Your basement is a valuable space that can be used for storage, recreation, or even living quarters. However, basements are also susceptible to flooding, and a flooded basement can be a huge headache for homeowners, especially if it happens every time you get heavy rain. As well as the costly damage to your belongings and the inconvenience of cleanup, flooding can destroy your home’s foundation, your home’s value, and your family’s health. The good news? There are some simple things you can do to help prevent your basement from flooding every time it rains.
Here are 6 tips to help keep your basement dry:
1. Inspect and clear your gutters and downspouts
Gutters and downspouts are arguably the most important part of your home’s flood prevention system. They direct rainwater away from your home and foundation, helping to prevent flooding. It is important to visually inspect your gutters and downspouts at least twice a year to make sure they are clear of debris. Leaves, twigs, and other debris can clog your gutters and downspouts, causing rainwater to overflow and spill onto the ground next to your foundation. Additionally, we recommend downspout extenders which will take water at least 3 feet further away from your foundation. Poor drainage around your foundation is one of the leading causes of all basement flooding.
2. Check your sump pump
When water does get into your basement, a sump pump is your best line of defense. If you have a sump pump, make sure that it is turned on and working properly. Sump pumps that are more than 7 years old should be replaced. Getting a sump pump with a battery back-up is a great idea if you live in an area that is prone to flooding, or an area like Ohio that has frequent storms which also cause power outages.
3. Look for cracks in your basement walls
Rainwater follows the path of least resistance, and cracks in your foundation are a common way water can get into your basement. If you spot a crack in your foundation walls, get it repaired ASAP. Even small cracks that don’t appear to be a problem can quickly develop into more serious issues. Small cracks can be simple to fill using concrete and masonry caulk, but you should hire a professional for larger cracks.
4. Direct water away from your home foundation
Even a little rain can cause problems if the ground around your home’s foundation slopes towards it instead of away from it. This can create standing water, which will eventually trickle down the exterior of your basement walls. To prevent this, you need to create a gentle slope away from your home’s foundation. This will help to direct water away from your home and prevent it from pooling around your foundation. Small grading issues can be improved with a few bags of soil or gravel. However, if you need to improve the grading around the entire house, you may want to hire a professional.
5. Install window well covers
While window wells are great for letting the light into your basement, water can accumulate in them and cause issues including flooding. If you have basement window wells, install window well covers that will fasten securely to your home’s foundation. Clear covers allow the light to enter while keeping out the rain, as well as leaves and other debris.
6. Set up a flood alarm
While this tip won’t technically prevent your home from flooding, getting an early warning to any water intrusion will allow you to manage the flooding before it gets out of hand. Flood sensors are small electronic devices installed near your baseboards and monitor for changes in moisture levels. Many modern devices can also connect to your smart home.
Schedule a FREE inspection with a Basement Waterproofing Company
If you’ve tried these tips and you still have a flooded basement every time it rains, it’s time to schedule a FREE basement inspection with Quality Waterproofing. Our basement waterproofing professionals will identify the exact reason why and how water is getting into your home, and come up with a customized plan to address the root cause and give you a permanent solution. We’ve helped thousands of homeowners in Ohio, let us help you keep your basement dry!