If you have a basement, or even just a crawlspace, the last thing you want is water infiltrating the area. Even a minor leak can cause damage to walls and flooring, and may even lead to mould issues. Here are some precautions worth taking:
Every spring and fall, check the grading around your home. The
ground should gently slope away from the foundation. Pay particular attention to areas where shrubs and other foliage make the grading difficult to see.
Look for cracks in the foundation. Get them fixed right away. Even a minor crack that doesn't appear to penetrate all the way through can cause problems eventually.
Check the caulking on basement windows. If it's worn and cracked, it's time for recaulking. The lifespan of most exterior caulking is less than five years.
Watch the eavestroughs when it rains. (You'll get wet, but it's worth it.) Make sure the water drains well away from the foundation.
Doing these simple inspections takes just a few minutes. Yet, if they prevent a basement leak, it's time well spent!