According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), all areas in the United States are susceptible to flooding. And since flooding can affect your basement, It’s smart to have the right preventive measures in place.
Flooding can cut off access to utilities, emergency services, transportation, and may impact the overall economic well-being of an area. Basement flooding causes thousands of dollars in property damage, and a lot of people don’t usually have that kind of money lying in wait.
For that and many other reasons, this guide covers what you need to know to prevent basement flooding.
What exactly causes basement floods?
Flooding can be caused by a number of factors which is why knowing them is essential to prevent its adverse effects. These factors include but are not limited to:
Your house foundation should be above the local water table and should not be located in a poor drainage area. Cracks in the foundation and walls may also cause a basement flood. There are also cases where your basement windows are at a very low level, consequently turning into an inlet of water into the basement.
Blocked sewer system
Sanitary pipes may be blocked due to clogging from grease, papers, or other foreign objects like tree roots that have broken into the sewer pipes. These blockages eventually damage or cause the pipe to collapse leading to sewer backups. Heavy rainfall may also cause clogs in the sewer system allowing water to overflow freely.
Roof gutters can clog up due to leaves, debris, and even nests. Blocked gutters cause water to spill over to the exterior walls and cause dampness. And if the water is in large quantities, it may cause flooded basements.
Leaking pipes will cause a certain degree of basement flooding. But in cases where the leak is unfixed, it may cause major basement flooding and damage both the basement walls and basement floors. But it doesn’t matter the magnitude of basement flooding; there is always a damage risk to your basement.
How To Prevent Basement Flooding
Fortunately, the above issues have remedies. Here are 6 ways to prevent basement flooding:
Sump pump Installation or Maintenance
Make it a priority to install a sump pump if you don’t have one. In the case that you do have one, then you should keep your sump pump maintained. Make sure the battery pack works perfectly in case of a power outage.
A sump pump is a pump used to remove water that has accumulated in a water-collecting sump basin. Usually, these pumps are commonly found in the basements of homes with a sump pit to hold excess water. In this case, if incoming groundwater due to heavy rainfall or melted snow raises the water levels, the pump will be triggered to pump it out.
The water will exit your basement via a drain pipe that empties outdoors, away from your foundation. They are fitted with battery backup, which allows sump pumps to operate even in the event of power outages. Sump pumps require regular maintenance to ensure it is functioning properly to protect your home from floods.
Backwater Valve Installation or Maintenance
A backwater valve can help prevent sewage in an overloaded main sewer line from backing up into your basement. It ensures that wastewater flows in only one direction, usually from your home to the municipal sewer system. Most states have started implementing bylaws that require the installation of a backwater valve in all new homes.
Downspouts and gutters regularly collect rainwater or snowmelt from the roof and channel them away from the foundation. For effective collection and channeling of this water, they have to be properly installed and need constant maintenance at least 3 – 5 times a year. They should discharge water at least 3 meters from the foundation to flow freely towards and drain in the municipal sewer line to reduce the risk of flooding near your basement.
Repair Leaking Pipes
It is difficult to notice a damaged pipe until there are signs of a flood. Therefore, it is advisable to regularly check the state of your water pipes for damages and leaks. Here are signs that you should be aware of:
- Mold. An acrid smell or visible signs of mold on the basement floor is an indicator that there might be a leaking pipe. Even worse, exposure to this kind of environment is detrimental to your respiratory system.
- Wet Basement. While prevention of major basement floods is the main goal, a wet basement is a simple but clear indicator of leakage. You should always strive to keep your basement dry to avoid these hurdles.
- Vegetation. Patches of vegetation, for instance, grass, are a clear indication of water leaks at a certain level.
- Drains. In the case that you have a slow-flowing drain and plunging doesn’t seem to work, then you should have your pipes inspected. Unused pipes that show signs of moisture are considered an indicator of leakage.
Check Water Heaters
Preventing basement floods is an easy endeavor, and making sure your water heater is working properly is a simple method of preventing a flooded basement incident. You should check for plumbing leaks even on the hot water tank, check for water puddles, small leaks, discolored water, or rust. If you encounter any of these indicators, then it is paramount that you call for water heater repair before major damages are caused due to heavy leakages or even an explosion.
Foundation cracks that are left untreated can cause water penetration into your home. The water usually comes from groundwater, runoff from blocked drains, and heavy rains or pipe leaks. To avoid water penetration, ensure all walls are cured at the early stages.
Home protection against flood damage
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While living in this magnificent place and experiencing flood damages, you can contact Paul Davis for damage restoration services.