Cleaning up a basement flood is not one of the things we what we want on our spring and summer to-do lists. Dealing with serious damages to your belongings and property can quickly become a nightmare, and that’s the last thing you want. Protect your home and belongings by learning what it takes to prevent this type of water disaster.
Gutters & Downspouts
- Every spring and fall gutters need to be cleared and repaired. Holes and blockages can cause water to dump directly near your home and foundation. Water needs to be diverted at least 4-5 feet away. A downspout extender or splash block can be added if needed.
- Any signs of water buildup around the exterior of the home should be addressed immediately to avoid damages.
Sump Pump Maintenance
- If you have a basement, you’re going to want a sump pump. This will be a great defense against mold, flooding, and other types of water damage. Be sure your sump pump is installed correctly and working properly. It is also vital that you do routine maintenance to ensure it is doing its job.
- You should also consider purchasing a secondary back-up pump with a backup power source. These are great to have in the event of the power going out or if your current pump fails.
- Pay attention to signs that your pump is reaching the end of its use. Replace your pump before it fails.
- The slope of your yard should direct water away from your home to avoid risk of water getting inside walls or damaging your foundation. Do a perimeter walk and take notice of any areas where you notice water pooling.
- Most drainage issues can be solved with clever landscaping solutions like the use of downspouts, heavier mulch, creating a rain garden, or digging out a small indention, or swale, to divert water. More serious landscape issues may require you to regrade your lawn.
- If mulch is used in flower beds and other parts of the home be sure to keep a barrier of at least 6 inches between house walls and the landscaping.
- Even small leaks can turn into big problems. Burst or leaky pipes, broken supply hoses, or a leaking water tank or heater are often the culprits. Pipes and appliances should be inspected and maintained on a regular basis to avoid water damage, especially in the basement.
- Window wells need to be inspected. If they become filled with water, then water may leak into your space.
Window Well Coverings
- Window well coverings should be considered for homeowners with below-grade basement windows. With proper installation, these coverings offer waterproofing protection for your basement.
- Water can creep into your basement through cracks in your home’s foundation. Check the exterior of your foundation, basement walls, and floors regularly for signs of damage. Any cracks that are found should be repaired immediately.
- Hairline cracks are not worrisome and can be repaired fairly easily. Cracks larger than one-sixteenth of an inch could pose some problems and will need to be assessed by a professional. If you notice walls that are displaced or shifting, it should also be addressed immediately by a professional.
- It’s important to know exactly what your home insurance coverage is and prepare accordingly for possible risks. Being prepared with flood insurance and possible additional coverage for sewer won’t prevent a basement flood, but having it may prove to be a lifesaver.
Basement flooding is a major inconvenience that can be devastating and expensive. Luckily, there are things you can do to protect your home. Water damage prevention is extremely important, especially if you have a basement. Having the knowledge you need and following through on maintenance can greatly reduce the risks of flooding.
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