Winter weather pattern leading to more leaky basements for homeowners

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    Flint, MI (WJRT) — No hard freeze and lots of rain is making a troublesome combination for basements.

An Owosso woman tells ABC12 she’s thankful the damage isn’t worse after her basement flooded on New Year’s Day.

“I came down here, and there was paint cans floating away, so it’s been a nightmare,” Bevon Freeman said.

Basement flooding is never convenient, and on New Year’s Day it’s even more of a nuisance. That’s when it happened for Freeman.

“I called my brother-in-law and had him deal with it, and I sat on the couch and drank coffee and pretended it wasn’t happening,” Freeman said.

Foundation Systems of Michigan’s Will Stevers blames this funky weather pattern for an uptick in leaky basements.

“Normally it’s frozen outside right now, and it’s not,” Stevers said. “Our weather patterns have changed, and we’re getting a lot of calls this time of year.”

The last few months have been wet. Owosso received an inch and a half of rain just last Sunday.

Freeman’s basement is drying out now, but she’ll have to have the drain snaked, and she may be looking at purchasing a sump pump. The good news is her hot water heater is OK.

She’s only been in this home a month, but has learned a valuable lesson.

“People check your basements if you don’t go down there a lot,” Freeman said.

“A lot of times this stuff isn’t DIY where do it yourselfers can do. You need a professional to come out and take a look at things and just get an evaluation of what’s actually occurring at your home,” Stevers said.

Stevers also passed along these tips:
1. Have a water backup system.

2. Make sure sump pumps are well-maintained.

3. Conduct periodic inspections and walkthroughs.

4. Look for structural issues like separation in block work or bricks or cracks in walls

5. Keep gutters and downspouts clear and make sure they’re discharging six to eight feet away from home

If you see water it’s important to address it right away to potentially avoid a costly fix.

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