Water damage is something that most homeowners want to avoid at all costs. Water is only designed to be present in a regulated manner within the home, such as in supply pipes, drain pipes, sinks, and basins. Water should never be allowed to accumulate in crawl spaces, basements, floors, or walls. The good news is that simple tasks can prevent small water damage from happening that could potentially lead to serious water damage that requires costly repairs. How to Prevent My Basement From Flooding?
Ensure good drainage
A drainage system is a structure or network of structures that remove water from a specific area. Pipes, tunnels, trenches, and chambers are common components of drainage systems. They may have retention ponds near their mouths to reduce the flow of water. These structures aid in the prevention of excessive stormwater flow, which might cause floods in downstream regions, and the removal of dirty water, which does not contaminate other water sources. In a properly working drainage system, surplus water will flow into your local sewer or wastewater treatment plant, where it will be processed before being safely discharged back into the rivers. This is what keeps the areas dry and safe for everyone in your home.
Good drainage for a home prevents damage to the foundation, cracks, uneven settling, and pathways to enter your home. To ensure proper drainage for your home it is recommended to clean the gutters regularly, as a clogged gutter can send overflowing water down the sides of your home damaging both the siding or exterior and the foundation. Towards the base of the home, it is ideal that every downspout directs water 5 to 10 feet away from your home. Lastly, a good drainage system around your home is a sloped yard. Ideally, a slope of 6 inches over a 10-foot span away from your foundation helps keep water from reaching the home’s foundation where it could cause walls to lean, crack, and create leaks. A sloped yard also prevents water from reaching the crawl spaces where water could potentially pool and create damp conditions that lead to mold, rot, and insects.
Test your sump pump
Sump pumps, commonly paired with basement waterproofing, are incredibly vital for many homes because they prevent water from accumulating in your basement due to accumulated groundwater or heavy rain. Their function is to divert water away from your home’s foundation, preventing water damage and keeping your property secure. As a result, frequent checks are essential to guarantee that your sump pump is operating correctly and for peace of mind in the case you need it most. The last thing you want is for your sump pump to fail during a big rainstorm. Do not wait for a storm to realize your sump pump needs repair. They should be tested regularly, at least twice a year, and perform several checks during heavy storm seasons. To test your sump pump, fill the pit with water and pay attention to the float that turns on the pump. Keep an eye on it and ensure that the water level falls back down. For the backup pump, you can test it the same way but unplug the main pump first. In the case, you may not have a backup pump or generator it may be best to get one that runs on water pressure.
Fix water leaks
Water leaks can happen in numerous areas in the home, some areas being more obvious than others. A faucet leak can be easily identified and fixed before any serious issues happen, whereas a leaking pipe behind drywall can go unnoticed till it discolors the paint. There are a number of reasons to fix water leaks promptly and one of them is to avoid water wastage. A small leak can accumulate quickly to large amounts of water loss and can be reflected on your water bills. Another cause of concern for water leaks is the growth of mold which thrives in areas of moisture in your home. Mold is a serious health risk and is a known allergen that triggers asthma and other respiratory issues. Lastly, fixing water leaks protects the structural integrity of your home. Since plumbing runs behind walls and under the floor certain untreated materials can be greatly damaged from being wet to the point that walls and floors can be weakened. To prevent these issues, regularly check for leaks around your home. You can look for dark spots under pipes inside sink cabinets, stains on ceilings, toilets that rock, and drips. Addressing leaks early can prevent the headaches of needing structural repair in areas of your home.
Inspect your roof
Roof inspections are critical and could be overlooked. However, If left unchecked, damage to your roof is a near certainty. When you consider the purpose of your roof as well as its exposure to the weather, you should be able to see that it experiences a great deal of wear and tear from rain, snow, wind, and sun. Furthermore, your roof has several components that offer ventilation for plumbing and heating. All of these entrance points into your home can only offer so much protection. Regular roof inspections allow you to spot possible problems early enough that simple repairs are generally sufficient. In contrast, delaying or avoiding inspections simply causes minor issues to grow into major problems.
It is recommended to inspect your roof at least once a year and look for missing, loose, and damaged shingles. Along with that repair any cracked caulking and check for any leaks around flashings. In addition to cleaning the gutters and downspouts, clear out any ice dams that build up during the winter. You could even add ice dam protection to the perimeter of your roof to prevent water from backing up and leaking into the attic.
Install basement waterproofing
A major preventative upgrade you can have done to your home is waterproofing the basement. Every home with a basement has a likely chance of experiencing some type of water damage during its entire lifespan. Hence why waterproofing this section of the home is highly important. Waterproofing is essentially the process of treating your basement to prevent moisture from being able to come in. Often, water starts at the lowest part of the structure, commonly the basement. Water from rain paired with poor drainage can cause water to seep through the walls. As a result of being underground, your home is vulnerable to water seeping upward into the substructure. In addition, a basement or crawl space can be more prone to moisture, which can build up gradually and do substantial damage. Without waterproofing and excess moisture can cause the build-up of mold and cause structural damage to your basement area. All of the issues mentioned may be avoided by waterproofing your basement. If you discover that water is entering your home, you should get it resolved as quickly as possible to reduce the potential harm to your property and health. The sooner you waterproof your basement, the sooner the risks are minimized.
Regardless of the origin of the potential water damage, you may utilize all of these tips to help prevent the chance of bursting pipes, water damage, and flooding in your home. Preventative steps can help you avoid or reduce the likelihood of this damaging harm occurring, which will give you peace of mind that your home is safe and well-maintained.