Summer is finally here, which is great news for all the sunny weather lovers out there. However, it is also a season riddled with additional stress and worries for most homeowners, as it tends to be quite stormy as well. Extreme weather conditions aren’t known for being friendly to buildings. In fact, the opposite is often true. That’s why we composed this basement flooding troubleshooting guide for average homeowner.
When the ground is saturated with rainwater or any other type of precipitation, it starts pushing against the foundation of the house. This creates a tension that leads to structural damage in the long run. Unfortunately, it is almost inevitable not to be confronted with basement flooding at least once during your stint as a homeowner.
What to Do When Flooding Occurs
When basement flooding occurs, how you proceed to deal with the issue is crucial. First flooding troubleshooting tip is to make sure that electrical power and gas lines are turned off in the area. Open power sources don’t play well with water, and any toddler knows best than to mess with that. If you are unsure how to proceed with this safely, request the assistance of an electrician right away.
Then, using either the sump pump or another type of device, such as pool pump, start taking the water out. If the flooding occurred during a storm, make sure it stops raining first, otherwise you will be working in vain. Once you’ve managed to displace most of the volume, it’s time to sort whatever items you had down there.
If anything made it out untouched by water, store it away while repairs are made. As for whatever else got wet, move them to a dry and properly ventilated area and give it 48 hours. Your best bet is to store them in the yard if the weather is sunny. If the objects come out damaged after that, it’s time to throw them away. After all, you wouldn’t want to risk being exposed to mold.
Next, it’s time to dry off the premises. After identifying the root of the problem, you can patch cracks with polyurethane masonry caulk, or apply a waterproof coating on the walls. In severe cases, a dam and channel system might be required. However, your best bet is to start working hard to prevent flooding from happening again in the future.
How to Prevent Future Damages
Cleaning up the damage after rainwater had its way with the area is certainly indicated. However, you need to plan for the future as well. After all, prevention will always be the best kind of medicine in any situation. Here are three simple tips that will keep your basement safe from flooding for many years to come.
1. Clean the Gutters Regularly
You might have already heard that the gutters need to be cleaned thoroughly in the spring and fall but dismissed it as another Martha Stewart type of advice. However, it is actually an essential bit of maintenance that makes all the difference in the world when precipitation levels are high and your home’s structural integrity can be affected by moisture.
A house’s gutters and downspouts collect rainwater from the roof and direct it as far away from the foundation as possible. When they aren’t cleaned regularly, branches, leaves, and all sorts of other debris clog them, thus rendering them useless. So, if you want a dry basement, get up there and start raking away at clumps of dirt.
2. Back Up the Sump Pump
As previously mentioned, a sump pump is a valuable device to have when you want to evacuate excess water from the basement. In fact, it’s indispensable in general, as it can prevent flooding altogether. However, during storms, your house can lose power. This means that the pump won’t work either, so it’s best to back it up with a small generator battery just in case.
3. Waterproof the Basement
Finally, if you have some money lying around and you are willing to capitalize on the future of your basement, you can take up a waterproofing project. Just make sure to meet with a few contractors before deciding on one, as their price estimates may vary wildly. Always choose the most profitable option for the investment to be worth it.
The Bottom Line
Basement flooding is almost inevitable during the rainier times of the year. When it happens, a swift cleanup can make all the difference in the world. And if you are looking to ensure your home’s integrity in the long run, prevention is key. To avoid flooding troubleshooting you need to clean the gutter, back up the sump pump, and consider investing in a waterproofing project. You won’t regret it.