How to Prevent Water Damage in your Basement due to Flooding
Water damage in Denver is devastating, both monetarily and physically, as it poses threats to both property and health. Basements are especially susceptible to water damage from a wide array of causes, including but not limited to heavy rainfall, ground water, failed plumbing, and even power outages.
Clean up and restoration after a water event is not cheap, nor easy to insure against. A basement adds further difficulties when it has smaller, more difficult to access spaces, like a crawl space, making the process all that more expensive.
So, rather than wait for disaster to strike, we want to share with you 7 easy steps you can take to prevent basement flooding in your home.
- Sump Pump: One of the easiest and possibly most important ways that you can prevent flooding in your basement is by installing a sump pump. A sump pump sits in a pit, or well, the opening of which sits flush with your basement floor.
Water that seeps into the ground, whether from a rain shower, sprinkler system, melting snow, or otherwise, is directed through pipes into the sump pit. The sump pump then pumps the water through a pipe out of the pit and away from the house.
There are a couple of important things to remember about the sump pump. First, it runs on electricity, so if the power goes out, which is possible during bad storms with torrential rain, it won’t work at a time you need it most. Thus, it is good to also have a battery operated back up sump pump system that activates when the power fails.
Also, you should check it at least a few times a year to make sure the pit/well is free of debris and is not overflowing.
- Generators: As mentioned above, if the power goes out, your sump pump shuts off. Not only that, however – a power outage means that pipes can freeze in winter or septic tanks can overflow, any of which can cause basement flooding.
With that being the case, it is best to have an automatic generator that runs on natural gas and which will automatically come on when the power goes out.
- Gutters & Down Spouts: Probably the simplest way you can help prevent water damage and flooding in your basement is to have gutters to collect the rain water from the roof and drain it through a down spout. The downspout needs to be extended to at least three feet away from the house so the water doesn’t simply collect at the foundation, which would still endanger the basement.
You will need to check your gutters regularly and remove blockages. It is recommended that you clean your gutters in the spring and again in late fall after the leaves have dropped.
- Window Well Covers: Another easy water damage preventative is to install window well covers over your below-grade basement windows. This keeps the water from pooling at an area more susceptible to water seeping in.
- Turn Off Failed Plumbing: Perhaps obvious, but still worth mentioning – if you have a failed plumbing situation (broken pipe, washer hose, water heater, etc), turn it off. Otherwise, the excess flow is likely to end up in the basement.
- Inspecting Foundation/Floors/Walls: Inspect your foundation, basement floor and walls regularly to ensure there are no cracks or evidence of weaknesses. These areas could allow water in, but are also signs of deterioration that could allow much worse water incidents in the future if not taken care of.
- Inspecting Sewer and Septic: It is also good to annually get your sewer and septic tank inspected to ensure there are no clogs or over-taxed septic tanks that would be likely to overflow.