For every inch of rainfall that a home gets, the roof pours about 100 gallons of water on the ground around the foundation. That kind of water buildup puts a significant burden on the base of a home to stay dry. It is no surprise that water damage caused by interior flooding is the most common claim home owners file to insurance companies, accounting for more than 26% of all claims, and causing a collective total of about $3 billion in property damage each year.
If your home has a basement, dealing with flooding is as certain as having a rainy day as soon as you wash your car. Homes with basements stand a 98% chance of encountering floods from time to time; if you have basement cracks and leaks and need foundation repair, your likelihood is even greater.
Preventing Basement Flooding
Your best shot at keeping your home and its contents dry is by taking care of home waterproofing before it rains:
- Making Foundation Repairs
Even if you have cutting edge technology to keep your home dry, having a crack as small as a quarter-inch wide in the foundation of your home can be the Achilles heel that topples your empire. If you notice any cracks or leaks in your foundation, you should bring in a foundation repair service to take a look at it, pronto. Your foundation repair contractor has several water proofing solutions, such using an epoxy filler to close the breach and keep your home and possessions safe from floods.
- Making Exterior Consideration
Taking measures to ensure the water is led away from your home instead of towards it is a simple way to avoid flooding during heavy rains. Make sure the earth around your home slopes away from the structure, as water will follow in the direction of the incline. Ideally, your yard should have a slope at an angle of six inches per 10 feet to help ensure the rain runoff is channeled away from your home and livelihood.
Keep your gutters in good shape and free of any debris that could prevent them from doing their job. It’s a good habit to periodically take a look at your gutters and make repairs if necessary.
- Install a Good Sump Pump
Since having a basement makes it almost a certainty that you’re going to deal with flooding every once in a while, your best offense is a good defense. Having a sump pump will defend your home by pumping the water out of your basement where it does not belong, and into a place it does belong, such as a municipal drainage system. Sump pumps are fairly easy to install and a good submersible sump pump will last you 15 years. A pedestal sump pump will protect your home for even longer. You can get 25 to 30 years out of it if you maintain it properly.
What to Do if Your Basement is Flooded
Sometimes the storms really storm and even with all of your best protection, your home still floods. In this case, here are a few steps that will minimize the damage:
- Remove any belongings you have in the flooded area as soon as possible, ideally before they fall victim to the flood waters.
- Anything made out of fabric or paper should be dried immediately to prevent the opportunity for mold to make its home in your home. If you can’t dry the item off within 48 hours, you might want discard it; mold is bad news and can spread like cancer in the right conditions.
- If the flooding is minimal enough to do so, use a shop vac to remove any standing water.
- Bring in a dehumidifier to take residual moisture out of the air and prevent any future damage or mold growth.
- If any damage was incurred in the flood, contact your home owner’s insurance as soon as you are aware of the situation. Starting the claim process immediately following a flood gives you the highest probability of having all of your damage covered, and minimizes continuing damage.
Do you have any questions about protecting your basement from the risk of flooding? Please contact us and we’d be happy to talk about it.