Easy Guide to Prevent Basement Flooding This Spring
For most of the continental United States, spring is the time of returning birds, sprouting garden flowers, and outdoor activities. However, for many homeowners, spring can go from a time of rejuvenation and relaxation to one of incredible stress. Basement flooding is a persistent problem in many homes, leading to a damaged or destroyed property, electrical and foundation problems, mold and mildew, and inability to use a part of the house during damp periods.
Fixing basement flooding often requires the help of an experienced plumber. However, there are steps you can take to help prevent the problem before it happens. While many homeowners worry about the cost of addressing a flooding problem, the damage done to a home by floodwater eventually will be far more expensive.
Preventing Basement Flooding
One vital part of preventing flooding is to eliminate water buildup. Multiple factors can contribute to excess water collecting in your property.
Make sure to regularly clean and examine your gutters and downspouts to ensure there are no blockages or breaks. Ensure that downspouts are pointed away from your home’s foundation so that drainage is pushed away from the basement. To be effective, downspouts should bring water three feet or more away from the house. Downspout extensions or troughs are usually needed to accomplish this.
While gutter maintenance can be monotonous, it is instrumental in preventing rain or melting snow from contributing to a flood. It is far cheaper to maintain and repair a gutter system than an entire basement.
Pay attention to your landscaping practices. Make sure that any gardens against the house are properly drained, and that the yard slopes away from your home. Otherwise, water will pool near the house and eventually work its way inside.
French drains can often help keep water from pooling near your home. In some cases, it may be necessary to regrade your yard. Checking your landscaping also gives you an opportunity to look for any exterior damage that could allow water a path inside. Outside cracks, as well as cracks in interior walls and floors, can often be filled with epoxy to keep out moisture. Otherwise, professional work is required.
Be sure to maintain your sump pump system. Failed sump pumps are the common cause of basement flooding. Sump pumps are useful for preventing mold, mildew, and water damage. However, like any system, they must be properly cared for to continue working as they should. Check your system regularly; before storms is always a good time.
It is prudent to have a replacement pump on hand in case something goes wrong. Generators are also useful when the sump pump is needed while the power is out. Sump pump maintenance is vital for insurance purposes, too. If you do not keep your sump pump working, insurance may not cover any water damage. Be sure to know your insurance policy regardless.
Also, regularly inspect your sewer or septic tank. Failing to maintain these systems leads to potentially damaging clogs, backups, and overflows.