Unfortunately, basement flooding is common, especially in older homes. Because basements lie below ground level, moisture in the soil can easily penetrate through basement walls, cracks, and floor seams. From cleaning your gutters to waterproofing, we look at how to prevent basement flooding. Although not always possible, we also look at how to stop basement flooding when it occurs.
How to Prevent Basement Flooding
It’s always easier to prevent basement flooding than to stop it. Here are 6 ways to reduce your chances of a flooded basement.
Clean Your Gutters Regularly
While you may take your gutters for granted, they channel rainwater away from your foundation and prevents basement flooding. However, they also collect leaves, dirt, and other debris. These items will eventually clog your gutters and prevent them or working properly. Clean them at least twice a year, usually in spring and fall. Also, your gutters should channel water away from your home. If the water pools around your foundation after a rainstorm, add extensions to ensure water flows away from your basement.
Grade Your Yard
The slope of your yard determines where rainwater pools during and after a storm. The soil around your home should slope away at a 3° to 6° angle. If the soil is flat or slopes inward towards your home, add additional soil to ensure water flows away from your basement during a storm.
Install Window Covers
If you have basement windows, consider adding window covers to prevent them from leaking. Close basement windows during storms and check the caulk around window seals every 3 to 6 months. Avoid planting bushes or shrubs around windows, as their roots will retain water.
Fix Foundation Cracks
Foundation cracks will allow water in, so fix them as soon as possible. Ideally, use an angle grinder or masonry saw to cut a channel in the crack. Then fill with hydraulic cement to form a watertight seal. Alternatively, use liquid rubber paint to coat the crack. Make sure the foundation wall is dry before using liquid rubber and apply multiple coats to ensure complete coverage.
Install a Sump Pump
Although sump pumps don’t actually stop water from entering your basement, they prevent basement flooding by collecting and removing water. Channels are installed along your foundation that direct water into a sump pump basin. The pump then forces water out to the storm sewers, helping to keep your basement dry.
Waterproof Your Basement
If you have consistent moisture coming through your foundation walls, consider having your basement waterproofed. Both interior and exterior waterproofing is available. Although more expensive, exterior waterproofing is much more effective at preventing basement flooding.
How to Stop Basement Flooding
While you cannot always stop basement flooding during a storm, there are several things to try to limit the damage.
Cover Basement Windows
While obvious, you should always check your windows during basement flooding. Close them if they are open. If they are closed, but leaking, wrap them with thick towels or blankets to absorb the water. Put buckets or garbage cans beneath them to collect excess water.
Check Your Sump Pump
Check your sump pump every 10 to 15 minutes during and after a storm to ensure it is running properly. Even if rainwater is entering your basement, your sump pump will continue to drain it. Use a bucket to bail out the sump pump basin if necessary. Since dumping it down the drain can cause a sewage backup, dump it outside and away from your house.
Use a Pump to Remove Water
If your basement is flooding, use a pump to start removing water. A submersible suction pump or even a simple pond pump will help remove water from your basement. Just make sure the wastewater hose is long enough to move water out of your home and away from your foundation. While this won’t stop basement flooding, it will help limit the damage.
Bail Out Water With Buckets
If you don’t have a pump, use several buckets to bail out water. For the best results, have several people working together to continuously bail water out of your basement. As on person scoops up water with a bucket, the rest of the people carry buckets outside. Just remember to dump them away from your foundation. Again, this won’t stop basement flooding, but it can limit water damage.
What to Do If Your Basement is Flooding
If your basement is flooding, consider calling a water damage restoration company immediately to pump out the water. While they can’t stop basement flooding completely, they can keep their pumps running to limit the extent of the water.
Even if they arrive shortly after the storm, the sooner they begin cleanup the faster they can begin work. This will help limit damage and can save you money in the long run. An hour could make all the difference between drying out carpeting or drywall and completely replacing it.
Call 1-888-443-3110 Now for a Free Estimate on Cleaning Up a Basement Flooding
As the nation’s largest network of restoration contractors, we have listings for water damage companies in your area. From independent companies to the most popular brands like Paul Davis Restoration and Steamatic, you can choose a water damage restoration company near you now. For emergency water removal services, call 1-888-443-3110 to speak with our on-call contractor nearest you. Our on-call contractors offer 24-hour service and a free estimate on water removal services.