Homeowners want to prevent basement flooding and avoid the expensive and time-consuming cleanup process that goes along with it. Whether your basement is fully finished or a cement storage space, it could still cost you thousands of dollars to dry out and restore your lower level, not including the cost of replacing destroyed belongings. According to the National Flood Insurance Program, floods are the No. 1 natural disaster in the United States, and average flood claims from 2008-2012 were upwards of $40,000 each. How can you prevent basement flooding and protect your home and your finances?
Assess Your Flood Risk
You must first assess your flood risk. Using FloodSmart.gov, you can enter your address and see the risk of flooding in your region. Living near the coast, a body of water, or in a 100-year floodplain will up your chances of experiencing a flood. Other weather-related flooding causes include prolonged periods of rain or dramatic snow melts. Knowing your likelihood of flooding will dictate the seriousness of your preparatory measures, helping you determine what alterations you should make to your property and what type of insurance to purchase.
Make Landscape Changes
If your house is built on a slope causing water to drain from your yard and pool around your home’s foundation, it might be time to invest in underground drainage systems to direct water away. Hiring a professional for lot drainage may be worth the investment. If your home’s foundation is surrounded for years by soil with a high moisture content, it could result in a cracked foundation, or the entire home could shift.
Examine Your Foundation
In an unfinished basement, check each wall for cracks and signs of moisture. To seal the foundation crack against water entry, power wash the crack, removing all dirt and crumbling debris. Once clean, allow the area to dry completely. Use an epoxy product to fill the crack. If you spot future cracks or the sealed crack reopens, that is a sign of foundation movement, which should be addressed by a professional.
Maintain Exterior Drainage Systems
Your gutters and downspouts are not for decoration. Exterior drainage is one of the most important systems in your home, safeguarding the home’s interior against a formidable enemy: water. Have your gutters cleaned regularly. To check the function of your downspouts, go outside during a rainstorm and make sure all water is flowing away from the foundation. Each downspout should extend six feet away from the home. You can purchase pipe extensions if needed to assist proper water flow.
Invest in a Sump Pump
The average cost to install a sump pump runs about $1,200, according to HomeAdvisor.com. Sump pumps automatically gather and drain groundwater before it has the chance to penetrate your basement. While these machines are highly effective at preventing floods, they require power. If you live an area with frequent flooding and power outages, you might want to purchase a generator as well to ensure the sump pump functions.
Service Your Sewer System
A sewer system backup is a common cause of flooded basements. Sewer blockages happen for many reasons: a large object was flushed into the system, a tree root grew into a pipe, grease buildup ruined proper water flow, and more. Make sure your sewer system is regularly inspected by a professional so blockages are spotted and cleared before causing flooding throughout your home.
Now you’re aware of the steps you must take to prevent basement flooding and keep your property dry, even when a severe flood watch is on the horizon. Contact the water removal professionals at Captain Plumbing if you need assistance restoring your flooded basement and preventing future mishaps.