How To Stop & Prevent A Basement From Flooding
Do you want to know how to stop basement flooding? Perhaps you want advice on how to prevent basement flooding so it never happens again? Either way, we’ve got you covered.
Beyond the immediate damage to items in your basement, basement flooding may lead to mold growth and structural damage and even the need for electrical repairs. Here is what to do when your basement floods and the steps you can take to avoid basement flooding.
HRS Restoration Services has been a trusted water extraction and mitigation company in the Denver area for two decades. Our customers rely on us to respond rapidly, find the source of the basement flooding, and prevent it from happening again in the future.
Our trained, licensed and experienced team is available 24/7 to help with your basement flooding. We’re your basement flooding solutions company so call us today!
What Causes A Basement To Flood
There are many reasons your basement may flood. If your gutters are clogged by leaves and debris, water runoff can enter your basement rather than be carried away from your home. If the distance between your downspout and your home is not far enough, rainfall will end up in your basement. If the pavement near your home settles, rainwater cannot easily escape.
Similarly, if your pavement sealant cracks, water can seep into the seams and eventually, your basement. If the existing grade of the soil around your home doesn’t allow for water to flow away from the home, it can become trapped and find its way to your basement.
Even household improvements can backfire leading to basement flooding. Your irrigation and sprinkler systems need a backflow prevention mechanism and regular inspections to determine if they are leaking. Another cause of basement flooding is when groundwater levels outside the home rise, and water leaks in open cracks or holes in your basement.
If your surface or french drain becomes clogged or broken, your basement could flood. Factors outside your control such as the city’s storm sewer system becoming backed up, may also lead to flooding in your basement.
Additional causes of basement flooding include a failing or blocked sanitary sewer, a foundation drain failure, a water supply or sewer line break or, if applicable, a sump pump failure. Lastly, chances of a basement flood are increased by living in an area with heavy rainfall.
Basement Flooding Causes include:
- Clogged Gutters
- Downspout Distance
- Pavement Slope and Sealant
- Landscape Slope
- Irrigation or Sprinkler Systems
- Groundwater Seepage
- Drain System Location
- Blocked Or Failed Sanitary Lateral
- Foundation Drainage Failure
- Water Supply-Line Break
- Sump Pump Failure
- Sewer Backup
Risks & Dangers Of A Flooded Basement
Besides the potential damage to your household items, there are many other consequences of your basement flooding. Whenever you have a water incident, there is the potential for mold and mildew growth. Water can also be very destructive to your drywall and flooring and if the damage is extensive it may require major structural repairs or replacements.
Another byproduct of basement flooding is the need for electrical repairs when the water has short-circuited your electrical system. If the flooding in your basement contains sewage, you risk exposure to bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses that can cause ill health effects.
Mold can develop within 24-48 hours after a water incident. Mold spores quickly spread throughout the affected area and can lurk beneath flooring and behind walls, making them difficult to eliminate when they are undetectable to the naked eye. Mold can irritate the respiratory system and lead to itchy, watery red eyes, and coughing. If you have a pre-existing respiratory illness or an allergy to mold, the health effects could include fever and shortness of breath.
Water, and the resulting mold, can eat away at organic matter including your walls, ceilings, and floors. The longer water and mold permeate a surface, the more likely it is that it will need to be replaced, rather than repaired. Construction costs can be one of the most costly, and labor-intensive after effects of basement flooding.
Electrical systems are not designed to withstand a basement flood. Water is a conductor of electricity, so beyond the risk to the electrical system, lies the very real threat of electrocution.
Furthermore, water and mold are very corrosive. Even a small, brief basement flood can be devastating to your electrical system. Fixing electrical damage is not as easy as extracting floodwater and drying out the area. You need an experienced electrician to make repairs and replacements to bring your electrical systems back to life safely.
If the floodwaters in your basement include raw sewage, you may risk exposure to bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses that can cause ill health effects. Raw sewage can contain pathogens including Hepatitis B, E. coli bacteria, and parasites like Cryptosporidium parvum, and Giardia — both are a major causes of diarrhea.
While you may be able to avoid coming into direct contact with raw sewage, even breathing it in can result in harmful health effects.
Fixing A Leaky Or Flooded Basement
Fixing basement water damage starts with a plan. We recommend you complete the following steps in order for the best results.
First, disconnect the electricity to eliminate the risk of electrocution. Second, contact your insurance company to see whether your homeowner’s policy covers the cost of basement flooding repair. The third step for how to stop water from leaking into basements is to find the source of the leak and plug or repair it. Then you must remove standing water and ventilate the area to dry.
Once these steps are completed, water damage remediation and restoration efforts can begin. Even after you determine the cause of the basement flooding, you will want to inspect your home and surrounding area for other potential causes. To minimize future damage, consider if waterproofing your basement might be a valuable investment.
Preventing Basement Floods
Investing time and effort in how to prevent basement flooding may save you a lot of time, money, and heartache in the future. You can begin looking at your home’s foundation, the outside features of your property including downspouts, gutters, and the grade of nearby slopes.
If you have a sump pump, make sure it’s in good working condition; and inspect and clean your sewer, and septic systems. For additional peace of mind, consider installing window well covers or sealing your basement to waterproof it from any future water incidents. Here are just a few tips for how to stop water from coming into basements.
Check Foundation For Cracks
Inspect your interior and exterior foundation walls for any small cracks or fissures. If it is a hairline crack, about the width of a thread, you can easily fix these yourself with caulk. If the crack is more recent, keep an eye on it to see if it grows larger. If the crack is ⅛ of an inch or more, seal as quickly as possible with caulk.
Check The Grading
If your yard grades or slopes towards your home, it’s only a matter of time before you will be faced with a basement flood. Fortunately, you can install rain downspouts, a rain garden, or a green roof to absorb as much rainfall as possible so less of it will end up in your basement. You can also use a heavier mulch to sop up additional rainwater or create a diversion by digging a trench to guide water away from your home’s foundation.
Install Sump Pump
If you install a basement sump pump, it will keep water buildup from normal rainfall in check and prevent basement flooding. A sump pump works like a big floor drain, sucking water out of your basement and redirecting it elsewhere. While it is an upfront cost, it could save you many thousands of dollars in repairs later.
If there is not enough distance, say at least ten feet, between your downspouts and your foundation, any overflow water may end up in your basement. One way to fix this is to extend your existing downspouts so there is plenty of space between water runoff and your basement.
Clean Out Gutters
Just because you can’t see what’s inside your gutters, doesn’t mean they are clear of leaves and other lawn debris. Regularly inspect and clean out your gutters so that rainwater and snowmelt can freely flow down and away from your home. If gutters are not cleared out regularly, water will overflow and find its way to your basement.
Inspect & Clean Sewer & Septic Systems
Just because it’s out of sight, your sewer or septic system shouldn’t be out of mind. Regularly inspect and clean out your sewer and septic system as yard debris, household paper, and even tree roots may compromise their ability to work as intended.
Install Window Well Covers
Not only will a window well cover keep four-legged and two-legged critters out, but they also keep rainwater away from your below-grade basement windows. Make sure window well covers are installed with no noticeable gaps.
Sealing your basement with a waterproof coating may prevent water from entering through an impenetrable seal. However, waterproofing is only one way, and not the ultimate solution to a basement flood. One of the reasons is that a waterproof seal can’t protect the joint between the wall and the floor and water can still get through.
When To Call A Professional
If you are unsure of why your basement is flooding, the flooding incident is extreme, or it involves raw sewage or your efforts in preventing basement flooding were not enough, it is time to bring in a professional team who is experienced and trained to respond. The health and safety of your family demand nothing less. Our team includes mold remediation experts, electricians, and general contractors – ready for all of the associated fallout from a basement flooding incident.
Why Choose HRS Restoration Services
HRS Restoration Services should be your first call for water extraction and mitigation in Denver. You can trust our decades of experience, glowing customer reviews, and around-the-clock availability. Wherever there is water, mold will follow, so we’re ready to help with mold restoration in Denver.
Contact HRS Restoration Services Today!
Call HRS at the very first sign of a basement flood. We’ll respond ASAP to limit the damage and provide water damage restoration in Denver.
Call us to schedule an appointment or learn more about how we can help you!
IICRC stands for the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. Formed nearly 40 years ago, it is a non-profit organization that establishes globally recognized standards for the cleaning and restoration industry, as well as providing certifications, journeyman and master designation, and education.
By choosing a firm with IICRC certified team members, you are assured the cleaning professionals have undergone rigorous training and will handle your disaster restoration with the highest standard of care.