Basement flooding prevention tips
As hurricane season approaches many of us will be vulnerable to basement flooding. Basement flooding can be a major disturbance to a family. Loss of use of a part of your home, damage to flooring and walls, damage to personal property, potential of mold growth, and just overall an experience we would avoid if we could.
To begin trying to prevent basement flooding first we must understand why basements flood. Think about when your home was being built. A large hole is dug and the masonry foundation is built inside that hole. The area outside of that foundation wall becomes a trench. This trench is later back filled with dirt. However this dirt is different in composition from what was removed. Typically the soil make up in Southeastern Pennsylvania is a hard clay soil under top soil layer which is hard and compacted. The trench soil is loose, not as compacted, and drains more rapidly. So when water fills this trench in a heavy rainstorm it has only 3 possible directions to go, away from home through hard clay soil, down below the trench through hard clay soil, or into your home though porous masonry walls. The most important step to preventing water damages from rain/flooding is to keep water away from this trench. There are other causes for basements to flood like hydrostatic pressure and sump pump failures but this is the most common cause from our experience.
Below are some tips from the pros that may help you avoid a water damage:
- · Check your gutters and clean them if needed. Clogged gutters cause overflows which lead to water pooling outside the foundation walls. If enough water pools by your foundation, some will most likely enter your basement.
- · Check on your gutter downspouts. If your gutters are clean and operating properly but the water is being discharged to close to your foundation some water will most likely enter your basement. Local home stores sell inexpensive downspout extenders. Use downspout extenders to make sure the water is being discharged away from your foundation and not pooling.
- · Check on your sump pump and pit. Many of us don’t know that our sump pumps aren’t working until it’s too late. Get a 5 gallon bucket of water and fill the pit till the pump kicks on. Make sure it’s working and just like the downspouts, discharging away from your foundation. Also and dirt and debris in the sump pump pit can get sucked into the pump and create a block or shorten the life span and power of your pump. Detach the pump (if possible) and vacuum the pit out with a shop vac to remove any dirt/stones/debris.
Sometimes no matter what we do and what steps we take to prevent it, water will find its way into your home. If that’s the case, we are here to help make it “Like it never even happened.”