Protecting Your Home: Your Guide to Basement Flooding Solutions
A basement can extend your home’s living space, enhancing its comfort and convenience. However, it can also be one of the trickiest areas to keep clean and dry. If water from the outside is able to enter through the foundation of your home, it can create a range of issues from mildew to mold. Not only are these damages unsightly, but they can also pose a serious threat to your family’s health. Thankfully, there are basement flooding solutions that can help prevent this issue from occurring. Today, we’re looking at a few of the most viable ones and how they work.
What Causes Basement Floods?
Whether your basement is fully finished and furnished or simply holding space for all of your off-season gear, you never want it to hold water. That said, what causes water to enter it in the first place?
Let’s review a few of the most common culprits.
Loose Soil Around Foundation
When you’re building a new home or renovating an existing one, your contractor may need to backfill the area around your foundation. If they do so using loose dirt, this doesn’t create an impermeable seal.
When it rains, water can wash through those rocks and pebbles, where it could come into contact with your foundation. Over time, the backfill may compress and slope downward, further contributing to the problem.
Water will naturally drain toward the lowest spot around your home. Once there, it will pool around your foundation and enter through any available cracks.
Loose Soil Around Sidewalks and Patios
In addition to digging around your foundation, your contractor may also need to loosen the dirt around a new sidewalk or patio. If they install these pavers at the slightest angle, it could redirect water toward your house.
Ideally, new sidewalks should slope away from your foundation. If you install a large patio, the pavers will usually slope inward slightly, so all the rainwater can go toward a drain in the center. Most of these drains connect to an underground pipe system that funnels into your yard.
Faulty Roof Downspouts
When rainwater enters your downspouts through your gutters, it’s supposed to drain out and away from your home. However, they can have the opposite effect if they’re plagued with drainage problems.
During an especially heavy storm, that means hundreds of gallons of water could rush through one downspout, leading to significant pooling issues around your foundation. While many are designed to channel water through a vertical drainpipe, most simply release the water right at the base of your home.
Over time, your home is bound to develop small cracks and holes. This is true even if your drainage system is expertly installed and sloped correctly. When this natural aging process happens, water can enter your basement from the outside.
Sump Pump Failures
Sump pumps are designed to drain excess water from home foundations, moving it away from the property and out into the yard. If you don’t maintain yours properly or it malfunctions for any reason, it could fail to perform its important job.
It might become incapable of keeping up with the amount of water rushing into it. This could cause water to overfill the sump pump, which leads to basement flooding.
Solutions to Prevent Basement Floods
As mentioned, many homeowners choose to install a sump pump to help keep water away from their basements. While these can be valuable and effective solutions, they are not foolproof.
Let’s look at a few other routes you can take to prevent a flooded basement.
Enhance Your Gutters
Even if you invested in premium gutter guards, it’s still smart to check yours on a regular basis. Make sure water can run freely through the entire system, and keep an eye out for any areas of backup. It’s easiest to perform this inspection during heavy rain when it’s easier to see problem spots.
Sometimes, you might find that your gutters are working properly, but they aren’t taking the rainwater far away from your foundation. You can purchase and install downspout extenders to correct this issue.
Professionally Seal Your Basement
Some companies specialize in professionally sealing your basement from the inside out. If you just moved into a new home and want to prevent issues like black mold from occurring, this can be a smart solution.
Contractors will use special weather stripping or caulk around open areas to prevent water from intruding.
Check Your Grading
As mentioned, improperly-sloped grading around your driveway, sidewalk, patio, or foundation could cause water to drain downward toward your home. Hire a contractor to inspect your property and see if this might be the case.
If so, take the time to adjust the grading so that water naturally drains away from your foundation instead.
Install a French Drain
French drains are popular basement waterproofing solutions.
With these, your contractor will lay either perforated pipe or flexible, corrugated pipe in a shallow trench at your foundation, along with gravel. Any excess water in the soil under or around your home will channel through the pipe and go into a collection pit.
This is an advanced installation method and requires a professional. Take the time to understand the logistics behind a french drain in basement and ask your contractor if this is an appropriate solution for your needs.
Try These Basement Flooding Solutions at Home
When you were listing features, you wanted in your home. Chances are that an underground pool wasn’t on there. No one wants to splash around in their basement, especially if you’re using it as an actual living space.
While many different issues could cause your basement to flood, the good news is that most of them are reversible. These are only a few of the different basement flooding solutions available, so research all of your options before moving forward.
Looking for more ideas to live better at home? Check out our other Lifestyle guides!