Ways to Prevent Basement Flooding
Basement flooding is a messy and frustrating reality for many homeowners. Water infiltration is something that no one wants to deal with, but it does happen. Heavy rains, hurricanes and localized flooding can leave your basement looking and smelling like a swamp. Rainwater can damage appliances, personal items and equipment that is stored in the area. In addition to time-consuming cleanup, repeated flooding can lead to costly repairs. Fortunately, basement flooding can be prevented by installing foundation waterproofing and using these proactive strategies.
Maintain Your Gutters
Flood prevention starts high above the soil line. Maintaining your gutters is one of the first and most effective things you can do. Make sure your gutters are clean and functioning properly. Remove any leaves, twigs or debris that could plug the pipes. Downspouts should extend at least three feet beyond the foundation. If necessary, purchase an extension pipe to direct water away from your home. If your gutters aren’t working properly, water could pool near the foundation and could leak into the basement. Improper drainage can also crack the foundation.
Waterproof Your Foundation
Foundation waterproofing is another effective way to keep water from gushing into your basement. Examine the interior of your foundation for cracks and areas that are structurally weak. The materials used in your foundation will determine the best waterproofing strategy. Caulk, hydraulic cement and waterproofing tape can be used to repair minor cracks. In severe cases, interior and exterior sealants or rubber membranes can be applied to completely eliminate water infiltration.
Check for Leaks
Basement windows that are below ground or at ground level are prone to developing leaks. Make sure that all windows close properly, and confirm that they maintain a tight seal. Blocked sewer lines can also lead to basement flooding. In some cases, water from storm drains can back up during heavy rain. If you suspect your basement flooding is due to sewer problems, call a professional plumber or a city maintenance worker to check the lines and to clear any blockage.
The strength of your home relies on a solid foundation. Don’t let basement flooding compromise your home’s structural integrity. Directing your gutter downspouts away from the foundation, checking basement windows, sealing cracks and installing waterproofing materials are quick and easy ways to keep water from invading your home. With a waterproofed basement, you’ll be dry and worry-free while your neighbors are clearing out damaged items and cleaning up the floodwaters.
Stephen Craig and his team of writers have contributed to hundreds of blogs. Follow him @SCraigSEO.