Most basements were originally designed for extra storage space and to provide room for essential equipment such as boilers and washing machines. Many were crudely built with dirt floors and no air circulation, resulting in damp conditions.

Older homes may need basement repairs due to the ground settling over time, which can cause cracks in the foundation. Water or dampness in the basement is a sign that waterproofing may not be adequate. You may need to consult with a general contractor Boston MA about your repairs, but here are some simple ways to check your basement waterproofing system.

Look for Tar

Sealants, which are usually black tar substances, can be applied to the interior and exterior foundation walls to prevent wetness in the basement. This black coating can be seen on unfinished basement walls and along the foundation outside above ground level. Check for tar both inside and outside. Many older homes were built without any sealant, or it was only applied outside.

Inspect the Weeping Tiles

Weeping tiles are designed to draw water away from the perimeter of the home to a drainage system. They are not made of tile at all but are plastic pipes with holes on the top that are placed underground around the foundation. As they age, the pipes can become damaged or clogged. To see if existing tiles are broken or malfunctioning, inspect the basement walls for cracks, dampness, mold or a musty smell.

Grade to the Sewer

The ground around the home should allow for water to flow away from the foundation, ideally toward the sewage system. If the slope of the yard, also known as the grade, is insufficient, pools of water may collect near the home. Over time, your yard’s grade may change due to soil erosion or landscaping, so it’s important to keep checking periodically.

Be proactive to keep your basement dry. A good time to check your home’s waterproofing is after a rainstorm or heavy watering near the home. Often, this excess water will expose problems with water drainage and foundation sealant, letting you know where to target your restoration.

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