The world may be covered in the stuff, but water is the natural enemy of permanent structures, your home included. It is only a matter of time before drips lead to severe and expensive water damage. "Once water is getting in, it's hard to stop it from the inside out," Carolla says. "Normally it's about going outside, excavating, getting water to run away from the basement."
Ineffective downspouts are often the source of water problems. Securing the access cover may be the easy solution, but sometimes the spout is not heading in the right direction. "Go find your downspouts and make sure the downspout turns the corner when it hits the ground and kicks it out six feet," say Carolla. This ensures the water is directed far enough away from the basement. Carolla says that any other water seepage into the house can likely be plugged up with "50 cents worth of caulk."