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10 Great Ways to Keep Your Basement Dry
July 31st, 2014 12:12 PM

Solid Information. Fun Exaggerations.

In today’s stormy economic climate, real estate brokers and real estate appraisal experts will tell you a wet basement can rain on your parade and decrease your home value appraisal by 10-15%. Time to be proactive and put entrepreneurship in gear. Follow these 10 steps to keep your wet basement dry and your real estate appraisal high.

1. If you flunk, change the grade

We’re talking about the grade of the ground surrounding your house. If it slopes toward your foundation you can easily flunk the grade when it comes to keeping your basement dry. Instead, make sure the surrounding soil slopes away from your house at a slope of at least 1/4 inch per foot so that water drains toward your yard, not your foundation. You can do this easily by adding and raking the soil smooth, until the grade is highest at the point closest to the house. Get an A+ result when itcomes to maintaining the highest estate appraisal.

2. Install gutters and downspouts
The rain in Spain can go down the drain better if you’ve installed gutters and downspouts. Make sure downspouts are at least five to six feet away from the building structure and that the water is directed far enough away from the house to prevent seepage.

3. Deck the walls with water resistant paint
Condensation and moisture in the basement can cause interiors walls (and previously jolly homeowners) to weep. No “ho ho ho” when that happens. You can easily prevent this problem by painting the interior walls with a high-quality water-resistant paint. This can be your water-in-the-basement"escape-claus.” (Ahem) In the future, you can unwrap the present of a greater return on your real estate investment.

4. Don’t plant a redwood tree close to the house.
Okay, this is an obvious exaggeration. You’re not likely to plant a giant redwood tree in your garden, but you could. The only trouble is you’d have to live two lifetimes to see it grow 30 feet or so. Also, in relation to our wet basement theme, planting any tree with aggressive roots (Redwoods and Silver Maples) close to the house can wreck your foundation and cause seepage. Pick smaller trees you can’t drive through like White Firs.

5. Install a sump pump

This is like Geico; everybody knows this. But what you may not know is that Noah had several sump pumps—two of each kind. We had 10 inches of deluge-type rain in the spring so water in Illinois is an issue and a sump pump can be worth its weight in cast iron. Cost of a sump pump? According to reliable sources, plumbers charge anywhere between $100 and $1000 to install pedestal pumps, depending on several factors. Submersible pumps, may cost between $1500 and $5000, depending on the location of the installation, whether they have to break through a concrete floor, etc. Three more tips: Get a battery backup system for around $300 to $500. Get a real pro to appraise the level of your protection.Keep up a friendly relationship with Noah.

6. Surround the house with rocks or gravel
Rocks and gravel absorb water easily and dry quickly.

Four more for the road

7.Insulate your water pipes
8. Avoid drying your clothes in the basement—or at least do it on sunny days so there’s less humidity in the air.
9. Make sure all appliances vent outdoors

10. Put exhaust fans in bathrooms downstairs

Follow these rules and you’ll save so much money and grief, there won’t be a dry eye in the house, or a wet basement. Come back for our next article on thoseridiculous property taxes and what you can do about them. (Talk about weeping in the basement!)


In today's turbulent real estate markets, property owners, property investors, financial planners, lenders and portfolio and asset managers turn to Michael Hobbs & PahRoo Appraisal & Consultancy for prompt, trustworthy guidance and keen valuation insight into real estate appraisal, both commercial and residential, estate appraisal, real estate valuation, and business consulting designed to create transformational growth and success. Appraise our ability to meet and exceed your needs at

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Posted by Michael Hobbs on July 31st, 2014 12:12 PMPost a Comment

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