In this article, I’ll be showing you how to prevent and stop basements from flooding.
Basement flooding will cost homeowners thousands of dollars in repair and replacement, and this is why it is not an issue to take lightly.
Besides being able to damage property, basement flooding can also lead to mold growth, and bodies like the World Health Organization have labeled mold a health hazard.
8 Practical Basement Flooding Solutions
For this reason, you must do all that is within your power to prevent water from lodging in your basement.
If you have no clue how to do this, then you’re in luck.
Stay with me!
What Causes Basement Flooding
Your basement can get flooded due to many factors, and understanding what can cause the flooding in the first place is a vital step in prevention.
Here are some of the major causes of basement flooding.
Clogged gutters (or absence of a drainage system): If you don’t have a drainage system around the perimeter of your home and inside the basement, then sooner or later you will experience a flood.
The case may be that you have a drainage system, but dirt and debris have clogged it, which can cause water not to flow properly.
Open or leaking windows: If the weather forecast says it’s going to rain, then you need to keep your basement windows closed. If the windows are open, rainwater will make its way in and flood your basement.
Cracks in the windows can also let water in, which will, in turn, lead to a flood.
Damaged indoor pipes: Sometimes the causes of basement flooding aren’t always external. Internal factors like a leaking sink pipe can also cause basement flooding.
Malfunctioning sump pump: Sump pumps are meant to pump standing water away from the basement. But if the pump isn’t functioning properly, then this will not be possible.
Cracks in foundation: If there are cracks in your foundation, then rainwater or melted snow can seep through and flood your basement.
Foundational cracks are usually a result of hydrostatic pressure.
Fixing the Cause of Basement Flooding
The flooding in your basement could have been caused by one or more of the factors I discussed earlier. To ensure it doesn’t happen again, you need to take the following steps.
Fix your sump pump:
You will need to hire a professional to take a look at your sump pump and figure out why it didn’t work in the first place.
The fault may be minor ad wouldn’t take more than a few hours and a few hundred dollars to fix. If it so happens that the sump pump is damaged beyond repair, then you’ll have to buy and install another one.
A new sump pump will fall within the range of $200 to $400, while an installation by a waterproofing expert will range from $100 to $200.
Repair the foundational cracks:
If the cracks in your foundation are left unsealed, then your basement could get flooded again when it rains.
You can hire a contractor to patch up the cracks with caulking cement. You can do this yourself, but there’s a chance you may not get it right.
The contractor will have to do a thorough inspection of the foundation walls to identify where all the cracks are located, just so they don’t miss a spot.
Unclog your gutters:
You can hand-pick the debris responsible for clogging your gutters if they are large enough. Leaves, rocks, bird nests, and the likes can all be removed by hand.
Other smaller bits of debris can be swept out with a broom. Just ensure the passage is clear so that the gutters can collect and channel standing water away from your foundation.
Extend the downspouts:
To ensure that water from the roof is deposited far away from the foundation, you can extend your downspouts to a reasonable distance.
The ideal distance should be 30 feet, as this is far enough from the foundation.
A contractor can do this for you.
Repair the cracks in your basement windows:
Unfortunately, cracks that are up to an inch wide cannot be fixed. In this case, you will need to take out the old glass and replace it with a new one.
If there are cracks by any side of the window frame, you should fill them up with a sealer. Clean off any chippings by the frame so the sealer can adhere correctly.
Ensure that all the spaces between the window frame are tightly filled so there’ll be no chance of water penetration.
Install floor drains:
If you don’t already have one, then you need to hire the right hands to have a floor drain installed in your basement. This will take some work though, but all the stress will be totally worth it.
The floor drain should be able to collect standing water and direct it to an outer drainage system that’s far away from your foundation.
Basement Flooding Prevention Systems
So, you have a fair idea why your basement got flooded, now it’s time for you to make use of the basement flood prevention systems available to stop a repeat occurrence.
Here’s what you can do to avoid basement flooding.
Install flood sensors in your basement
Thanks to some innovative thinking, there are now smart water sensors you can use to prevent basement flooding. These sensors work by detecting excess moisture and alerting the homeowner of increasing water levels.
All you need to do is install the sensors in your basement, and leave them to do their jobs. Once water accumulation starts becoming excessive, the sensors will recognize the danger and send you notifications via the developer’s mobile app.
When you receive an alert, you will know that your basement is in danger of being flooded and you can take actions to prevent that from happening.
These sensors will save you a lot of money that would’ve been spent on fixing damages, as well as the time and energy that would have been expended on cleaning the flood.
Protect the perimeter
One of the easiest ways through which outdoor water can get into your basement is through the cracks around the perimeter of your home.
Cracks in the foundation are mainly caused by hydrostatic pressure, and the larger the crack, the easier it would be for water to flow in.
That being the case, you should seal these cracks to prevent water penetration into your basement. There are several brands of concrete sealers you can use for this.
Ensure that the sealer you buy has a good flow so that it can penetrate deep into the cracks before it dries up. If you’re not sure which sealer to buy, or how to use one, then hire a professional contractor for flood solutions.
Ensure the sump pump is working
A perfectly working sump pump will pump water from the basement floor, and out into the main sewer system. However, if the sump pump isn’t working properly, then it won’t do its job.
To give yourself a chance at avoiding basement flooding, then you should do regular checks on your sump pump to ensure it is always in perfect working condition.
You can add some water into the sump pit and turn on the machine now and then to see how well it pumps. Consider this an exercise routine in preparation for the real thing.
You should also make sure that the sump pump is always connected to its power source, especially if you don’t live alone. Someone else could unplug it from the outlet to plug in something else, then forget to plug it back in.
If need be, install a special power outlet exclusively for the sump pump, just to be sure no one tampers with it.
Install a drainage system
A home without a drainage system is liable to flooding, even if the rains aren’t that heavy. As long as the water isn’t being channeled away from your foundation, it would seep through the spaces and settle in your basement.
If you don’t already have a drainage system at home, then be sure to install one immediately.
Installing perimeter drainage systems will cost you a decent amount of money but it’ll be worth it down the line, as it can potentially save you thousands of dollars in damages caused by flooding.
You can install both exterior and interior drainage systems to handle outdoor and indoor water effectively.
Clean the gutters
Having a clogged drain is just as bad as not having a drain at all, as water still won’t be able to channel away from your foundation.
Materials that can clog your gutters include stones, fallen leaves, fragments of tree branches, bird poop, pieces of bird nests, and pieces of paper.
Always do regular maintenance checks on your gutters to ensure they are in order and clear out all the debris so that water can flow freely.
This isn’t a tough task, all you need to clean your gutters are rakes or brooms. You can actually hand-pick some of the large-sized debris.
You can check on your gutters at least once in two weeks.
Re-slope your yard
The cause of your basement flooding may be the amount of water lodged by the foundation due to the way your yard is sloped towards your home.
When standing water persists, it will begin to seep through your foundation and into your basement. Slowly but surely!
Outdoor standing water could be a result of heavy rains or large amounts of melted snow.
You can hire a professional landscaping company to redo your yard in a way that slopes away from your foundation. It would be best if the slope directs the water towards the direction of a perimeter drain, which can then carry it into the main sewer system.
Keep windows closed during rains
An open basement window on a rainy day or several rainy days will surely lead to a flood. This is why keeping them closed during the rains will spare you from the headache.
If you plan on leaving town for a few days, then ensure that you close your basement windows before you go.
An extra tip is to always stay updated with the weather forecast, just so you’re aware of possible rainfalls. Keeping your basement windows open is great for ventilation, but not when the forecast says it is going to rain.
While we’re talking about windows, you should also inspect them for cracks. Small passages can allow water to come in even when the windows are closed, so if you notice a patch of water beside your closed basement window, then there’s a crack somewhere.
Fix all indoor leakages to stop basement flooding
As I have mentioned before, not all basement flooding is caused by outdoor water. Indoor leakages can also leave your basement flooded.
If you notice patches of water on your basement ceiling, walls, or floors, then do a thorough inspection and try to trace its source. If it’s a busted pipe, then you need to call a plumber to fix the leakage or replace the pipe.
Speaking of plumbing, don’t ever go to work or travel out of town without checking if your taps are on. This is another common, but generally overlooked cause of basement flooding.
Conclusion On How To Stop Basement From Flooding
Basement flooding can be prevented by using basement flood prevention systems and the other useful tips discussed in this article.
How to Fix Basement Flooding
Don’t ever put up a nonchalant attitude when it comes to flooding, as the damages can amount to thousands of Dollars. Basement floods can also attract insects and mold, which are both eyesores and health hazards.
Another piece of advice is to take up a flooding insurance policy. Even the most careful person can make a mistake, and an insurance policy could prove to be useful in the event of a flood.
Here is an entire guide focused on cleaning up a flooded basement.
I hope this article has been helpful. Thanks for reading!