Compass Greater NY, LLC
Ann Marie Damashek, GRI, CBR, SRES, Compass Greater NY, LLCPhone: (917) 623-0624
Email: annmarie.damashek[email protected]

DIY solutions to water in your basement

by Ann Marie Damashek, GRI, CBR, SRES 07/10/2022

More than a few homeowners are surprised to discover water leaks and moisture in basements pose a substantial risk. Molds tend to flourish in dark wet environments, which can negatively impact the health and wellness of household members.

Consistent or large amounts of water damage may also impact structural supports underneath the home. These rank among the many reasons to prevent seepage and reduce moisture.

Here are ways you can secure their basement without hiring a professional.

1: Evaluate the Home's Downspouts

Roof and gutter systems are designed to channel water flow in a specific direction. When it comes out of the downspout, it may leach through the soil. But passive rainwater gains force when funneled to one point.

Over time, it may carve out underground pathways that flow toward the foundation. Water then pools outside the foundation wall and finds weak spots. Downspout extensions rank among the most straightforward solutions to this problem. Slip them over the bottom of the downspout to direct rainwater away from the foundation.

2: Repoint Basement Walls

Property owners sometimes hire a mason to repoint stone, brick and cinder block basement walls. However, most DIY homeowners with some experience in brick, cinder block or stone can repoint a basement wall without a professional.

Using masonry tools such as a hammer, trowel, brush, bucket and jointer, loose cement can be removed and replaced. Local home building materials outlets typically carry ready-to-use mortar.

Remove ineffective mortar, bush the area, press newly mixed cement into gaps and clean away any excess. You'll know after the next big rain whether your efforts were successful or need revisiting.

3: Paint Brick and Cinder Block Basement Walls

Although it seems a shame to paint over beautiful old brick walls, sometimes a building's integrity requires this safeguard. Commercial waterproofing paint can deliver a tight seal that prevents leaking. Applying the product is no different than painting a home office wall. Property owners only need to select the appropriate materials and brushes.

What's essential to understand about waterproof painting strategies is that it also helps combat moisture and mold growth. Once the required number of coats are applied, basement walls can be sanitized and wiped dry. Plus, condensation is easier to detect. Adequate ventilation, airflow and dehumidifiers are also effective ways to prevent moisture from building up in your basement.

If you possess DIY home repair skills, these and other strategies can effectively secure your basement without breaking your budget. If water or moisture persists or you're simply not comfortable performing these modifications, contact a professional to protect your property and find the true root of the problem.

About the Author

Ann Marie Damashek, GRI, CBR, SRES

Ann Marie Damashek has always been a natural at helping people prepare their homes for sale. She started out with a successful business selling goods for people on eBay. "Nine times out of ten they were hiring me because they were down-sizing,” Ann Marie says. "So I decided to get my license. I said, ‘Might as well sell their house too.’” The transition was a smooth one and for nine years she’s had a thriving full-time real estate business that allows her to marry her entrepreneurial spirit with her passion for helping others. With an office in Larchmont, New York, she serves all of Lower Westchester County, with her primary market in the Sound Shore region. The majority of her business is "sphere of influence” with former clients referring her to friends and family. A gifted communicator, Ann Marie quickly builds trust and rapport with her clients by being both thoughtful and responsive; she understands that during the purchase or sale of a home, a quick response time is crucial. "I am very accessible,” Ann Marie says. "I always make time for my clients. They can call me, text me, email me up until 10 o’clock at night and I will respond. I’m available on weekends. I get back to people very promptly. I’m very customer service-oriented.” Her clients appreciate her professionalism, passion and enthusiasm and as a result her repeat and referral rate continues to grow each year. While selling real estate is serious business, Ann Marie knows that at times humor and a moment of levity can be a relief to clients. While she has a laidback and easygoing personality, she can be assertive when needed on her clients’ behalf. She loves being of service to them, and the continually changing nature of the work keeps her engaged and fulfilled. "It’s never boring,” Ann Marie enthuses. "Every day is different. That’s probably what I like most about it. But I also enjoy helping people sell or buy and educating them about the process. I love helping them achieve their goals.” This ethic of service has resulted in well-deserved recognition. Ann Marie has received the Westchester Magazine Five Star Real Estate Agent Rating four years running, in 2015 and 2016 she was the #1 agent in her office, and she’s a Zillow 5-Star Premier Agent. To keep in touch with former clients, Ann Marie sends cards to mark special occasions or reaches out via email. To market her listings, Ann Marie uses Multiple Listing Services (MLS), as well as, a service that allows both agents and their clients access to MLS data. She also uses a Facebook business page and ads to boost new listings or promote upcoming open houses. "That drives a tremendous amount of traffic,” Ann Marie says. She also uses the most popular real estate websites such as Zillow and Trulia. A strong believer in giving back, Ann Marie sits on the Board of Trustees of her church and is involved in a variety of social justice projects. She’s affiliated with Furniture Sharehouse, a furniture bank for Westchester County, which collects and distributes gently used furniture free of charge to those in need. "I love it on so many levels because as a realtor, it’s helps my sellers downsize through charitable donations. I like the environmental aspect of it as well. And it helps people who truly need things.” She’s also involved in Impact 100, a women’s philanthropic giving organization. In her free time, Ann Marie enjoys gardening, traveling, and spending time with family and friends. For the future, Ann Marie wants to continue expanding her business and developing her brand, and she someday hopes to grow a strong team. But her main goal is to stay in the real estate business, helping her clients to achieve their dreams.