How Flooding Affects Your Basement
Flooding sounds like a problem for any homeowner, as it carries a number of risks to not only to people’s lives, but also homes. Whether you live in a wetlands area or a high elevation point, there are still flooding risks, and not just from natural sources.
In addition to property damage, flooding causes financial strain as well. Even minuscule damage could leave you with thousands of dollars in damages.
As gravity naturally navigates to the lowest point, your basements are often at risk. Thankfully, there are ways to protect your home. In this article, there are a couple of ways to prevent your basement from flooding and the warning signs if your basement is at risk.
Fortunately, there are a number of warning signs that indicate whether or not your basement is on the verge of flooding. While there are many, here are a handful of factors that lead to a flooded basement.
- Pipe Collapse
- Improper Drainage Slope
- Foundation Cracks
- Line Blockage
Damage Done To Your Basement
Flooding can be common within many points of the United States, with areas including urban, wetlands, and river valleys are not immune. Flooding can occur on a moments notice and might sneak up on you. Seasonally speaking, flooding can commonly occur after large amounts of precipitation or rapid snow melt during the spring. Even the dry season can lead to sudden flooding or rising water levels.
As mentioned previously, gravity navigates water to a low point. If either the groundwater level or sewer level around your home is above the basement floor, gravity will try to move that water into your basement. A crack in the foundation floor, for example, gravity will prove an enemy. Sanitary sewers always have a path to the home, by design, and it is called the sanitary sewer lateral. While under normal conditions, the lateral allows water to flow from your home to the sewer; there is the potential for water to move from the sewer toward your home.
Steps to Prevent Basement Flooding
There are a number of ways to prevent basement flooding. These options and their solutions are as followed.
- Inspect Gutters: Believe it or not, gutters are crucial components of flood prevention. If a gutter is blocked due to debris, it can lead to water entering your basement. To prevent this, remove any leaves, dirt and other debris from your gutters on a regular basis.
- Cracks in the Foundation: Many concrete foundations of houses are prone to damage over the course of time. Foundation tends to crack due to stress points, soil saturation and the shrinking of concrete. Cracks can lead to obvious flooding during storms and wet seasons. Cracks can be simply sealed using caulk or if more severe, may require a professionals’ advice.
- Window Leaks: If your basement has windows, especially older wooded frames, rot can lead to a flooded basement. If you do have wood frames, consider replacing them with more durable materials such as aluminum or vinyl.
- Blocked Sewers: If your property is connected to a mainline sewer pipe, severe weather and blockage can cause plausible flooding in your basement. Find a local contractor if the problem can be traced to a sewer line or contact a local town official.
- Installing a Window Well Cover: Much like the aforementioned below-grade windows, make sure to install window well covers in order to prevent water from entering. As an added bonus, these covers allow light to enter while keeping out debris, rain and even pests.
- Maintaining Your Sump Pump: If your home has a sump pump, you’ve already got a great defense in combating not only flooding, but also mold and water damage. Make sure to maintain your sump pump every so often to ensure that it is still working. If you know a huge storm is headed your way, check to make sure your sump pump is working properly and is plugged in. Also, consider investing in a generator for your sump pump and a replacement to keep on hand, just in case you lose power or the pump fails when you need it most.
If you have questions about basement flooding and how to prevent it, call McHale’s today!