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basement_lead_8_7Editor’s Note: RISMedia will be periodically running a 10-part series of helpful tips on how you can help your clients increase the value of their home by improving and maximizing the all-important extra square footage in their basement. 

RISMEDIA, August 7, 2009-If you have a listing that is difficult to sell, don’t ignore the basement. Nothing can turn away a prospective buyer more than a musty-smelling, damp, moldy and leaky basement. No homebuyer wants to deal with all of the hassles that come with basement flooding, leaks, humidity, mold and more, so taking care of any wet basement issues beforehand can give a much-needed boost to a difficult sell.

Following these 10 tips should ensure that an unappealing basement doesn’t hinder a homebuyer.

1. Install a drainage system

Having the current homeowner install a drainage system in the basement will take care of the moisture problems and make the basement cleaner, drier and easier to sell. Basement flooding can happen for a lot of reasons. Usually when a house is built in the ground, loose soil is filled in around the foundation. When it rains, water can easily pass through this loose soil and put hydrostatic pressure on the foundation. This is when basement wall and floor leaks spring up, which can damage items kept in a basement and result in rust and mold growth.

Interior drainage systems are installed around the perimeter, inside the basement where the walls meet the floor. Water that seeps in through the walls and floor is collected in the drain and flushed out of the basement using a sump pump, which will be discussed more in the next article of this series. There are a number of advantages to using an interior drainage system instead of exterior excavation. The cost of exterior excavation is generally two or three times as much, due to the amount of equipment and disruption to the yard around the home. If there are decks, sidewalks, or landscaping around the perimeter of the home, it would need to be removed. These are not positive selling points to a prospective buyer.

Interior drainage systems are more affordable, easier to access and service, less obtrusive, and can be installed quickly, which is a bonus for a very anxious seller. Patented interior drains such as the Basement Systems’ WaterGuard system are perfect for preventing ground water seepage and the damage it brings to a basement. A lifetime transferable warranty is provided, so the new home buyer is protected now and in the future. The WaterGuard is an engineered solution that sits on the footing where the wall meets the floor. This captures the water right where it enters the basement, and provides a permanent solution because it doesn’t sit down in the soil, so it will never clog. It neatly and efficiently eliminates basement water problems.

Check back soon for Step #2: How to keep your basement dry when the power goes out in an electrical storm.

Daniel F. Fitzgerald III is director of marketing for Basement Systems Inc. & Total Basement Finishing. For a free estimate on a property with a wet basement or to finish a basement, call 1-877-850-4446 or visit