Underground swimming pools are a delight — a basement pool is less so. Basement floods are a regular occurrence in some areas. Any basement can flood under the right conditions, though. Find out everything you need to know about this household hassle.
Common Causes of Basement Flooding
Since the basement is the bottom-most part of your house, and water flows downward naturally, the basement is the most likely area to flood. Therefore, a common cause of basement flooding is heavy rains. If the rain has poured down for a long time, the ground can’t soak it up fast enough. It flows down, perhaps right into your basement.
- Some situations exacerbate the above problem. One is the grade of your lawn. If your lawn slopes down toward your house’s foundation, the rainwater will collect there. When a basement isn’t properly sealed, that rainwater can then flow inside. Likewise, the gutter downspout needs to properly direct the water flow away from the foundation.Basement flooding can also be from plumbing issues. For instance, if a pipe bursts, you’ll likely get a small flood. Clogs can also cause water to back up into your basement. The worst kind of backup occurs when your sewer line, which carries sewage water from your house to the main sewage line, backs up thanks to a clog.
Prevention of Basement Flooding
Maintenance is at the heart of basement flooding prevention. For instance, check the foundation of your house. If you see any cracks, repair them. Likewise, you may need to regrade your yard if it directs water toward the foundation. Inspect your downspout to ensure it directs that flow in the right direction.
You can be more proactive about preventing a flooded basement, too. Consider having a sewer inspection done. The plumbers will use a camera attached to a snake that they work into the sewer line. They’ll be able to see if any clogs are present. They can also tell if any tree roots have grown into your sewer line, which is a major cause of sewer backups.
Some proactive steps are a little smaller but still effective. For one, you can install backflow preventers onto your individual sewer line. These preventers stop the backward flow of sewer water into the house. You can also pour tree root killer down your toilet once a year.
Sump Pumps and Basement Flooding
Sump pumps are an important part of your basement system related to plumbing. A sump pump is specifically designed to pump water out of the basement so it doesn’t flood. The pump is at the lowest part of the basement.
Not all basements automatically come with a sump pump. They’re necessary in areas where basements flood regularly or when the water table is above the foundation of the house. If your house is in one of those categories and doesn’t have a sump pump, consider installing one.
Once you have a sump pump, maintain it regularly to keep it running smoothly. Inspect the area all around the sump pump for signs the electrical components are in good shape. Likewise, make sure the sump pump hasn’t toppled over because of its own vibrations while in operation. To check its operation, pour a bucket of water into the pit, and watch that it starts up to pump the water out.
Cleanup After Basement Flooding
Maybe your basement has already flooded and you need to dry it out before you can take the above measures. First off, make sure all water and electrical sources have been turned off before you step foot into the basement. Once you’ve done that, you may need to rent a pump and dehumidifier to remove the floodwater and dry the basement out.
When the water is gone, remove all items and let them dry out. If items are completely saturated, you may need to discard them. You should also discard any carpeting or other textiles. Finally, clean all remaining surfaces with an antibacterial cleanser before solving whatever problem led to the basement flood.
Consult with Two Men And a Snake for help preventing or solving basement flooding.