Basements are some of the most popular home areas in the United States. We use them for all sorts of things, from additional storage to hobby rooms and extra living space. However, just like anything else in the world, these lower-grade levels have their cons too. The main issue most homeowners with a basement will come across is flooding.
For various reasons, water will come through substructure walls and floors, causing serious damage. From mold and mildew infestation to structural hazards, flooding is something we simply can’t overlook. As such, homeowners and construction crews need to ready homes for certain scenarios when water tries to burst inside and flood the basement.
In this post, we’ll talk about what to do if you’re facing a flood. We’ll also list some of the most common reasons why this might occur and how to prepare your home for future water-related troubles. That said, here’s what you need to know.
First Step — Cleaning a Flooded Basement
It’s key to point out that if the water in your basement is above a certain level, going down there can be life-threatening. Due to electrical outlets in your lower level, it’s best to immediately contact professional help. Yet if the water levels are low, you can go about cleaning by following these steps.
- Firstly, you should cut off the power in your basement. You can do this by finding the main breaker that controls electricity in your home. Don’t assume it’s safe, no matter how shallow the water might be.
- The next step is to find the source of the problem. Since this might vary from one home to another, we’ll talk about different reasons later on.
- Contact a waterproofing specialist in your area, like the experts at Foundation Recovery Systems. Schedule the first possible appointment to make sure you act before it’s too late. Also, call your insurance agency.
- Before professional help arrives, you can dry the basement yourself. Use a wet vacuum for puddles or employ a pool pump, sump pump. If you don’t have any of the previous tools, simply use a mop and bucket.
- If you have a dehumidifier, you can bring it down into your basement. The nature of these lower-grade levels is poor ventilation since they’re underground, so it’s best to help them dry with the use of a dehumidifier.
- Lastly, determine what you can move and save before mold sets in. Remove any porous materials you have down there. Also, throw away any damaged materials and inspect wood elements and drywall to see whether you’ll need to replace them.
What Can Cause Water In My Basement?
To repair any type of water-related damage in your basement, the key thing to do is to find the source. The reason can sometimes be pretty obvious like a heavy rainstorm or melting snow, while others might be a bit more incomprehensible at first. Here are a couple of the most common causes of basement floods.
Heavy Rain and Melting Snow
This is a very common problem for homeowners in Missouri and other areas with a continental climate with heavy rain seasons. If there’s a huge amount of rain and melting snow, they will saturate the soil surrounding the home. This might prove too much for your basement walls, so they’ll begin to allow water to seep through foundation cracks.
Sewer System Damage
It’s not unusual for sewer pipes to run around your property. As such, even the smallest of cracks or a loose joint can cause water in your basement. Pipes can also break down due to old age, tree roots, and shifting ground. Furthermore, sewer system failure can occur because of clogs in your basement sanitary pipes.
Sump Pump Failure
Improper use of sump pumps is another reason for basement floods. We should point out that it’s illegal for these devices to pump the water into the sanitary sewer as such activity can cause floods and other hazards. Instead, they should direct the excess water into the surrounding lawn or a storm sewer system.
Poor Yard Grading
If your home is sitting on a lower level than the rest of your property, water will flood toward the basement when there’s excess rain in the area. Hence, it’s essential to regrade the yard before construction to make sure such problems won’t occur. Grading is dirty work, but it will pay off, as it will direct water in the ground away from your foundation and basement.
Solutions to Prevent Future Basement Floods
The best way to deal with floods is to be preventive. In the following, we’ll list a couple of things you should keep an eye out for to avoid future water-related damage.
- Foundation cracks: We suggest that you frequently inspect your foundation for any cracks and fractures that might allow water to get inside your basement. If you find any, contact professional help immediately.
- Leak detection: Keep an eye out on your gutters, sump pump, weeping tiles, and other drainage systems. You should make sure there are no clogs that might block them from working properly.
- Downspouts: Properly install downspouts so they direct the rain away from your foundation and basement. If it’s possible, you can also install an exterior drainage system to help you even more.
- Drainpipes: Another great option is to install underground drainpipes in your yard. They will redirect any excess water away from your home. You can also place catch basins in the ground to reroute the water.
If you’re having problems with frequent basement floods, you should contact professional help to make sure it won’t happen again. Your best bet is to schedule a free inspection at Foundation Recovery Systems. Our team in Moberly, Missouri, will come down and offer the best solutions to waterproof your basement and make your home safe for years to come.