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5 Ways to End Basement Flooding

According to The American Society of Home Inspectors, about 60% of homeowners experience a wet basement. If you have water in your basement after a heavy rain, the most likely source is water penetrating the foundation. An inch of rainfall on a 1000SF roof amounts to about 623 gallons of water. That’s a lot of water! There are things you can do, however, to stop basement flooding.

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5 Ways to End Basement Flooding

Basement flooding can cause damage to floors, walls, furniture and electronics. Worse, if it happens once, chances are it will happen again. Here are five strategies to stop the flooding:

  1. Be sure that water drains away from the foundation rather than toward it.        Water is a powerful force. Enough pressure against the foundation can cause water to penetrate. Ideally, the slope away from the foundation should drop 1 inch per foot.  You may be able to change the grading yourself.
  2. Be sure that gutters and downspouts work to drain water away from the foundation. Blocked gutters can dump water next to the house. And add extensions to downspouts so that they discharge water at least 4 feet from the house, again being sure that the slope causes water to drain away from the foundation rather than toward it.
  3. Check window wells to be sure they’re not trapping water. The well itself should be much deeper than the window sill to hold rain that might fall into it. The top rim of the window well should be well above grade with the ground sloping away so that water drains away from the window well rather than into it. If the window well is positioned where the wind drives the rain against the house, a plastic bubble cover will keep rain out.
  4. Repair cracks in the foundation. You can patch them yourself with hydraulic cement (available at hardware and do-it-yourself stores).
  5. And this one is a little more complicated……  So far we have addressed the flooding caused by surface water, but ground water is another cause of flooding and a bit more difficult to correct. When the water table is high, water constantly exerts pressure against the basement walls, which can lead not only to water in the basement, but can also cause cracks, shifts, collapses and other structural problems. You may have to install foundation drainage system. It is important to do this correctly or find a contractor who has expertise in this area.