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Prevent Basement Flooding

Joseph Coupal - Sunday, April 25, 2010

Preventing basement flooding is much easier than having to deal with a flooded basement. It’s generally easy to ensure that your home, basement and foundation are protected from flooding. Here are a few steps you should take to help protect your basement. There are a number of issues that can cause basement flooding including inclement weather, hot water tank leakage, freezer leakage, sewage pipe leakage, or washing machine leakage.

Basically, basements flood because they are underground or of old or low-grade construction. To flood-proof your basement, there are a couple of precautions you should consider. The most applicable way to prevent flooding is to ensure that your home is up to code. Have your home inspected by a licensed inspector or plumber, especially if you feel that there may be problems that have been overlooked.  If they do not find anything, or if you already know what causes leaking in your basement, there are number of solutions to consider:

  • Standpipes - Can be inserted into a drain to divert the flow through the particular drain that may be having problems
  • Sewer check valves - Regulate the flow of water from your house; especially useful if you have determined this will address the source of your basement flooding.
  • Drain plugs - Less expensive but also less reliable, they pop open at a certain pressure point to let the water through and hold it in the rest of the time.
  • Sealing walls and floor - Should be part of your local building codes
  • Installing an overhead sewer

Storm Drainage - Surprisingly, an often overlooked problem area is the storm drainage system. Your drain spouts may be connected to your plumbing. Devise a test or wait for a storm to see if this is the root of your flooding issue.  A licensed plumber or inspector will be able to identify any potential problem areas even if flooding has never occurred in your home. If it has occurred, then you can then trace the flooding to its source. Knowing the source, you can devise a succinct plan for flooding prevention.

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