Waterproofing your home can reduce the risk of water damage and better brace your home against the elements. Waterproofing measures come in several different forms and can be combined with other preventative measures to bolster your home's defense against intruding water. Depending on the specific threats your property faces, there are five key steps you can take to keep water out and handle any leaks that might develop.

Improve your gutters and drainage

Rain gutters are designed to collect rain water as it runs off your home and funnel it out and away from your home. When gutters leak, they allow the water to run down the foundation of your home, putting pressure on the concrete and seeping in through cracks. The gutters and drains on your homes should be fixed so that water runs down your pipes and drain out a couple feet from your home. You should also inspect your gutters at least once a year to make sure leaves, nests and other debris aren't clogging your drainage system and preventing it from working properly.

Fix holes and cracks in concrete walls

Even minor cracks in your concrete walls are gateways for water to enter your home. Properties with water problems in the basement often suffer from older, cracked foundations, increasing maintenance needs. If you have exposed concrete walls, identifying and fixing these cracks is easy. When drywall or other walling covers the concrete, it can be difficult to spot a crack before you see evidence of water leaks. Regardless, patch up any and all leaks with masonry crack sealant or construction-grade epoxy. You can also apply sealant to the exterior of exposed concrete walls. If you are unsure of how to go about making these fixes, hire a crack repair technician to shore up the walls for you.

Apply waterproofing product to basement and concrete walls

Once you have the concrete cracks filled, you can provide an extra layer of protection by placing a waterproofing product over your concrete walls. These products bond to the concrete and essentially become one with the wall. Some products are also activated by the presence of moisture and develop waterproof seals where leaks develop.

Install a sump

Many homes and other properties have benefited greatly from the installation of a sump pump. Sump pumps use a hole in your basement floor equipped with a pump that can flush water out of the home through a hose. When water levels in the hole get too high, the sump pump automatically starts working and releases the water far enough from your home's foundation that it shouldn't get back into your basement. The downside to sump pumps is that they can be difficult to install without prior experience, and they're best left to professionals specializing in sump pump installation. But if you constantly deal with leaking and flooding in your basement, a sump pump can be invaluable.

Place waterproof flooring in your basement

Basements suffering from water leaks can be home to mildew and mold, particularly in the fibers of carpeting. Many experts recommend installing waterproof flooring in your basement to lower humidity and the damage that can accompany water leaks. Waterproof flooring is also energy efficient and can help your home enjoy lower energy expenditures while serving as a barrier between moisture and your home.

Author's Bio: 

Kent Yuen is a writer for Tsurumi Pump Sales, the largest stocking tsurumi distributor in the country.