If your house has a basement, chances are that basement flooding may already be a familiar issue. Insurance statistics show that the majority of homes with basements will experience some sort of water damage down there, major or minor. It’s a natural result of the fact that water flows downward and the basement is typically the lowest point in the house. However, this inconvenience and damage need not be an inevitability. By eliminating the usual suspects in basement flooding, you can greatly reduce the odds that your house will be the next case.
- Keep gutters clear. Clogged, overflowing gutters during a heavy rain dump literally hundreds of gallons of water on the ground directly below. This pounding cascade penetrates deep into the perimeter of the foundation, often penetrating cracks and joints in the basement wall.
- Extend downspouts. The rectangular spouts that convey gutter discharge away from the house should ideally be at least three to four feet long. This ensures that roof runoff is released far enough from the house so it doesn’t pool next to the foundation and seep into the basement.
- Guard against ground water with a sump pump. If your home is in a geographic area with natural ground water pushing upward beneath the house, this high water level may penetrate the basement. Installed in a basin excavated in the basement floor, a sump pump actuates automatically and removes infiltrating water before it accumulates enough to cause damage.
- Be alert to plumbing leaks. Basement flooding often originates from an indoor source such as a ruptured pipe. Water supply lines are typically routed through the basement and can flood the area with hundreds of gallons of water if a breakage occurs. No leakage from supply pipes, no matter how minor, should be dismissed as “normal.” Even small pinhole leaks or moisture around pipe joints can be a red flag of hidden deterioration inside the pipe which could trigger a catastrophic rupture at any time.
For more about eliminating the common causes of basement flooding, contact the experts at Sherlock Plumbing, Heating & Air.