When it comes to year round management of your property, you can never be too careful when it comes to making sure that your basement is as safe and secure from flooding as possible. That’s why when it comes to preventing your basement from flooding there are a few handy steps you can take to minimize the risk of your property suffering from the effects of a flooded basement all year round.
Step One: Decide If Your Surroundings Pose a Risk
The first step in securing your property against the dangers of a flooded basement is by taking account of your immediate surroundings and deciding whether or not the immediate surroundings of your basement pose a risk to its waterproofing.
This couldn’t be more literal. If your basement is situated at the bottom of an incline, then you are definitely at risk of having moisture being directed towards, instead of away from, your property. Obviously this poses a risk if your property is vulnerable to leaks, as any amount of water let into your basement is going to be a risk – so before anything else, make sure that your basement is adequately shielded from its environment.
You can take precautions like digging a soakaway, installing additional drainage around your basement or even levelling off the area around your property if you have those permissions and power.
Essentially, whatever you can do to prevent water from draining towards and pooling around your property, you should do. Don’t forget as well, certain types of soil are going to retain and release water in different ways, meaning that the below wall grounds of your basement could be at risk of increased exposure to moisture and liquid from the surrounding ground.
So, the very first thing you should be doing when it comes to securing your basement against flooding is making sure that you have done all in your power to defend against the immediate surrounding area of your property.
Step Two: Clean Your Gutters and Drains
The whole point in having guttering around your house is to collect and safely drain away the rainwater that falls from the top of your property, and direct it away from your home. If you fail to do this not only are you endangering your basement to flooding, but you are also potentially opening up your property to problems from damp and even wet rot.
First, let’s talk about how this could happen. A build up of leaves, branches, and other debris within your guttering could lead to those gutters overflowing, and then the water within overflowing and pouring down the side of your property.
Ignoring for a second the danger that this poses to your properties walls (it’s a fast track to damp), this water is going to be hitting the ground next to your property at a much harder and more condensed rate, making it much easier for this liquid to soak into the ground right next to your property, and potentially damage your basement before you even know what’s happening
Always make sure to clean your gutters in Spring and late Autumn to ensure that they are draining properly, and you can avoid possible damage to your basement walls!
Step Three: Regularly Service and Maintain Your Sump Pump
If you are committed to keeping your basement dry, safe and rot free then you should already know how important a sump pump is when it comes to stopping a basement flooding. They work in your property to remove any excess liquid that might have accumulated, draining the potentially damaging and harmful water away from your basement and your properties foundations without anything drastic happening.
This is important for a couple of reasons; the main one being that a sump pump is your first and most active defence against rising levels of water and the dangers therein within your basement. Outside of general protective measures like using the correct sealant on ground level windows or entryways, a sump pump is the only piece of dedicated machinery you are going to employ against flooding in your home, so it’s definitely important to maintain.
Another reason that sump pumps are important is that in draining away excess liquid from your basement, you are minimizing the risk of damp and rot, as well as the accumulative flood that could happen if damp is left untreated.
However, your sump pump is only going to work as long as its well maintained and looked after. To that end, you have to make sure that it is in its best condition all year round – and that means regular sump and pump maintenance to ensure that the pump is ready to take on the water you want it to drain.
Is a Flooded Basement Dangerous?
A wet or flooded basement is no small thing. In fact, if you even suspect that your basement has been subjected to even a minimal amount of flooding, then you need to act fast – let me tell you why.
Firstly, the structural damage that flooding can lead to is potentially devastating. Obviously, you have the possibility of damp to contend with, which could infest both the walls of your basement and even the foundations of the building itself, which can completely compromise the structural integrity of your building.
Needless to say, this is dangerous, as catastrophic failure of your buildings masonry or structural integrity as a whole can lead to some pretty nasty problems such as walls collapsing, foundations cracking and even floors becoming unstable.
That’s not to mention that if left unchecked, damp can create the ideal breeding grounds for dry rot, which can obviously wreak havoc in your home if not dealt with in a timely manner. So, don’t wait.
The easiest way to avoid the potential dangers of a flooded basement is by acting prematurely. Ensure that your sump pump is working and ready to drain away the excess liquid in your basement with a visit from our technicians, and if you don’t already have a pump installed then look into the options available to you here on our site by visiting our basement sump pump installation page, and help yourself avoid the dangers and risks that accompany a flooded basement.