What To Do If Your Basement Floods From Rain
With all the recent rain, basement floods are a concern for a lot of people living in the Toledo area. Plus, you don’t have to have heavy downfalls for your home to flood. Small showers can also cause basement floods. The simple fact is, when it rains, your basement is at risk of flooding. Even light rain can enter your home. The rain is great for your lawn, trees and other plants, but not so good when that water leaks into your basement.
Unexpected plumbing problems can be the result of the changing seasons. Temperature fluctuations plus melting ice and snow can cause extra water to puddle in your gutters. This excess water drips from downspouts and enters a home through weak spots in the masonry foundation or through cracks in mortar joints.
Basement Floods And Rain
Basement leaks are generally caused by the pressure placed on a home from water in the soil surrounding the foundation. There are three different forms of pressure can cause concerns:
- Persistent rain causes soil saturation, creating hydrostatic pressure (or water pressure). The pressure forces moisture through the basement walls and floor.
- Loose soil around the foundation absorbs water. Gutters and downspouts get clogged with rainwater that pools right next to the foundation. As this soil expands, it creates lateral (sideways) pressure against the foundation, causing leaks and foundation damage.
- If the window well isn’t installed correctly, it can fill with rainwater which seeps into the basement.
Cracks in basement walls and floors is an open invitation for water problems. Wall stains and pooling water on the floor are signs of a leaky basement. And, it’s your basement that can suffer the most damage. Floods cause trouble and it’s important to know what to do if you have basement problems.
Know What To Do If Your Basement Floods
1. Contact City Water Department
Local municipalities will be able to give you information about the mainline sewer condition of your home. You’ll want to have general understanding of your pipeline and sanitation drain structure.
2. Be Ready To Clean
Protect yourself by wearing eye protection, gloves, and boots. Be careful where you step, too. Be careful not to spread sewage and contaminate other parts of your home. If your shoes have dirty water on them, it’s easy to track that through the house.
Bubbling sewer drain water contains dangerous contaminants. Cover all exposed areas of skin and keep children and pets clear of flooding areas.
3. Mop Up And Dry Water
Make sure affected basement areas are clean. Mix eight (8) tablespoons of liquid chlorine bleach with one (1) gallon of water to disinfect all surfaces that have come in contact with flood water.
Tips To Prevent Basement Floods:
- Consult a professional for repairs and waterproofing.
- Inspect your lateral sewer lines for root intrusion and blockages.
- Snake your piping annually.
- Check basement walls for any cracks or weak spots.
- Seal basement window wells, vents, and exterior openings.
- Keep water away from your foundation by grading the landscape away from your home.
- Extend downspouts five (5) feet from your home’s foundation.
What NOT To Do If Your Basement Floods:
- Do NOT enter rooms with sagging ceilings
- Do NOT touch or use plugged in electrical items
- Do NOT store electrical fans or other appliances near water
- Do NOT use heat to dry your flooded interiors
- Do NOT allow children or pets to play in any flooded area
4. Throw Out Any Items In Question
Take photographs of ruined items for insurance claims purposes. You don’t want to take any chances by keeping contaminated and toxic items.
5. Remove Damaged Drywall
To eliminate the possibility of mold growth, remove all flooded drywall within 24 hours of the flood.
6. Contact A Water Damage Pro
Contact a water damage professional or plumber who can access, inform, and fix repairs. Also, emergency sewer service professionals will be able to inform you on preventative sewer drain measures you can take during heavy rain seasons.
Your home piping relies on how well you maintain your piping system and sewers. Therefore, it’s advantageous to work with a trusted team who can help you develop a preventative plan of action—before an emergency.
7. Be Proactive
Don’t wait for more rain. Contact your insurance company in advance. Review your homeowners policy early each year. Confirm with your underwriter or agent on what’s covered and what’s not.
8. If Needed, Install A Waterproofing System
The most effective way to keep rainwater out of your basement is to install an interior drainage system. A proven solution for keeping the basement dry is a good waterproofing system that minimizes hydrostatic pressure.
An interior drain tile connects to a sump pump. This drain tile runs along the foundation joint where the floor meets the wall. This area is where most water leakage occurs.