Basement flooding can be disastrous and a costly experience, especially if you have expensive equipment or devices in the room. Even if your basement is empty and it floods, repairing the damage to the walls, floors and cleaning it can leave you with a costly repair bill. Not to mention the potential health hazards a flooded basement could cause due to any sewage, chemicals or mold.
What Warning Signs Should I Watch Out For?
The basement is the lowest point of the house and flooding is always a risk you need to be aware of. Water can leak from almost anywhere: Through the walls, the floors and through cracks in the foundation. With that in mind, here are some warning signs you will want to keep an eye out for that could lead to your basement flooding.
Water Collecting Near the Foundation of Your Home
Make sure you have proper drainage, such as gutters and downspouts and they drain away from your home. You will want to regularly clean any drainage systems of blockage, because the rain water could overflow and start pooling near your home?s foundation. Improper drainage is a relatively cheap and simple fix that plays a big role in keeping your basement water-free.
Is The Ground Sloped Away From Your Home?
First, you will want to walk around the perimeter of your home and check if the ground is flat near the foundation. Flat ground will allow the water to pool, allowing it to seep into the foundation and flood your basement. A good rule to follow is to have the ground all around your home slope away at least 6 feet from your home.
Check The Window Wells
Water can collect inside your window wells and seep through the seals. Check the windows for any damage or wear and replace the seals or even the windows if you see any damage.
Look for Cracks in the Foundation and Walls
Any cracks in the walls or foundation will allow water seep into the basement and can cause mold to build-up and damage the walls. You can seal up any cracks in the walls with caulk or coat the walls with a sealant. You may have to dig to check for cracks in your foundation and in some cases, you may even need to call in the professionals to dig around the foundation for you. Cracks in the foundation will, in most cases, require a contractor to come in and repair which can be expensive.
Check Your Plumbing
If your plumbing backs up frequently or you notice leaks, this could be a major problem. That back-up or leakage can cause damage at the source and leak into your basement, causing even further damage. Blockages are usually an easy fix with drain cleaners or plumbing snakes. If the blockage is serious, or you can?t fix the leak yourself, calling in a plumber will be necessary.
Check the Basement for Water Damage
There are many signs to keep an eye out for to check for any signs of water damage in your basement.
- Damp, humid air
- Dampness at the base of concrete walls
- Standing water on the floor
- Condensation on the walls and floor during the summer
- Mold, mildew and odor
- Damaged wood or carpet
- Rot and decay of wood supports
- Stained or blistering of the walls
- A white powder (called efflorescence) around the walls. Efflorescence is caused by water seeping through a wall or floor. The water dissolves salts inside of whatever surface it was moving through and evaporates, leaving salt on the surface.
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