Winter is coming, and with this cold season, we can expect the snow, sleet, and icicles to make themselves comfortable around our home. However, it’s important that you — as a homeowner — waterproof your home so the water stays where it is meant to be: outside! Waterproofing your home will not only protect the structure of your home but your family’s health, too.
Waterproofing your home is absolutely crucial, especially now that it’s getting colder and wetter. Here are eight of the most overlooked reasons to waterproof your basement, and why it is important to do so.
- Costly insurance
- 98% of all basements in the U.S will suffer from some type of water damage because of a burst pipe or a foundation crack, and about one-fifth of all home insurance claims are due to some type of water damage. The cost of these damages can range anywhere from hundreds of dollars to thousands, so waterproofing your home is a smart investment.
- Mold infestation
- Mold starts to grow in untreated, damp, humid environments about 24 to 48 hours after water intrusion. It is a pesky fungi that canbe present even if there are no visual signs. If too much mold is inhaled, it can cause asthmatic reactions or respiratory infections.
- Unsecured window wells
- On average, a typical galvanized window well is 36 inches wide and has a 12 inch projection. This means that the area water can enter the home is as large as three feet squared. In times of heavy, continuous rain, there is a high risk for window leaks.
- A higher electric bill
- Damp air costs more money to both heat and cool, so if you have a damp basement, you will waste extra money on the electric bill. To put this in perspective, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that you will see a 10% to a 15% increase on your electric bill–an average of about $250 annually.
- Water going down the drain… literally
- Many homeowners are unaware that they have water leaks. In fact, 10% of homes have leaks that waste about 90 gallons of water per day.
- Compromises your basement floor
- Typical basement floors are created by layering thin layers of concrete together, so they aren’t often strong. The same hydrostatic pressure that forces water into the basement also presses upward on the basement floor, which then causes it to crack—these cracks allow water to seep into your basement.
- Tie rod holes
- During the construction of your home, the concrete forms were hand-built by wood and held together during the cement pour with ⅝ steel rods. Sometimes, these holes are left in the floor of your basement, allowing water to seep in through and pool on the floor.
- Sump pump failureThe U.S Department of Housing and Development estimates the average life expectancy of a sump pump is 10 years. When these pumps are not correctly maintained or installed, they will not discharge the water away from the home and allow it to pool in the basement. This can lead to a flooded basement in a matter of minutes.
With these reasons in mind, go out and get your home waterproofed so none of these experiences happen to you!