How to Avoid Basement Flooding This Spring
Spring is here, and that means that rain is definitely on its way. Just because the snow is gone doesn’t mean that you are out of the clear when it comes to basement flooding. The ground is still going to be a little bit frozen and in the process of thawing out when the spring rain comes, therefore, the ground is too saturated to absorb any water. This water will then flow down to the foundation of your home and eventually, your basement.
Of course, if you have a sump pump then you should be in good shape for the season. But, if it hasn’t been looked at in a while then you may be in trouble. For example, your sump pump can fail due to its age, continuous use, debris in the basin, or a clogged weep filter.
Another cause of flooding in the basement is structural malfunctions. The main function of a sanitary sewer pipe is to remove wastewater from your home. If any type of excess water enters this system, it can overload and send it back into your home. The same thing goes for a storm sewer that is larger than a sanitary sewer, but is designed to carry larger amounts of flow.
Landscaping is another factor that can lead to a flooded basement. If the ground around the foundation of your home is sloping towards it, the rainwater will naturally flow in that direction. In most cases, the weeping tiles will carry the water away without hassle, but if there are heavy amounts of rain coming in short periods of time, the system could overload and the water could find a way into your home. The same concept can be applied to window wells, so be sure to check that slope is going in the opposite direction.
One of the last common causes of a flooded basement is eave troughs and downspouts. If your downspouts don’t extend at least six inches away from your foundation, then it could also overload your weeping tiles. If they are also still clogged up with debris it could become a problem as well.
Fortunately, there are solutions to these problems! If you undergo an unexplained flooding problem, you’ll want to start at the eaves and downspouts, and then look at the landscaping and foundation drainage. If it isn’t any of those factors, then it is most likely interior plumbing or sewer/sanitary drains.
Here are some tips to help you prevent future basement flooding:
– Keep your gutters and downspouts clear of any type of debris, and check for any cracks. If they spill over, you may want to consider replacing them with a larger size.
-If the ground around your home slopes in the direction of your foundation, fill it in and grade the lot so that it slopes away from the house at least six inches.
-It can be hard to determine whether or not your weeping tiles are working effectively or not, but if the source of the water cannot be found then it is time to call in the professionals so that they can snake the drains and look for crushed tiles or plugs. This would also rule out any sanitary or storm sewer issues as well.
-As for the sump pump, you’ll want to check and make sure that the discharge pipe is debris-free and discharges out onto your property where it can be absorbed. Next, check the pit for debris as the weeping tiles can carry sand and debris into it. It is always a good idea to check your pump each spring to make sure that it is working effectively and efficiently.
It is always a good idea to have a battery backup on hand for your sump pump in case of a power outage. There are a variety of different backups that have an alarm or that can call your phone to notify you of a power outage. Also, there is a backwater valve that can prevent sewage from backing up into your basement, but you would need to call a plumbing company to install it.