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Five Common Causes of Basement Flooding

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Basement flooding is an difficult problem that many households face on a regular basis. Rather than dealing with it, however, many people hope the problem goes away on its own. Such an attitude can have grave consequences for your home in the long run. When your basement gets flooded, it is best to deal with the problem right away. To do this you will need at least some basic knowledge of the reasons why basements fill with water.

1. Unsuitable Locations for Your Home

One of the most typical causes of basement flooding is that the house has been constructed on an unsuitable site. Usually, houses are built on terrains that slope down away from them, allowing for any accumulated water to drain away. However, if your home has been built on the low part of your estate, chances are it will get flooded frequently, for waters flow from high to low areas. If this is the case, you may be happy to learn that land slopes are conspicuous targets for the elements, and in the course of time they tend to get leveled by erosion, a circumstance that will probably fix your problem.

2. Poor Floor and Wall Sealing

Another quite common reason for flooding is the poor floor and wall sealing. If the basement tiles have not been sealed properly during the construction of your house, water will easily seep through them, especially in the event of extreme weather conditions. If your basement often fills with water after heavy storms and downpours, you may want to check its sealing and, if necessary, take measures to fix it.

3. Blocked Gutter System

Yet another cause of flooding is the blocked gutter system. When the manifold connecting your house to the public sewer system gets plugged, it may cause floods on your premises. If such is the case, call the respective local authorities and the sooner, the better, for water levels may rapidly increase with disastrous results for the foundations of your home.
 
4. Improper Installation of the Drainage System

Similarly, a drainage system, which has been installed incorrectly or malfunctions, may lead to leakages in your basement. For example, if the downspouts of your house have been placed too close to the basement wall (i.e. within 6 feet), or if they drain towards, rather than away from it, they may overload the weeping tile and cause leakages in your basement. Ideally, the downspouts will drain towards the street or the backyard, and not towards your basement walls (or those of your neighbor).

5. Debris in the Eavestroughs

Also, eavestroughs filled with debris may overflow with rainwater right beside your basement and cause leakages in it. The solution is simple: all you have to do is climb on your roof and clean them. If, however, the eavestroughs of your house overflow even when they are cleaned, you should replace them with larger ones that fit the local climate better.

And finally, a word to the wise: if your house is equipped with a sump pit drainage system, it is advisable that you remove, thoroughly clean and test the sump pump at least once a year.


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