Preventing Basement Flooding
Basement flooding can be catastrophic. Few things are as damaging to your basement as a flood. Dealing with basement flooding can be frustrating, emotionally exhausting, and very, very expensive. This is true even in the case of an unfinished basement, but when a basement that has also been used as a living space is flooded the expense can be even greater, as flooring, furnishings, and other upgrades can be costly to replace or repair.
Many factors can lead to basement flooding. Backed-up or improperly functioning sewage systems, improper drainage, and ground water penetration are just a few common causes of basement flooding. There are a number of preventive measures that you can take to prevent basement flooding and consequent water damage.
Be familiar with your property. If the ground surrounding your home does not slope away from the foundation, you may have problems with basement water seepage and flooding. If the ground surrounding your home’s foundation slopes downward, then water will be direct toward your house. This water will accumulate around your home’s perimeter and eventually find its way into your basement. You can correct this issue by piling up soil around your home’s foundation. This will cause the surrounding ground to slope away from your home, directing water away from your home’s foundation.
Build a swale to protect your hillside home. If you home is built on a hillside, you may need a swale to drain water away from the house. A swale is actually one of the only ways to correct poor drainage in hillside properties. A swale is basically a shallow ditch that is dug around the home to redirect water away from the home’s foundation and eventually into the basement. Lining the swale with drain tile promotes better drainage. With a swale, you can enjoy your home’s beautiful hillside view without worrying about basement flooding.
Upgrade or repair your gutters. If you are a skilled DIYer, you can do this yourself. If not, you can always hire a professional to get the job done right. Any damaged connections in your rain gutter should be repaired and any leaking seams should be sealed. All rain gutters should slope towards the downspout which should point well away from the home. Both gutters and downspout should be kept free of debris.
Don’t let your landscaping impede proper water drainage. Concrete landscape blocks, timbers, unbroken sidewalk areas, and even raised beds can impede adequate drainage when these are placed too close to your home’s foundation. Don’t let your home’s landscaping aesthetic interfere with proper drainage or you will end up with a flooded basement.
Consider installing a sump pump and drain tile. Sure, this might cost a bit more than some of the other preventive measures we’ve discussed, but you will not regret the investment in the long term. In fact, in some cases a sump pump and drain tile may be your only option to prevent basement flooding. Just a word of caution, a sump pump is one of those things you don’t want to attempt as a DIY job. Always hire a qualified professional to make sure the job is done right the first time.