Why is my basement flooding?
Having a home with a basement typically means having to deal with flooding every now and again. It’s part of the package of being a homeowner. But can you minimize the risk of having to deal with basement flooding and the problems that come with it? Flooding can ruin your belongings and cause damage to home systems and structures.
Luckily, there are steps you can take to decrease the likelihood of basement flooding — and expensive damage — in your home. From minimizing flood risks to sump pump repair, you can ensure your home stays calm and dry when a rainstorm hits.
What’s the risk of my basement flooding?
Flooding is the No. 1 natural disaster in the United States, causing more than $1.9 billion in damage per year, according to the most recent statistics from the National Flood Insurance Program. The average insurance flood claim amounts to more than $46,000 and people living outside of areas at high risk for flooding file more than 20 percent of flood insurance claims.
The upshot? Flooding problems can affect anyone and flood damage is not cheap to repair. You probably have this concern if your basement is already under water.
What are the common causes of basement flooding?
Many different factors can result in basement flooding — and often a combination of factors is at work. For example, an intense rainfall combined with a sump pump in need of repair can result in the unexpected appearance of a swamp on the bottom floor of your house. A burst water pipe in a home with poor drainage can also be a problematic situation.
Here are some common causes of basement flooding:
- Excessive rain or snowmelt: A lot of rain in a short period of time can overwhelm rivers and waterways, in turn overloading local sewer systems. That can mean water in the streets — and in your basement. You can’t control the weather, but you can make sure your property is as flood protected as possible.
- Sewer backups: If sewers in your area become backed up for any reason — from rain to tree roots — you might be in danger of flooding. Have a plumbing expert assess the condition of the sewer lateral on your property.
- Pipe problems: Sudden unexpected flooding in your basement could mean a water pipe burst somewhere in your plumbing system. Don’t let leaks go unrepaired and have a professional plumber assess the condition of your plumbing system, especially if you live in an older home.
- A faulty foundation: A cracked or broken foundation can lead to water seeping into your basement. Have a home inspector or foundation expert check your home for signs of problems.
- The grade of your property: Water naturally flows from high to low ground. Your lawn should slope away from your home, encouraging rainwater and snowmelt to flow toward the sewers. Consult a professional landscaper if you see water pooling close to your house after a storm and suspect grading problems.
- Poor drainage: Besides poor grading, broken or compromised gutter systems can cause basement flooding. Check your gutters and make repairs as needed.
- A failed sump pump: If your basement lacks a sump pump or you need sump pump repair, you are at risk of a flood. Sump pumps are designed to direct water away from your basement automatically.
How do sump pumps help protect my home from flooding?
Sump pumps are usually located in the lowest point of a basement or crawlspace. Water is directed the pit or basin of the pump, then a float switch triggers the pump to begin working to direct water away from the home.
Sump pumps are powered by electricity and many have a backup battery to ensure they function in the case of power outages. You can make your home extra secure by installing a backup sump pump.
If your need sump pump repair, getting your unit fixed is probably the No. 1 step you can take to protect your home from flooding. A professional can test to make sure your sump pump is working and provide repairs before a storm hits. Not taking this preparatory step can result in water damage in your basement.
If you need to install a sump pump or you need sump pump repair in northern Virginia, DC, or Maryland, the experts at John C. Flood can help.
Sump pump installation is best left to the pros.