What Causes Water Flooding In A Basement?

You may be wondering, why do basements flood or why is my basement flooding? There are many situations leading to a flooded basement that may begin with rain but are compounded by other factors. 

For example, your gutters may be clogged with leaves and other debris, causing rainwater to spill out over the edge and down the side of your house, leading to excess water in the basement.

Another cause of a flooded basement might be the downspout not being placed far enough away from the house or the slope of pavement or yard, projecting water flow towards your home’s foundation. Apart from the weather, a leaky or broken sprinkler system may be to blame.

The truth is that flooding in a basement can have a number of causes, including groundwater seepage, clogged drains, heavy rainfall, and more. 

If the water or waste flowing into your basement is limited to a brief period, you may be able to clean up the damage relatively quickly. 

However, even when the evidence of flooding is gone, there may be water remaining that you can’t see. A professional water damage restoration company like HRS Restoration Services has the experience and know-how to repair, replace, or reinforce the drainage system and pipes leading into and away from your home. 

HRS Restoration Services provides professional water extraction and mitigation in Denver

We are a trusted full service restoration company with team members trained in plumbing, water extraction, and mold removal. One call to our team will solve fallout from a flooded basement, whether it’s welding a new pipe, repairing a drain, or extracting sediment and debris. 

We know what causes basement flooding, and our team is ready 24/7 to help you when it happens. Our IICRC trained employees stay up to date on all the latest certifications to best serve you.

Call us today for more information or to schedule an appointment. 

#1 Clogged Gutters

One of the main reasons your gutters become clogged is the proximity of your home to trees surrounding it. More trees nearby means falling leaves and branches can end up in your gutters. If they are not regularly and thoroughly cleaned, rainwater cannot flow through them and away from your home. 

Clogged gutters mean water may overflow and end up spilling over the sides, close to your home’s foundation and into your basement. 

#2 – Downspout Distance

A downspout is a vertical, cylinder shaped piece connected to your gutter directing water down and away from your home. If the downspout is not positioned far enough away, water may revert back towards the home and your basement. 

#3 – Pavement Slope & Sealant

If the pavement near your home settles, water may flow towards and not away from it as it was originally positioned. Similarly, if the sealant around the pavement cracks because of age or faulty installation, water can seep into the seams and into your basement.

#4 – Landscape Slope

If you have ever had standing water in front of your home, the culprit is likely a failure to fill in depressions in the soil near your home. Water needs to flow away from the home and if the existing grade of the soil doesn’t allow that, it can lead to a flood in your basement.

#5 – Irrigation or Sprinkler Systems

Irrigation and sprinkler systems should be regularly inspected to ensure the backflow prevention device is working properly.  Debris on the sprinkler heads can cause them to malfunction or break leading to a leak. That leak has to end up somewhere and that somewhere, unfortunately, is your basement. 

#6 – Groundwater Seepage

Sometimes the cause of basement floods is not surface deep. When the groundwater levels outside the basement rise above the level of the floor, the basement acts like a boat in a pond. Water will leak in through any open cracks or holes in your basement. Hydrostatic pressure forces water through hairline cracks and other openings in your basement.

#7 – Location Of Drain System

Your home likely has a surface drain or french drain depending on the slope of your yard and the amount of rainwater your area receives. These can become clogged or broken, leading to flooding of your home.

Not only can basement flooding happen as a result of drainage issues on your property, but problems arise if the city’s storm sewer system becomes too small to keep up. When this happens, the rainwater in the sewer system can get so high that water flows backwards toward the house.

#8 – Blocked Or Failed Sanitary Lateral

The sanitary sewers’ path to the home is called a sanitary sewer lateral. 

Normally, the sanitary lateral allows water to flow from your home to the sewer but if there are problems such as a perforated or blocked pipe, water will flow back into your home. 

#9 – Foundation Drainage Failure

Your perimeter foundation drain system connects to the city storm sewer system. If the level of the basement is below the street level, there’s a chance that storm water backs up and is pushed into the perimeter foundation drain system. This can saturate the soils around the house at the basement level, causing water to leak in.

#10 – Water Supply-Line Break

If the main water supply line bringing water into your home is corroded or punctured by tree roots, this highly pressurized water will have nowhere to go except towards your home’s foundation and eventually, your basement.

#11 – Sump Pump Failure

If the power in your home goes out, or your sump pump was improperly installed, it will fail to remove the water from your home and it will end up back inside your home’s basement. 

#12 – Sewer Backup

Your sewer line travels under your home and takes wastewater to the main line or the septic tank. If the main sewer line is backed up, sewage will flow back into your home and into your home’s basement.  


Risks Of Basement Flooding

When a basement floods there are many residual problems like mold, structural damage or electrical damage and illness for those living or working on the property. 

Whenever you have an excess of water, there’s a high risk of mold spores. This can lead to rashes, red, itchy water eyes and difficulty breathing for those who are sensitive. 

Next, flooding can damage your basement walls and floors and if there is sustained water damage, it’s likely the walls and floors will have to be replaced, rather than repaired. 

During a basement flood you also run the risk of electrical damage if water comes into contact with your wiring and electrical outlets. Electrical damage is a dangerous and expensive byproduct of basement flooding. 

If your basement flooding involves a backed up sewage system, you also run the risk of biohazards due to the bacteria, funguses, parasites, and viruses found in sewage. These biohazards can cause intestinal, lung, and other infections.  


Mold spores can develop within 24-48 hours. This is especially crucial to know since flooding can occur in your basements without you knowing. The clock is ticking and if you’re not able to remove the water, you can’t begin to address the mold that may appear. 

Mold can be especially harmful to people with pre-existing respiratory problems and can lead to a host of symptoms in otherwise healthy people. 

Mold spores can fester behind walls and underneath flooring, which are difficult to access unless you have experience and tools. HRS Restoration Services provides the efficient mold restoration in Denver

Structural Damage

If water damage is extensive and pervasive, it may cause your flooring to rot and weaken the drywall in your basement. If the damage can not be repaired, replacement will be the only option to maintain the structural integrity of your basement. 

Electrical Damage

If there are circuit boards and electrical outlets in your basement and these come into contact with water, it can fry the wiring and result in electrocution or even a fire. It’s important to shut off the flow of power into your basement as soon as you realize water is flowing in. 


If you have a sewer main break or backup, bacteria from e-coli and human waste endangers your health and safety. A professional water damage restoration company, like HRS, using PPE and other tools can extract the biohazards and remove sewage from your home without endangering you and your family. 

Preventing Basement Floods 

With foresight and regular checkups, you may be able to prevent basement flooding

If you seal the cracks around your home’s foundation, check your sump pump and make sure you have a backup power source, you may get ahead of any problems and be prepared in case the power goes out. 

If you check the slope near your home and install a water monitoring device, you can ensure water doesn’t flow into your home and notice any spikes in water usage, a major sign of a leak in your home’s system. Make sure your home’s downspout is located far enough away from your home and clear out debris and leaves from your gutters. 

Doing these things can help ensure that water doesn’t end up inside your home’s basement and damage can be mitigated if it does. 

Basement Water Damage Mitigation & Restoration

Water damage mitigation involves assessing the location and extent of the flooding in your home. 

Using moisture meters and thermal cameras, a professional water damage and mitigation company can detect water in areas where it is invisible to the naked eye. 

To minimize the damage to your home, we employ dehumidifiers and high powered fans to dry out the affected area. Water restoration efforts may include removing flooring and walls that are too water saturated to repair and replacing them to restore your home to it’s pre water damaged state. 

If the damage is minor, you may be able to dry out and vacuum water in your basement. Always remember to shut off the electricity to your basement if there is a chance your electrical wiring was affected. 

However, despite your best efforts, water damage may lead to mold spores, electrical damage and rotting walls and floors creating a need for professional help like that offered by HRS.

When To Call A Professional

No matter the basement flooding causes, water and mold, like fire, flood and trauma, can lead to damage in your home. It can also lead to illness for those who live and work on the property. 

If water damage is extensive, has compromised your flooring and walls or your electrical system, it is best to call a professional team like HRS. We have the tools, training, and experience to help remediate damage and repair your home.

Why Choose HRS Restoration Services

HRS Restoration has been providing an expert water damage restoration in Denver for decades. 

Let us show you why our customers call on us when disaster strikes. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, because disaster doesn’t keep a schedule!

Contact HRS Restoration Services Today!

Call HRS Restoration Services at the first sign of flooding. Our dedicated, trained and experienced team is available any time you need us, day or night!


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what is iicrc and Why is it important?

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.