Summer is Here! Is Your Basement Prepared?

Posted By: Jessica Garrett Categories: Safety, Ventilation

Your home’s basement is the perfect place to hang out with family and friends during those hot summer months. After a fun day outdoors, the natural coolness of the basement provides a comfortable, welcoming atmosphere. The basement is also a great place for taking refuge during strong windstorms. Are you ready?

Preparations That Help Keep the Basement Cool

Early summer is a good time to add insulation and install another window well for extra ventilation. Nothing feels so good as relaxing in a cool room on a hot day or enjoying evening’s soft breeze while you enjoy a cool drink indoors. Insulating the walls of your basement helps keep the basement cool in the summer and warm in the winter. An extra egress window well provides for more air circulation as well as the calming peace of mind knowing your family is safe in case of an emergency. In addition, spending time in a cool basement is made more enjoyable as a result of the natural light that an egress window well allows to enter.

Relaxing in the Basement with a Rockwell Egress Window Well

Tips on Keeping Your Basement Dry

With the summer months come summer rain storms and the use of sprinklers – both of which put your basement at risk for flooding. To ensure that your basement stays dry, inspect the foundation, basement walls, and floor slab for cracks. Perform a visual inspection of the ceiling, walls and floor in every room to look for signs of moisture. Track down the source of any problems before sealing, caulking or insulating. This is a process you should perform regularly, especially if you live in a more humid climate.

Small cracks in the basement’s concrete walls or floor that have not been caused by a major shift of the earth often can be easily fixed. You will want to seal all cracks in the exterior walls or foundation to prevent them from expanding, eventually allowing moisture to enter your basement. Cracks in the concrete floor slab may not require repair. It depends how wide they are and how deep they go. A crack that you can easily slip a credit card into or that extends all the way through the slab needs repair.

Additional Prep Work to Keep Your Basement Dry

Follow these simple procedures to ensure that your basement stays dry during the summer and throughout the year.

  • Does your basement have a sump pump? Now is the time to give it a test run to make sure it works correctly. Also take care of any routine cleaning and maintenance. Consider installing a backup generator to supply electricity during power outages.

  • Check your rain gutters for leaks. Faulty or clogged rain gutters often cause basements to flood during heavy rainstorms. Clean all eaves troughs and inspect them for leaks. If the downspout ends close to the house’s foundation, add an extension that carries rainwater on a downhill grade away from the basement.

  • Check the basement’s humidity control or air conditioning system. Replace dirty air filters. Clean vents.

  • Caulk around windows and doors.

  • Seal the entire upper perimeter of the basement foundation where the house framing meets the foundation walls. Usually the house rests on a wooden sill plate that lines the top of the foundation. Be sure to caulk both above and below the sill plate. Summer is a perfect time to perform yearly maintenance such as this.

Make Your Basement Safe

Summertime brings images of dripping-wet kids running barefoot in and out of the basement. Water fights with squirt guns and garden hoses add to the scene.

Water can make floors and stairs very slippery. To prevent accidents, think about the routes that are most trafficked, especially by kids. There are a few things you can do to keep your kids safe:

  • Reduce the likelihood of a fall by coating floors with non-slip paint or laying down rubber mats.

  • Check the staircase treads to make sure they are securely fastened.

  • Remove all clutter from pathways and stairs.

  • Keep electrical cords off the floor and away from playing children.

  • Protect against accidental shock by inserting safety caps into electrical outlets that are not in use.

Prepare to Have Fun

Now that you know your family is safe and sound, the fun can begin! Stock the basement with things your family and friends most enjoy: new movies, favorite treats, and upbeat music. Your loved ones will be able to enjoy themselves while seeking refuge from the heat. So, get going! You’re about to make this summer the best summer yet.