The unfortunate reality of home ownership, is that every home is at risk of having a basement flood. Damage, can be caused by both internal and external issues. External floods are caused by such events as heavy rainfall. Whereas internal floods are caused from a failed system, leaky pipes, or improper maintenance.
The good news is that there are many things a person can do to help prevent a flood from happening. So, start practicing proper home maintenance, and protect your home from damage.
1. Call the Experts
Calling on a knowledgeable professional plumber shouldn’t just happen after a flood has occurred. Having an expert, such as an inspector, or plumber complete a walk-thru of your property can stop a flood before it happens. They’ll be able to determine possible entry points for water, and suggest prevention techniques.
2. Fill the Cracks
You will have to complete an interior, and exterior, inspection of your home. This is where a professional can come in to determine if there are any cracks. If there are any, you will need to seal them immediately to prevent damage and leaks. This can be done with epoxy on the exterior of the home, and masonry sealer on the interior.
3. Maintain Your Gutters
This is an easy step you can complete yourself to prevent a leak from happening. Complete frequent maintenance of your gutters to clear them of debris. This is especially necessary after the fall, when the leaves have come down, and can get caught. Blocked gutters will cause all of the roof water to end up against the foundation of your home. If this happens, the water will be left sitting, and can eventually weaken the foundation. If your downspout is short, consider increasing the length of it. You will want it down, and far away from your home, so the water is drawn outward.
4. Sump Pump Maintenance
A sump pump is important in mitigating the damage that a flood in your basement can cause. It helps, by acting as a drain that leads the water away from your home. But, if it is blocked or not functioning, it can fail. If you don’t inspect your sump pump frequently, it is a good idea to start. Simply inspect it to see if there is any debris caught, and clear it frequently. If you have a portable sump pump, ensure the power source it is connected to is working.
5. Clean the Septic Tank
This is another area of the home that should not be ignored. If you haven’t had your sewer inspected, or your septic tank cleared, it is best to schedule one immediately. Heavy rainfall, and clogged sewers can cause severe damage to your home when it backs up. Espechially if the tank is reaching capacity, it is a disaster waiting to happen.
6. Window Well Covers
If you have below grade windows in your basement, it is a good idea to install a cover. This is a clear acrylic cover that fastens securely to the foundation to cover the window. This prevents water from getting through your windows, which is a common entry point. Additionally, they can work to keep out unwanted items such as leaves, garbage, and pests.
7. Talk to your Insurance Provider
Do you know what your provider covers if you have a leak? Usually, insurance does not cover flooding or sewer backups. If it does not, you may want to consider additional coverage, especially if you have a finished basement storing valuable items.