You flip the light switch and start down the basement stairs. Suddenly you freeze like a deer in headlights. The reflection of the basement light glares up at you off the several inches, or feet, of water covering everything in your basement. Your heart pounds in your ears and your stomach churns. Panic-stricken you turn the light off, wait a moment, and turn it back on. No, it’s not a dream, this is real – a real nightmare. Your basement is flooded.
How can you prevent a nightmare like this? Let’s look at some home flood protection steps you can take to keep your basement dry.
How Do Basement Floods Happen?
The three most common types of flooding are caused by the weather, leaks in the plumbing, and septic or sewer system failure.
Excessive rains or even a sudden warm spell which causes rapid melting of snow and ice can be too much for natural or man-made systems designed to run water away from your home. Pressure can build up from excessive groundwater which can lead to cracks in your foundation. These cracks can then become an entry point for flooding.
Anyone can experience a plumbing leak. Appliances can malfunction or, a common occurrence here in Ohio and Michigan, a pipe can burst due to winter freezing. These situations can be especially damaging because many times they happen when the homeowner is away, often for days or weeks at a time. Wintertime can wreak havoc, so it’s important to think about home flood protection before the snow flies.
The third most common cause of flooding happens when sewer or septic systems fail. This is typically the result of blockages. When this happens, excess drainage has nowhere to go. Unfortunately the result is a smelly flooding disaster as it backs up into your home.
The Best Way to Improve Your Home Flood Protection
Invest in a Reliable Sump Pump
Although a sump pump is typically the last line of defense against flooding, being without one means you have no last line of defense. If you have a sump pump and it fails, you’ll be left manually bailing the floodwater out of your home – a dirty, often smelly, backbreaking chore.
Often, the cause of failed sump pumps is power failure. Power outages can occur due to heavy storms, so having a backup battery for home flood protection is important. A properly working sump pump, with battery backup, can literally be the difference between a dream and a nightmare when it comes to water in your basement.
Don’t Ignore Foundation Cracks
It may sound elementary, but every flood starts with just one drop of water. Similarly, one small crack in your foundation can lead to big water issues. Your foundation is what protects your home from the elements. Taking good care of your foundation is an important part of home flood protection.
Heavy water pressure will quickly erode foundation cracks into more serious breaches of your foundation. Cracks can be quickly and effectively sealed with a specialized injection. This can often be a DIY job. However, in some cases it’s better to leave it to a professional waterproofing expert.
Improve Your Home Drainage
Living in the Ohio and Michigan area you know that water from rain and melting snow is inevitable. However, where it drains can be controlled. Be sure that your gutters are working and not clogged. They are often your first line of defense against moisture. To help prevent flooding, your downspouts should be set up to drain water far enough from your foundation.
The way your yard slopes, or it’s grading, plays a major part in proper drainage and home flood protection. Ensure that the first 10 feet around your home have a general pitch of about 5 degrees, or six inches down, that will send surface water away from your home. This can easily be done if your home is surrounded by flower beds or landscaping. Simply adding more topsoil and manually pitching it down away from your home will improve the grading and help water drain away from, rather than toward, your home.
The most significant part of any drainage system is your weeping tile. Properly installed and maintained, weeping tile can dramatically improve your home flood protection. Sometimes referred to as French drains, weeping tile is a type of drainage system that has been used successfully for hundreds of years!
A Complete Basement Waterproofing System
EverDry Toledo installs complete interior and exterior waterproofing systems. These systems protect your home from hydrostatic pressure, seepage, mold, poor drainage and more. Every basement waterproofing solution is uniquely designed for your home to maximize your protection. A complete waterproofing system is the best step for whole home flood protection.
Schedule Your FREE Annual Foundation Inspection
The best way to protect your home from flooding is with professional waterproofing. EverDry Toledo can help with a FREE 20-point basement inspection! We’ll help you find out if your home is at risk for water damage and which solutions will best serve you.
Contact us online to schedule an appointment or give us a call at (419) 469-5833 and schedule your inspection today!
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