MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s been a busy season for experts who find and treat flooded basements, and pretty soon, they’ll be busy helping affected homeowners prevent the water from coming back.

Alan Powell from Certified Moisture Testing said one of the most common causes of basement flooding is the grade at which the house sits. Homeowners want soil up against the home at a higher level, helping keep the water running away from the foundation.

This time of year admittedly makes that a little tricky.

“The ground is frozen, but the soil right up the foundation is warmed by the heat through the home,” said Powell. “And so you’ve got a place where the water can go, and as the snow melts, it goes down in that joint between the soils and the foundation, and sits there until it comes through your basement.”

Temperatures are starting to climb during the day but the ground likely won’t thaw until late spring or early summer. Not only does that affect the ability to dig, according to Powell, but sealant has a hard time working properly, too.

“The other thing is sump pumps need to be so they can drain the water away,” said Powell. “If you have water or if you have any dips in your sump pump hose, it’s frozen. If you turn your sump pump on and it’s trying to pump water out and it’s not going anywhere, it’s just going right underneath your slab. So you have to keep aware of the water and how it moves.”

He advises discharge lines should stay on an even surface and away from any lingering snow piles.

Christiane Cordero

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