Common Causes of Basement Flooding

Flooding in your home would be bad enough, but it is your basement that likely suffers the most risk. Because of its location, set low in the ground, it can be easy for water to seep into the space. If you have a basement or have one that has flooded in the past, it is best to know what its potential risks are and why it may be prone to flooding.

Improper Sealing of Floor and Walls

If the basement tiles and foundation are not sealed or properly sealed at the time of the home’s construction, water can seep into the basement. Your basement walls should also have proper sealing. In this case, basement flooding can happen during a heavy rainstorm. 

Improper Drainage

The drainage around your house is also crucial to the safety of your basement. Improper grading of the ground (that is, the way it is sloped) can lead rainwater toward your house rather than away from it like it should. If water is pooling around the landscape, you may want to consider drainage solutions for the soil itself as well. In either case, a build-up of water around the home can lead to water seeping through the porous cement walls of your basement.

Clogged Gutters

Likewise, the problem of flooding could be as simple as clogged gutters. Just as your drainage system should lead excess water at least 5-6 feet away from the house, so your gutters should keep wet conditions to a minimum. The solution is to get up on a ladder (or ask someone else to do it) and clean out all twigs, leaves, seedlings, and other debris. When the gutters are stopped up by debris, water will not be able to get to the downspout and will spew out around the house’s foundation, thus risking the basement’s health.

Faulty Sewage System

Because the basement is under the ground, it may be closer to various main pipes, such as the sewage system. The sewage system is often below the basement level, but at times it can be at the same level. A sewage backup or failure can occur for various reasons, from deterioration of the pipes, a tree root growing within it, or improper materials flushed down the toilet. Maintenance of the pipes and proper usage can help alleviate the risk of a sewage overflow.

Water Line or Hot Water Tank Failure

If these or like appliances fail, your basement may be the first to suffer. This can happen due to a deteriorated appliance or frozen pipes in winter. Once again, preventative maintenance will take care of such issues.

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December 2021