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WDAY: The News Leader

Published August 24, 2012, 05:26 PM

Hot, dry weather can cause thousands of dollars in basement damage

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- Our hot, dry weather has been good for the pools. Great for the lakes. But bad for crops, lawns and now, basements.

By: Becky Parker, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- Our hot, dry weather has been good for the pools. Great for the lakes. But bad for crops, lawns and now, basements.

There are visible cracks around some foundations. The dry conditions could pave the way for water to get in your basement when it DOES rain, causing tens of thousands of dollars in damage.

A few years ago, Craig Mikkelsen lined the foundation his West Fargo home with rocks and gravel to keep water out.

Mikkelsen: "About three years ago, I didn't have the rocks there and it was already separated away from my foundation. So, I just added a bunch of dirt and packed it in real good."

In drought weather, soil can dry out, compact, and sink around the edge of a home.

When it finally rains, the cracks allow water easy access to the foundation, where it either freezes, causing cracks, or leaks into the basement.

Ben Koppelman: "Most people's biggest fear about their basement is getting water. And it isn't because they're worried about what it does to their concrete in their basement, but it's because of what else it damages."

We are at a newer home that doesn't have a mature yard, because it is easier to see the effects that the dry weather has on the ground. But this can happen at any home.

But there are ways to prevent it.

Ben Koppelman, General Manager of Basement Technologies of North Dakota, says maintain your sump pump and keep the hose away from the foundation of the home.

Koppelman: "We recommend at least ten feet."

Place covers on window wells, where debris can build up and let water in through the windows.

And make sure do to it before the wet season starts.

Koppelman: "By taking care of problems that are small problems, or maybe even suspected problems ahead of time, you can, hopefully, prevent any sort of water intrusion into your basement."

Basement Technologies representatives also say waterproofing the basement can help avoid damage from water leaking in.

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