Flooded basements are one of the most feared home emergencies for homeowners. And it’s for good reason. Basement flooding can be costly and extremely devastating to the structure of your home.
Luckily, there are things you can do to prevent basement flooding. Prevention is always your best bet when it comes to these costly problems.
That’s why we’ve assembled these basement flooding prevention tips to help you protect the structure and safety of your home.
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What Causes Basement Floods?
When many people think of a basement flood, they think of dreaded storms and extreme weather. While that is a common cause of these floods, there are more seemingly benign causes you should know about.
For example, water tanks and washing machines are one of the most common causes of basement floods. These appliances are usually stored in the basement. When they malfunction, the result can cause water damage to multiple parts of your home.
Generally, when a basement floods after extreme weather, it is actually because of structural problems or cracks in the foundation.
Maintenance for Basement Flooding Prevention
There are plenty of ways to prevent basement flooding. Oftentimes, flooding in the basement is actually the result of poor home maintenance.
You should perform regular maintenance and inspections on all appliances and structures. Some particular things you should keep an eye on include:
1. Clean Your Gutters
You should be cleaning your gutters at least twice a year. Autumn and spring are the best times to get your cleaning done.
When gutters become filled with debris, such as leaves or twigs, rainwater pushes toward your house. Full gutters are more likely to result in floods.
Water may pool around your home’s foundation when gutters can’t properly drain. This pool of water then enters your home via small cracks in the foundation.
The gutter downspout should push water at least 6 to 12 feet from the home. Metal downspouts are usually preferred over plastic ones thanks to their durability.
2. Pay Attention to Your Yard
Your yard plays a surprisingly large role in how much water is able to seep into the basement. In fact, you can use landscaping to prevent basement flooding.
To start, you want to be sure your lawn slopes away from the home. This will prevent water from pooling around the home. Preventing pooling drastically reduces the risk of basement floods.
You can either regrade your lawn or install French drains if your yard does not already slope downward. These will help to keep water away from the home.
3. Seal Foundation Cracks
Cracks in your home’s foundation are the number one way water enters your home. You should perform regular inspections to ensure there is no structural damage.
Small vertical cracks are a common feature in foundations, especially when they are fresh and the house is still settling. You can waterproof by applying an epoxy sealant or polyurethane foam to seal hairline fractures.
If you notice persistent cracks, it’s time to contact a professional. Search here for basement waterproofing near me.
4. Add Covers to Window Wells
Window well covers are a great solution for preventing flooding in the basement. Without them, it’s easy for debris and water to pool around the home, flooding the structure.
A window well cover will stop rainwater or snow melt from seeping through the windows in the basement.
Covers are often clear and made from acrylic, so they won’t block natural light from entering the basement, but they will keep water out.
Be sure to get properly-sized window wells. Improper installation and poorly fitted window ways are the most common causes of window well failure. You can enlist a professional for help in ensuring your basement is properly waterproofed.
5. Perform Regular Sump Pump Tests
A sump pump can help you to get water out of the home. It works by pumping water from low-lying areas into higher ground, which helps to stop the flooding before it can progress.
When the sump pump is improperly maintained, power failures brought on by storms can become a nightmare. You should install a 120-volt backup sump pump. When equipped with a check valve, this can be an essential extra precaution.
Always test your sump pump. Make sure that it drains away from the home, not toward it.
6. Use a Humidifier
Since basements are basically holes in the ground, it is common for them to become humid. As a result, they are often moist. This can eventually lead to water damage.
You can use a humidifier to reduce dampness in the basement. Don’t be afraid to run the humidifier 24 hours a day. It is especially useful to use a humidifier from April through October when humidity is often highest.
In summer, condensation will often stick to the walls and begin to pool. Using a dehumidifier can help dry this condensation before major damage can occur.
Alternatively, dehumidifying sheets or buckets can be used. Place them around the home to suck up condensation without the use of electricity. You may need several to get the job done, depending on the size of your basement.
How to Prevent Basement Flooding? Stay Vigilant
These basement flooding prevention tips should remind you to always stay vigilant and closely monitor your home’s structure. Many basement floods are preventable with the proper maintenance and care. The most important thing is not to let water pool in or around your home, as this is where most flood damage stems from.
Your home is an important investment. You should be dedicated to protecting it. Check out more of our Home Tips to figure out the best way to keep your home safe and standing strong.