I can’t count how many times we respond to a water issue in a home and find out that it could have been prevented by taking the proper precautionary measures. Ensuring you are prepared for any amount of rainfall just takes a little of your time and less money, then it will to repair a flooded basement after the fact. Basements that we see flood from the following reasons;
1. Gutters are clogged and the overflow comes into the side walls during heavy amounts of rain.
2. Landscaping around the home is not properly slanted away from the home thus allowing water to puddle against the side of the house.
3. Windows lose their sill or the window well for the window has poor drainage
4. Sump Pump fails and there is no back- up system.
5. Make sure your Sump Pump drains away from your home and not right back down the wall.
Let’s address the easiest to fix issues first. Take a garden hose and spray your roof line to check the flow of water to your gutters and clean out any clogs before it rains. Make sure your down spouts drain away from the base of the home so that water is dispersed in the yard. Second fix is to make sure your landscape areas around the base of the house have a natural slant away from the base. This will ensure water doesn’t puddle at the base and disperses away from the house. Thirdly, check the caulk around your windows and replace as needed. Also, make sure to remove any debris in your window wells and check all drains if applicable to ensure they are not clogged too. Now the sump pump should be checked monthly by taking a bucket of water and pouring it into the opening to ensure the pump kicks on and drains the excess water. If it doesn’t work, this is the time to replace it. Yes you can repair it in some cases but, if it breaks during a heavy rain, you are asking for a flooded basement.
Last issue is the backup system for your sump pump. You need to talk to your plumber about the battery backup systems on the market and the alarms to let you know if it stops working out of the blue thus allowing you time to fix it before the water rises. Remember your pump takes the water that is drained from the walls and drains it away from the house to ensure a dry basement.
These are just some observations of what we see all the time and lead to the most issues of flooding in your basement. However, we didn’t cover pipe burst, AC units breaking and water heater issues but, don’t let that scare you that stuff we will cover in future issues.
Lastly, check your insurance policy to ensure you are covered for any type of water issues in your basement to include sump pump issues and water entering not just pipes etc… When in doubt bring this to your insurance provider and ask if you are covered for all of the above.