Call for Action: Protecting Your Home from Flooding

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BEACHWOOD, Ohio -- The snow is piled high in Beachwood and that has one homeowner, who asked that his name not be included in this report, to express concern over where it will go when it melts.

"I'm just worried that this water's gonna come in, more so, than it has been," he told Call For Action Reporter Lorrie Taylor.

In an effort to prevent additional damage, he asked Ohio State Waterproofing how to dry up his lower level.

Certified mold inspector Frank Bauck, who's worked for the company nearly 30 years, said the homeowner might have prevented existing damage had he been more proactive.

"When all this snow melts, we're gonna have a little bit of water underneath our homes," said Bauck.

He told Taylor the best way for homeowners to keep moisture out is to focus on the three Gs: gutters, grading and groundwater.

He first pointed to a white, chalky powder that had formed on the man’s basement cinder block, called efflorescence.

Bauck said it is a sure sign that walls are wet on the outside.

He took Taylor to the home’s backyard, where he showed her the source of the problem.  He pointed to low-lying dirt that was lining the back of the home’s foundation.

He told her it was a perfect example of poor grading because it allowed water to flow toward the house. He recommended that lawns be graded with two to three inches of drop for every ten feet of earth, making sure the lawn slopes away from the foundation.

"We want that water to flow away from the house so we'd like to see that dirt taper as it moves away from the home," he said.

Bauck pointed to a nearby downspout that had been hanging from the roof’s edge with nowhere to go. He said it directed water from the gutters toward the foundation instead of away from the house.

Because cracks had already begun to form in the home’s exterior walls, water had traveled through them and into the basement.

"It's actually penetrating the foundation, from the cracking, and we've got the snow that's melting that's actually contributing to the water underneath the home," he told Taylor.

"You see cracks early, you want to repair them soon," said Bauck.

Keeping water away is the best offense when it comes to keeping it out. Knowing how to accomplish that made the homeowner breathe a lot easier.

"I feel a lot more comfortable now, knowing what's going on, having a plan in place to remedy the situation," said the homeowner.

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