Summertime, often associated with beach trips and barbecues, can also bring with it unexpected weather patterns that lead to basement flooding. For many homeowners, a flooded basement is a nightmare scenario. Therefore, it’s essential to understand the best ways to keep your basement dry during the wet season.
While your basement could be at risk for flooding or harsh water damage during stormy weather, there are numerous precautions you can take to decrease the chances of a flood. Through regular maintenance and some preventative measures, you can prevent flooding within your home. Let’s take a look at the most effective strategies to prevent basement flooding this summer.
Understanding the Causes of Basement Flooding
Before we delve into the best ways to prevent basement flooding, it’s important to grasp why basements flood in the first place. Some common causes include heavy rain, poor drainage systems, and seepage through walls and floors. A power outage during a big storm can also hinder your sump pump from doing its job, leading to water accumulation on your basement floor.
Knowing these causes can help you to prevent water from entering and damaging your basement.
Systems Within The Home
For those striving to prevent the horrors of home flooding, there are two main systems to implement and check: sump pumps and water sensors or alarms. Both of these devices play a vital role in home flood prevention, offering homeowners from Erlanger, KY, to Cincinnati, OH, and beyond, enhanced peace of mind.
Proactively Test and Address Sump Pump Problems
Perhaps not surprisingly, sump pump failure is the number one cause of most basement floods. Although these devices are a great line of defense against floods, simply owning a sump pump isn’t enough; you have to be proactive about properly maintaining your unit in order to ensure it continues to do its job effectively.
Regularly checking your sump pump is the best way to keep your basement dry when a summer deluge unexpectedly hits. You should examine the sump pit for debris that may interfere with the pump’s operation and test the pump itself by pouring a bucket of water into the pit to make sure it’s working correctly. To protect your home during a power outage, which often accompanies storms, consider installing a battery-powered backup sump pump.
It’s also a good idea to invest in a separate power generator for your sump pump. Although generators can be pricey, they can save you money in the long run by preventing costly flood damage to your home and possessions.
Invest in Flood Detection Systems
Besides sump pumps, flood detection systems offer an added layer of protection to keep your basement and belongings dry. These devices are designed to detect the presence of water where it shouldn’t be, such as the basement floor, and then sound an alarm, alerting homeowners to potential flooding.
Helpful hint: Place water sensors strategically throughout your home, particularly in areas prone to water damage, like near washing machines, dishwashers, water heaters, and of course, in the basement. It’s an affordable and effective way to stay ahead of potential water disasters, giving you precious time to react and prevent severe water damage.
Inspect the Foundation of Your Home
Many flooding problems begin at the foundation of your home. Take some time this summer to carefully inspect the exterior of your foundation as well as your basement walls and floors. Also, check around doors and utility penetrations. If you find any cracks throughout these spaces, you should fill them with an epoxy solution to seal them up. By having a solid foundation, there is less opportunity for serious water damage.
Check On Basement Windows
Just like inspecting around the exterior of your basement is important, the windows are crucial to consider as well. They can develop air leaks over time and may need to be re-caulked to provide a better seal. If the windows are old, however, replacing them may be the best alternative. Not only do new windows come with brand new seals, decreasing your chances of a flood, but they can also increase your home’s overall energy efficiency. Therefore, if it has been a while since they were originally installed, a replacement is worth considering.
Consider Your Landscaping
If you find that water collects around your foundation, consider reworking your landscaping. In essence, review your property’s layout or hire a landscape architect to determine how you can prevent or reduce the impact of a flood by reworking your yard.
Maintenance Outside of the Home
One of the best ways to prevent basement flooding is to regularly clean out your external plumbing sources where water can build up. As common sources for water damage or leaks into the home, these are worth maintaining in order to avoid potential disaster.
Don’t Forget to Clean Gutters and Downspouts
One of the most inexpensive methods of basement flood prevention is to regularly clean your gutters and properly maintain your downspouts. Gutters that are free of debris will help to ensure that water from heavy rainfall won’t pool up against your home, which can spell disaster.
In addition, remember that your downspouts should be directing water at least three feet away from your foundation. You may have to invest in downspout extensions or troughs in order to achieve this distance, but this proactive investment will save you plenty of frustration in the event of a flooding situation.
Clear Your Drains and Ditches
Don’t let the drains and ditches around your property go unattended. Take a look at sewage drains and storm drains at the start of spring — if you find any blockages, be sure to clear them. For any engrossed sewage issues, it is generally best to contact your local plumbing professionals for assistance.
To avoid buildup in these areas, eliminate mulch, leaves, and debris left in the yard or street as much as possible. After all, these can either be blown away by strong winds or washed away by rain, causing a clog in the sewer system.
Waterproofing Your Basement: An Essential Step
When it comes to preventing basement flooding, waterproofing your basement is the best way to keep your basement dry. This involves sealing any visible cracks in your basement walls and floors, and applying a waterproofing membrane or sealant. This can significantly reduce moisture problems in your basement.
Installing Window Well Covers
Basement windows are potential entry points for water, especially during heavy rain. Window well covers can prevent water from accumulating around your basement windows, thus keeping your basement dry. Choose clear acrylic window well covers to allow natural light into your basement while keeping it protected.
Maintaining a Healthy Humidity Level
A humid day can significantly increase the moisture in your basement, even without actual flooding. To avoid moisture problems, monitor your basement’s humidity level and consider using a dehumidifier to maintain a healthy range. This step is particularly crucial if you have a finished basement, as increased moisture can lead to mold and mildew growth, causing damage to your property.
Ultimately, the best way to prevent basement flooding is to enlist the help of a professional who will be able to closely inspect the specific needs of your home basement. Whether a pipe needs fixing, your sewage requires cleaning, or you come across something else that needs attention, know that you can trust our team to help you keep the basement rooms dry all season long.
If April showers are bringing you anxiety, contact the experts at Arlinghaus Plumbing, Heating, and Air today. Our team of licensed and trained professionals is here to help your basement with the TLC it needs — and give you the peace of mind necessary so that you can enjoy springtime without living in fear of potential basement floods.