Prevent Basement Flooding With These Tips
One of two things causes basement flooding — inadequate flood protection on the property and natural disasters. Although natural disasters are unpreventable, preparations ahead of time can save thousands of dollars later. Unfortunately, there is no way to guarantee one-hundred percent safety in such situations.
Other factors that affect basement flooding include faulty rain drainage systems, land that slopes, leaking foundations and plumbing in need of repair. Naturally, water seeks the lowest point it can reach, where it collects into a pool. By looking at how rainwater runs off the buildings and the land itself, homeowners can figure out where they may need water-diverting tools, such as rain gutters and downspouts. This is obvious during a heavy rainstorm, which provides a good chance to look at where the water goes.
Rain gutters along the roof need proper alignment, as well as being free of holes and debris. The downspout must be clear and long enough at the base to direct rainwater away from foundations and driveways. If the downspout goes directly into the ground, chances are that it empties into the sewer line. This is not a problem unless the sewer and rainwater runoff systems combine into one, which could send sewage overflow into the basement by way of the basement drain or toilet. By changing the in-ground downspout to an above-ground release type, extra rainwater will not add to the backed up sewer.
If the problem is a flooding river or nearby stream, sandbags stacked around the house will work wonders. Depending on the type of soil, floodwater can simply return to normal or soak into the ground. When the water soaks into the soil, groundswells will occur, putting added pressure on the foundation walls. Cracks and deteriorating cement walls sometimes result, letting water into the basement. These cracks are repairable in one of two ways: sealing from both the outside and the inside, or only from inside the basement. To seal the outside, a professional contractor is in order. Alternately, to seal the cracks from the inside only, most homeowners will find it easy enough to do the work themselves.
During the winter, temperatures that drop below freezing can crack pipes and plumbing exposed to the cold air. It is crucial to keep water out of the pipes unless it drips slowly. By letting the faucets inside continually drip, water inside the pipes keeps moving, therefore, it does not freeze.
Always detach outdoor water hoses and store before freezing weather starts. Next, turn off outdoor faucets from the inside, and drain any remaining water from outside. Wrapping outside pipes or those exposed to freezing temperatures is another helpful way to lower the chances of burst pipes that lead to basement flooding.