What Causes A Basement To Flood?
One of the worst things that can happen to a basement is flooding, especially if the water level gets very high. It’s an incredibly damaging process for a home, and, if severe enough, can affect everything from the appliances in the basement to the fuse box that controls the electricity in the home. But what causes a basement to flood in the first place?
While modern homes are likely to enjoy the benefits of modern sealant in the basement floors and walls, this is certainly not the case in many older homes, especially period historical homes found in many parts of Maryland. This is not the fault of the home, so much as a lack of technique and technology when the home was originally constructed, but as a new, 21st century homeowner, you can certainly take those preventive steps now.
This is an especially common hazard for homes with trees. Anything that blocks the rain gutter on the roof negates the entire purpose of the gutter, which is to safely carry away water from the home. Leaves blocking the gutter will cause rain to fill the gutter itself, then overflow, and drip down the side of house, directly into the ground next to the basement. Particularly heavy rains with gutters blocked all around can surround your basement with water.
This is related to the obstructed gutter problem. Even if the gutter is clear and rainwater can flow through it to the downspout, the downspout itself should extend a few feet away from the house, six to be on the safe side. A downspout that simply empties out less than a foot away from the foundation of your home is concentrating all that rainwater in one spot of your foundation, which can lead to flooding.
Water will always flow downwards, even within soil itself. If your home is located at the bottom of a slope, or toward the end of some grade in the land, it means that heavy rainfall is going to cause the water to naturally accumulate your way. Short of moving, there’s really nothing you can do to prevent the water from gathering at the lowest point, all you can do is take the appropriate, intensive flood prevention measures.
During the case of region-wide flooding, sewer systems can become overwhelmed, and when that happens, the tunnel that normally carries your waste water away from your home now becomes a delivery system for all the excess water coming through the main sewage line itself. One simple fix for this type of flooding is to install a backwater valve that cuts your home off from the sewer system when it detects the normal flow of water reversing.
As you can see, some of the causes for a flooded basement can be solved with a little bit of home repair, while others may require some extensive waterproofing procedures. If you have basement flooding issues and you’d like to know more about how to address the problem, just contact AA Action Waterproofing and get the full benefit of a consultation that will bring our knowledge and experience to work for you.