block Doctor in Fostoria, said water problems can be experienced any time of the year, but certain measures can be taken to help ensure foundations stay dry.

All property owners should first check the downspouts on a home or building, Day said, to make sure water is being piped at least 10 feet away from a foundation.

“Two or three feet is not enough,” he said.

Simply rerouting downspouting, Day said, “might stop all water problems” at a residence or business, but if a problem continues, The Block Doctor can inspect the property to see if further work needs to be done.

Some homeowners with water issues, he said, should consider having a submersible pump installed, to help ensure water doesn’t collect in a basement or lower level.

Sump pumps work to pump water away from problem areas, and, while some homeowners choose to have them installed when a home is built, many older homes don’t have sump pumps, Day said.

Those homes, he said, tend to rely on sloping in a basement floor to drain water, but such a system still can lead to flooding.

Installing a sump pump can take from five days to a month, and prices range from about $5,000 to $20,000, Day said, depending on the structural work that needs to be done surrounding the pump.

Also, he said, a battery back-up for a sump pump can be installed, which allows the pump to operate even if electrical power is lost. That additional cost, he said, is about $700.

Day said basement waterproofing also can be an effective tool to control water and flooding around a home or structure.

He said he uses a combination of a tar sealant and Thermoseal when he applies waterproofing, and the double-layer approach “stops water from soaking into the block wall.”

Day said he has been helping homeowners with waterproofing and water problems for almost 40 years. The Block Doctor can be reached at (419) 701-9588.