How to Prevent Basement Flooding

Basements are one of the most vulnerable areas in the home to flooding due to their location below ground. Water from rain or coastal flooding can easily drop from level ground into a basement and wreak havoc on your carpets, furniture, and structural integrity.

How can you protect your basement from flooding? The following tips provide guidance if you want to keep your basement flood free:

1. Divert the water: Long before flood strikes, look for ways to divert the flow of water so that it never makes it into your basement. Play with gravity by adding soil to your yard to create a slope away from, as opposed to leading to, your home. Discuss plans with a landscape or excavation contractor for ideas on how to redirect flood water. You can also adjust rain gutter spouts away from your structure to discourage rain from leaking down and into your basement.

2. Clean top to bottom: Fall brings hundreds of leaves to the ground and into your gutters. Blocks in your gutters will cause roof water to dump onto your foundation, which can then leak into your basement, so keep those gutters clean.

3. Generate your own solutions: Automatic power generators provide electric power to keep your essential circuits, such as your furnace or electric heat, well pump, septic tank pump, and sump pump operational in the event that you lose power. In these situations, losing power without a backup can leave you with basement flooding from frozen water pipes or a septic tank that flooded while you were not at home.

4. Sump pump it out: All basement owners should have an automatic sump pump at their disposal. This equipment helps to prevent water leaking from rainfall down the side of your home from building up in your basement. The tank must have an opening in the lid in order to operate as a drain and prevent water from accumulating.

5. And then install one more . . . : Because sump pumps are mechanical, they can fail, regardless of the model. By using a backup sump pump system, which may include a battery-operated pump, you ensure that if the primary sump pump stops working, the configured switch device will kick the backup into high gear. You can even find systems that include an alarm that goes off when the battery-operated sump pump has begun to work, for up-to-the-minute security.

6. Create an emergency plan: Have a plan in place so that the moment something goes wrong, you will be ready. Make sure that every member of your household has exchanged cell phone numbers. If your location is prone to flooding, be sure to establish places ahead of time where you and your family can stay until the waters subside. These locations may include the homes of friends or family on higher ground that have proven safe in other flooding situations.

Also, consider what emergency services you may need should a flood do damage to your home. An emergency response team can help to transform your experience from stressful to stable, so do yourself and your family a favor and keep the right phone numbers handy.

Basement flooding strikes your home at its very root. Protect your structure from permanent damage by guarding against basement flooding before it happens and taking steps to manage the effects if it does occur.