It's been awfully rainy in a lot of parts of the country these days, and while it's good news for our gardens and yards, it's bad news for a lot of basements.
Whatever size your home is or wherever it's located, cracks in the foundation or plumbing can begin to let water into your basement, leading to your stuff getting ruined, your basements getting damp and musty, and much bigger foundational problems if left unchecked.
If you need to get your basement a little more waterproofed, or if you've already dealt with some leaking this year and you want to make sure it doesn't happen anymore, here's a few tips we've pulled together to keep your basements nice and dry:
Clean out your gutters: Even if they're on top of your home, clogged gutters can send rain down the exterior walls of your home, allowing water to get into any cracks in the walls or foundation. Get your gutters cleaned out at the beginning of every season to prevent buildup and keep water flowing away from your house.
Check your windows and insulation: Windows are the most common source of leaks other than walls, and loose insulation or improperly-fitted window dressings can let water in at an alarming rate. Double-check your window fittings to make sure they don't let anything else in while they're closed, and prepare to seal the edges with foam as needed to prevent these leaks.
Protect your stuff: Even if you do everything you can to prevent leaks, it's always a good idea to take some preventative measures in the basement itself to keep your stuff safe. Elevate everything you can on rust-resistant wire shelving to keep it out of harm's way (and to keep the shelves themselves safe), and everything else you can't keep on shelves can go in weatherproof plastic storage totes to keep the elements out. Wall shelving can help too so long as it isn't mounted on a wall that's prone to leaking - otherwise you're putting your stuff right back in harm's way.
Install a sump pump: If all else fails, or if you live in an area very prone to flooding and need a more...intense solution, sump pumps are a fantastic way to handle water as it enters your basement. It's going to involve a lot of home renovations (as you'll have to dig a well and install the pump) but for particularly flood-prone or rain-heavy areas it might be the most effective solution to prevent long-term damage every time the rains come back around.
Consider, if you will, the humble front porch.
If left unattended, the front porch can often become a dumping ground for unused lawn chairs, or if your front porch is fully enclosed it often becomes a second entryway, a place where backpacks go to hide away and grow dusty until the next school year starts.
It’s summertime, and that means you probably don’t need quite as many blankets as you were using beforehand.
We know, we know - your kids and partner always want to crank the AC way lower than you want it to be, maybe you live in a part of the country where the nights get real cold, and you’ll need some blankets around, but not nearly as many as you do during the winter months, right?
The smoke has cleared, the grill has cooled off, scorch marks and tattered papers litter the driveway and the road out front - it must mean another July 4th has come and gone.
Hopefully your Fourth of July celebrations were safe and fun for the entire family, but now that the fun has died down you’re probably left with...a bit of a mess.
No doubt you’ve handled messes before, but messes from a good 4th of July party tend to require a little extra care and consideration when you’re sweeping away the rubble. If you’re waking up bleary-eyed and smelling of sulfur from another fun Independence Day with loved ones, here’s a few things to consider when it’s time to tidy up:
Over the summer, we all have the one family member - be it you, your partner, your bored retiree father-in-law, or whoever - that really gets in the mood for some yardwork and landscaping.
This is all well and good! A nicely-maintained lawn can be just the thing your home needs to take it from ‘nice enough’ to a beautiful place you’re proud to live in. It can, however, get awful expensive and laborious if you’re not careful. We’ve got some plans and ideas here to beautify your home & garden without spending the kind of money the people on HGTV always seem to be able to throw around: