If you have noticed that your basement walls have started to show wet spots and are even beginning to crumble in certain areas, you may start to suspect that water is leaking in through the foundation. While performing actual waterproofing of your foundation can be tricky and is usually best left to a professional, there are a couple of things you can do outside of your house to help minimize the amount of water leakage.
1. Slope Soil or Mulch at the Base of the Foundation
When your home was first constructed, the workers most likely packed dirt around the foundation so that it sloped away from the base of the house. This sloping allowed for water to run in the opposite direction so that the water did not adversely affect the foundation.
However, as time passed, the sloping dirt became compacted and either became level with the base of the foundation or started to slope towards it. When this happened, water started being in direct contact with the foundation, breaking the concrete down and eventually seeping through to the interior.
To help combat this, pack either soil or mulch around the base of your home's foundation. Make sure that it slopes away your house to divert the water away.
2. Keep Your Gutters Cleaned Out
Another way you can help minimize your foundation's contact with water is to make sure that your gutters and downspouts are cleaned out. If the gutters are full, the water will pour over the sides instead of draining properly through the downspouts.
When the water is allowed to pour over the sides, it will run along the foundation and increase its contact with moisture. And, even if you have created slopes along the base of your home, the impact of the water will cut channels into the soil or mulch.
These channels will then erode the soil or carry away the mulch, making your efforts to divert the water away from your house futile. By checking and cleaning out your gutters once a month, you can help keep the drainage open and keep excess water away from your foundation
Along with the tips above, consider having a professional inspect your foundation to find out the exact issues that are causing water to leak through. They can then discuss any exterior waterproofing options that are available to prevent seepage as well as the further breakdown of the foundation's material.