April Showers bring... oh boy...

Real Estate Agent with Keller William Realty Greater Des Moines

So if April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring? Well, I will get to that another time. I'm still stuck on the April showers part.


April showers bring us many things, one of the biggest things they can bring us is one heck of a mess, specifically, water in the basement and/or frost heaves. A frost heave is when you see horizontile cracks in a basement wall, usually about 2-3 feet from the top of the wall. The wall is literally pushed in, sometimes a few inches, thus causing the cement between the blocks to crack and make a gap. This is bad, and year after year it will get worse and can actually cause your foundation wall to collapse, which could create major damage to your home and possible injury.

Fun fact, when water turns to ice it expands about 9%. That expansion must go somewhere.

Here are a few relatively inexpensive things that you can do to help keep water out of your basement before you go spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars waterproofing your basement and installing a sump pump kit. Or more importantly, before you have to repair your foundation.


1. Make sure that you have good clean gutters and downspouts. This will allow water to flow through them and you can direct it where you want it, rather than just dumping over the side of the eve. Also make sure that your downspout extensions are properly secured, making sure that when the water pours off of the roof and down the downspout that it is exhausted far away from your foundation, at least 5 feet. The further, the better.


2. Make sure that you have a positive grade around your foundation. This means having dirt and/or landscaping around your foundation that will slope and lead water away from your foundation rather than creating a funnel to where it can soak up and rest against your foundation. A 2% or more grade is recommended (1 inch of fall for every foot from your home).


These ideas are important year round, not just in the spring. In fact you can create thousands of dollars in damage to the foundation of your home if water pools against your foundation, then the winter freeze causes your foundation to heave in and buckle. We see this all the time in the colder regions of the United States. Keeping water away is simple, but replacing a foundation is not.


For other tips on getting your home ready to sell, or if you have questions about purchasing your next home, you may always reach out to us at The Steinick Group real estate services website.

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