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How to Reduce the Risk of Basement Flooding: 7 Tips Every Homeowner Should Know

If your basement floods, you can expect to spend tens of thousands of dollars to fix it. This expense can be even more painful if you find out that your insurance doesn’t cover the damage. The best solution for your basement flooding is to prevent it from happening. By following these seven tips, you can prevent water from taking over your basement.

It’s time to be proactive and take these seven steps to prevent your basement from flooding.

1. Maintain Your Gutters

The whole point of your gutters is to direct water away from your house. If your gutters or downspouts are clogged, then the water can’t flow properly. This will cause it to pool near your home.

Make sure that your gutters and downspouts are in the right position. Your downspouts should direct the water to be at least three feet away from your home. If yours aren’t that long, you can attach extensions to make them long enough.

Check your gutters every spring and fall. This will ensure they stay clear year-round.

If your gutter and downspout system isn’t effective, then you may want to consider installing French drains. These are trenches in the ground that are filled with gravel or rocks. These trenches then direct water away from your home over long distances.

2. Care for Your Landscaping

The water has to go somewhere when it rains. You can avoid flooding by directing the water away from your home.

Make sure that your lawn is adequately graded by sloping away from your home. Water that pools around the base of your home will eventually find its way in.

Take a look at the plants that you have around your home. Planting bushes or plants that soak up a large amount of water can help prevent flooding. As the water gathers in the ground, the plant’s roots will soak up the water.

3. Maintain Your Foundation

If there’s a way in, water will find it. Since water naturally flows downhill, if there are cracks in your foundation, water will want to flow down through them. This will lead to water gathering in your basement.

Take a walk around the outside of your home and look for cracks. Then walk through your basement and look at the walls and floors.

Any cracks that you find need maintenance. You can fill them with epoxy. If the leaking continues, then this could be a sign of a bigger problem that needs professional care.

4. Keep Your Sump Pump Working

One of the most common reasons for basement flooding is that the sump pump failed. This is a pump that gets installed in the basement to remove water from your home’s sump basin.

This active pumping will significantly reduce the collection of water, which will prevent flooding, water damage, and mold. But this isn’t an install-it-and-forget-it piece of equipment.

In addition to regular maintenance, you should give it an extra check when you know a big storm is coming. It can also be smart to invest in a generator for your pump. This way, it’ll keep working when you need it the most.

5. Inspect Your Septic or Sewer System

What’s worse than having water flood your basement? Having your septic tank back up and cause your basement to flood with sewage. Not only is this gross, but it is a health hazard for you and your family.

Make arrangements for your septic system to have regular maintenance done. This will prevent clogs, overflows, and backups.

The average household will need their septic tank pumped every three to five years. Though you should have your system inspected more often, at the very least every three years.

You should also make sure that you have a backflow valve installed. This valve allows water and waste to flow out of your home through the exit pipe but it doesn’t allow water to backflow up through the pipe and into your home.

This is more of a problem for older homes where there’s one pipe to direct both the rainwater and the raw sewage.

6. Install Window Well Covers

Do you have below-grade windows? These basement windows are prone to leaks and give water easy access to your basement. To prevent flooding through window leaks, you should install window well covers.

These covers should securely attach to your home’s foundation. This will prevent flooding by waterproofing your home.

Just be sure to look for clear ones so that you can retain the maximum amount of light. Clear acrylic is the best material to use.

7. Check Your Insurance

Having insurance won’t prevent flooding. But you don’t want to scramble to figure out what your insurance covers after your basement is flooded.  Homeowner’s insurance has very specific rules when it comes to flooding damage coverage.

Check to see if you need additional coverage for flooding or if you have a sewer backup. You want to make sure that you’re totally covered.

Keep in mind that many homeowner’s policies will not cover basement flooding if your sump pump fails. This makes it even more critical that you perform regular maintenance. You may also want to purchase additional insurance to cover this risk.

Prevent Basement Flooding in Your Home

By following these seven tips, you can protect your home and prevent basement flooding. This will save you thousands in the long run.

You can create an annual or bi-annual maintenance schedule that covers many of these tasks. This will help you keep your gutters clear, your foundation crack-free, and your sump pump working in peek condition.

Contact us today and let us help you with your home inspection needs.