8 Ways To Prevent Basement Flooding!

Having your basement flood can be a devastating and costly situation whether you have a fully furnished basement or use it as storage. We have provided 8 tips to help prevent flooding in your home.

1) Sump Pump

The sump pump is your last line of defense but the most important prevention device. When all else fails the sump pit gathers excess water and pumps it out of the house to a less problematic area. Every sump pump should have a battery backup! Storms are when we typically get a high volume of rain in a short period and are also when we experience power outages! If you do not have a battery back up your sump pump will not run in a power outage, causing a potential flood.

2) Gutters/Downspouts

The purpose of gutters is to collect the rain water from your roof then have it discharge as far away from the home as possible( 6' minimum) to prevent the water from seeping back towards your home. Gutters need to be cleaned out regularly to prevent clogging. Next time it rains look to see the gutters are leaking, overflowing or not functioning as intended.

3) Grade/Lot Slope

Your property should always be sloped away from your home. Gutters will discharge water away from your home but if the grade slopes towards the building the water will be brought back towards the building.If you cannot correct the slope of your yard you may need to add in a swale. A swale is a shallow ditch like groove in your lawn that will collects water and bring it away from you home.

4) Seal Any Exterior Openings

Most houses have lots of perforations in the exterior wall that lead into your basement( hydro, air conditioners, cable/satellite, sump pump discharge pipe, vents, etc.). These areas easily allow water to enter your home if not properly sealed. Caulk around all openings with a UV resistant caulking or other appropriate products and check them bi-annually to ensure the caulking has not been damaged or deteriorated.

5) Look For Foundation Cracks

Almost all foundations will have some form of cracking. With that being said any crack that is getting larger, leaking, is wider than 1/16" or you are concerned about should be inspected/sealed by a professional. Concrete is a porous material and will wick water that is resting against its exterior. The goal of the gutters and grading should prevent is this from happening but in a case where water is still resting against the foundation wall water proofing the wall may be your best option.

6) Outdoor Plumbing/Taps

Before the winter make sure you drain the exterior taps and turn off the isolation valves on the interior to prevent the pipes from bursting causing a flood. In the spring before you turn on the isolation valves inspect the piping to ensure the pipes have not been damaged over the course of the winter. Repairing leaky faucets will also minimize the amount water around your foundation.

7) Back Flow Prevention Valves

Sewer and septic back ups are can be extremely damaging and cause major health concerns to your homes environment. They can be prevented by having a back flow prevention device installed allowing the waste pipe contents to only flow one direction OUT!

8) Review Your Insurance Policy

Although this is not a prevention method it is extremely important that your insurance be up to date and will cover a flooded basement. If you have or are going to finish your basement make sure you notify your insurance company so it can be added to your policy. Tips 1-7 should keep your basement dry and comfortable but having proper insurance will bring you piece of mind and protect you in the off chance a flood occurs.