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Spring tests your basement—the melting snow and seemingly never-ending rain showers bring more moisture than you might expect. In Wisconsin, you can’t always predict when it’ll pour, but you can waterproof your basement before the storms hit. Here are five tips to prepare your basement for spring.

Tip #1: Check Your Sump Pump

Your sump pump is one of the most vital parts of your basement; it collects water and pushes it away from your home.

It’s important to check if your sump pump functions correctly before severe weather strikes your home. To do this, pour a few buckets of water into the sump pump and see if the sump pump ejects the water. The pump should then shut off. If there are any issues, call a plumber you trust. A faulty sump pump isn’t worth the water damage that comes with it, so make sure you get it fixed as soon as possible.

Tip #2: Repair Foundation Walls

If you notice your foundation walls are buckling, you must take of them right away. Bowing or buckling walls mean hydrostatic pressure is pushing against your foundation walls. This can affect the rest of your home. Therefore, your spring basement preparation list should include calling contractors to install foundation wall supports.

Tip #3: Seal Foundation Cracks

Water will seep through any cracks in your foundation and damage the inside of your home. If you notice watermarks on your walls, call your local professionals. These marks are signs that recent flooding damaged your home. And if any water makes it way into your basement, it’s best to take care of it immediately—you’ll avoid mold and mildew this way.

Additionally, don’t forget to seal your basement windows; the gaps around them are only asking for water to enter your home.

Tip #4: Clean and Fix Gutters

Winter weather wreaks havoc on your home’s gutters. And when your gutters can’t properly catch water from your roof, you’ll have other issues on your hands. This standing water needs a way out through your downspout. If your gutters are clogged, it can’t escape. The water runoff could even ruin your home’s foundation.

Once it begins to warm up, take the time to clean out the debris and leaves from your gutters. If necessary, fix or replace them.

Tip #5: Install Waterproof Flooring

If you live in a flood-prone area, you should consider improving your basement’s flooring. If you currently have carpet or hardwood, moisture can easily ruin it. A waterproof floor, such as ceramic tile, won’t warp from excess water. Plus, it’s easy to clean!

A new floor will not only help you prepare your basement for spring, but it’ll add a fresh look to your home.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.