If your home has a basement, you most likely understand the benefits of this space. From extra living space for relaxing and playing to an additional area for storing your belongings, the value of a basement is easy to see. Unfortunately, the basement is the lowest part of your home, so it is at a higher risk of flooding and water damage. A heavy amount of rain in a short period of time, a backed up septic system, or a broken water heater may all cause flooding in your basement. Considering a substantial flood can cost up to $50,000 to remediate, protecting your basement from the possibility of water damage and potential mold growth is essential. Using these tips, you can protect your basement from flooding.
Every few weeks, inspect the exterior foundation walls and basement floors for cracks. While the crack is alarming, the actual cause of the crack is what you should worry about first. In most cases, hairline cracks in your foundation stem from the normal settling of your house.
Unfortunately, the cracks may also be due to an excessive amount of water building up under your house. This water places pressure on the foundation and basement walls and floors. Over time, the water and pressure will increase the size and quantity of the cracks, allowing water to move through the foundation and walls to flood your basement.
To reduce the risk of flooding and serious damage, fill any cracks in your foundation, basement floors, and walls with masonry caulk. Use an epoxy filler to fill in larger, wider cracks.
The roof may be far away from your basement, but improper maintenance on roofing systems causes three-quarters of water buildup problems in crawlspaces and basements.
Your gutters move water off your roof and away from your house, so they should be cleaned out periodically. If they become clogged with leaves, dirt, pine straw, and other debris, water will build up around your foundation, increasing your risk of a basement flood.
Make sure to position downspouts away from your foundation, as well. Downspouts should be thick and long, offering sufficient space for directing large amounts of water away from your foundation. For the best protection against basement flooding and foundation damage, allow the downspouts to flow water onto a hard surface instead of grass.
If the sanitary sewers are overflowing or there is a blockage in the underlying pipes, your basement is at risk of flooding. The backup of a sanitary or sewage system will cause sewage to flow into your basement through the floor drain or a plumbing fixture.
Fortunately, you can prevent a backed up sewer or septic issue by paying attention to the following early warning signs:
- Slow, Gurgling Drains – If all of the drains and toilets in your home are running slowly, you may have a backed up septic system. You may also hear a gurgling sound coming from sink faucets, drains, dishwasher, or washing machine.
- Foul Odors – Strong foul odors coming from the septic tank is a key sign of an underlying problem.
- Overly Damp Vegetation – Excessive grass and other vegetation around your home may stem from a backed-up septic system. When the septic tank is backed up, it will cause wastewater to leak across your yard. This wastewater can fertilize vegetation, making grass and other plants appear greener than the rest of your yard.
If you notice one or more of the above signs, contact a septic specialist immediately to inspect and repair any blockages in your septic or sewage system.
Flooding in your basement can be an overwhelming and costly problem to repair. With this guide, you can protect your basement form flooding and prevent expensive repairs from water damage. For more tips, you may want to contact an experienced water damage repair company like Complete Restoration Services, as they'll know what problems may be most common in your area or for your type of home.