When you become a homeowner, one of your first responsibilities will be to ensure that your basement is dry and free of mould and mildew. Multiple circumstances can lead to a flooded basement, but the best way to prevent this problem is to install a reliable sump pump.
This article will discuss the reasons for basement flooding and how to prevent it by putting in place a reliable sump pump in the impacted areas of your home.
What Causes Basement Flooding
When exactly basements will start flooding is unpredictable. A basement flood is always a possibility, even if it has never happened there before. Flooding can occur even when the weather is dry, however it is most usually caused by heavy rainfall or the quick melting of snow in the spring.
The water in your basement could be the result of several distinct problems. Leakage or flow through the walls or foundations floor, water from the surface, or a clogged sanitary or storm sewer can all contribute to flooding. Keep in mind this:
The potential for basement flooding can never be totally eradicated. This is because basements are typically built below ground level, making them the lowest structural level in a building.
Subterranean water is known as "groundwater," and it is a natural resource that is often overlooked. Basement floors can sometimes be submerged in water due to rising ground levels. In some areas, groundwater might theoretically remain at a constant depth above the ground surface.
And it's possible that subsurface drains and sewers will turn up. This includes all the many kinds, such as combined, storm, and sanitary. Sewers are typically situated beneath the basement floor; nevertheless, there are times when the sewer water level rises above the basement floor.
When transporting water from higher to lower elevations, gravity is by far the most efficient method. If the groundwater or sewer water around your property rises higher than the basement floor, gravity will try to push water into your basement. For instance, water can easily find its way into a basement through a crack in the foundation floor, thanks to the help of gravity. A sanitary sewer lateral is the pipe connecting the street to the building where a sewage system is located. While water can travel from your home to the sewer via the lateral in most cases, it can also travel in the reverse direction, from the sewer to your home.
In order to comprehend why a basement could flood, it is essential to display the more frequent paths that allow water to move into or around your basement, whether purposely built or not.
Most of the probable sources of flooding are located on private property or are something that homeowners can alter through regular maintenance or other measures. Some of these problems are shown by the following:
- Flooding due to improper lot grading, in which the land is slanted in a way that directs water towards the house.
- Water has made its way inside the building because the foundation wasn't properly maintained.
- The laterals and the weeping tile are both having troubles and need to be replaced.
Most Common Basement Flooding Causes
A basement flood is a nightmarish scenario. One of the best ways to avoid having your worst basement flooding nightmares come true is to become familiar with the most common causes of such disasters. When it comes to basement flooding, the following are some of the most typical causes:
- Inadequate sealing on the floor and walls of the room.
- Drainage tile failure
- Downspouts that were not placed correctly
- Garbage in the rain gutters (eavestroughs)
- A break in the water supply line (broken, cracked or clogged pipes)
- Failure of the hot water tank
- Sump pump failure
Poor Basement Sealing
Waterproofing the basement and the house's foundation is an important step in the construction process. This is of the utmost importance in areas prone to severe storms, hurricanes, and other forms of severe weather. Hurricanes bring high winds and heavy rainfall, which can both lead to flooding in a home's lower levels.
Furthermore, in snow-prone regions, basement flooding is a common problem due to snowmelt entering into unprotected spaces. If the basement is not properly sealed, or the sealing is inadequate, water from the ground will seep in. If this is the case, then that would explain why your basement always floods whenever it rains.
Drainage Tile Failure
Every home needs to have a drainage system set up around its perimeter to prevent water from pooling up against the foundation. However, if the drain tile system wasn't installed correctly or if it malfunctions, the basement could flood, which is especially hazardous during times of heavy rainfall. In order to determine whether or not this is the primary cause of your basement flooding, you need have a professional assess the area.
Installed Incorrectly Downspouts
The purpose of the downspout is to divert rainwater away from the home and its base, where it could cause costly damage. Downspouts should drain away from the home, often towards the street or the rear, and should be placed five to six feet from the basement wall. If the downspouts on your house are broken or missing altogether, water will pool near the structure and could seep in or even flood in through foundation cracks if it is allowed to sit there.
Clogged Gutters Due To Debris
If you want to keep the basement dry, it's important to have gutters or eavestroughs that lead water away from the home and into the yard. However, if you live in a region with a lot of trees, the gutters on your property may become clogged with debris including twigs, dead leaves, seed pods, and more. If there is debris in the way, rainwater has a more difficult time making its way off the roof, and then away from the home.
Water accumulation on the roof can be avoided by include regular gutter cleaning as part of your preventative maintenance schedule. This is often as simple as raking away any fallen leaves or twigs in the spring, however you may want to hire a pro to make sure everything is cleared away safely.
Water can seep into the basement if the gutters aren't cleaned regularly and water pools on the sides of the house. If the water is being diverted away from your home and the gutters are not overflowing, you should go outside 15 minutes after the storm has ended to check on these things. The foundation could be damaged if any overflowing water got inside.
The basement floor may become flooded if the storm is really severe. Contact a professional if you notice water leaking from your gutters and require repairs.
Failures In The Water Supply Line, The Hot Water Tank, And The Sump Pump
Several potential sources of water damage are located in your basement, including the hot water tank,the water supply line, and the sump pump, if your property has one. Even if your house has a sump pump, water might still enter your basement if you experience a particularly heavy rain. Basements are vulnerable to flooding when these items are broken or damaged.
A water supply line could burst, for instance, if the pipes were old, poorly made, or frequently froze and thawed, causing the pipes to crack and break. The hot water tank and the sump pump both need to be checked for signs of wear and tear once a year. Water damage in the basement can be caused by several factors, including the house's location in a low place on the property and the possibility of a sewage backup. Each home must be built on the highest part of the lot to reduce the risk of basement flooding.
Location Of Your Home
The chance of basement flooding is increased if your yard or the surrounding topography does not curve away from your property. Your home is safe from flooding caused by melting snow, rain, and other natural occurrences since it is situated in an area that is resistant to such events. Put soil with a clay-like consistency into any low spots around your property's perimeter that could collect water. This will help move water away from your house and level out low spots in the landscape.
The problem can affect more than just your landscape. For instance, if there are large hills or other areas around your home, the water table could rise and flood your basement. Get in touch with a professional who can advise you on how to effectively prevent water from seeping into your basement during a storm.
Basement Flooded? How To Handle Common Causes
If the basement is damp, it could cause serious financial problems. This article will go over various steps you may take to figure out where the water is coming from and how to lessen the danger it poses.
Water seeping into your basement without your knowledge can ruin your belongings, destroy your flooring, and encourage the spread of mould. Wetness in the basement can ruin irreplaceable items like family photos, antique furniture, and other keepsakes that have been passed down through the generations. Consequently, it is important to determine whether or not it is safe to abandon items in areas that are at risk of flooding and to also take actions to lessen the possibility of flooding occuring.
In the event of a basement flood, you should not enter the basement until you have verified that the electricity has been turned off. There's too much potential for electrocution.
If your basement has ever flooded before, you know how important it is to determine if the flooding was a one-time event or if it is a recurring problem. There needs to be some decision making if water seepage into the basement is a persistent problem. The first and most crucial step in fixing this problem is pinpointing the source of the water.
Why Does Water Get Into My Basement?
There are many unseen sources of water that might seep into basements in addition to the obvious floods that occur around homes and neighbourhoods.
Water From The Basement May Be Seeping Through The Foundation Walls
When water problems first arise in a basement, the first place to look is where surface water drains from the area around the foundation walls. Water accumulation in one specific area or along an exterior foundation wall is indicative of surface water issues. If you manage to escape indoors, here are a few things to look out for before venturing into the great outdoors.
- An integral part of any homeowner's maintenance programme need to be keeping the gutters clean and preventing the accumulation of material that might cause the gutters to overflow. The trees in your region will determine how often you'll need to clean your gutters. In addition, you can prevent leaves from entering gutters by purchasing a product specifically designed for this purpose.
- Dumping downspouts and clogged gutters: For those who don't mind getting their hands dirty, a self-check is something you can do. The gutters should be checked after a heavy rain has been falling for at least 15 minutes. There is an issue if you find water where it shouldn't be. If rainwater manages to bypass the gutters and trickle down the side of the house, it will eventually find its way into the cellar. Water seepage into the basement is unlikely, but erosion of the soil beneath the house's footings could lead to cracks in the walls and ceilings.
- Downspouts should be installed at least 10 feet from the house's base. Water from your roof needs to be directed at least ten feet away from the foundation of your home before it can be safely discharged. Although this is the bare minimum requirement, many homeowners would like not have their downspouts reach this far.
- If the pavement slopes away from the house, water will naturally run off to the side away from the foundation. This can happen if the pavement has a slope. If this is the case, the pavement needs to be torn up and replaced with something that gently slopes away from the house.
- It is possible that the sealant surrounding the house's perimeter on the pavement will crack with time or improper installation. If the sealant has developed fissures, the old sealant must be scraped away and replaced with a new layer of sealant.
- Whether or not your yard and the land around your house slope away from it is an indicator of how steeply the landscape is inclined. That ought to happen.
- Seek out any craters in the soil in the space just outside the foundation walls. If any are located, connect them to soil so that water can drain away from the house. Soil composed of clay, which does not readily absorb water, can be used in place of sand. A minimum of eight inches of clearance is required between the ground and any exposed wood or stucco on the exterior of the house.
- If you feel that some nearby, very large hills that slope towards your home are to blame, consider the following scenario. There may be a need for the expertise of a civil engineer to assess the situation and recommend next steps.
- Avoid having the sprinkler system for your grass located too closely to your house. If it's unavoidable, advise the installer to minimise water runoff near the residence. Make sure the rain gauge is working properly so you can get an accurate reading for your irrigation system. As a result, the system won't go off if it rains enough to keep the grass and plants happy.
Hydrostatic Pressure Pushes Soils With Water Saturation Into The Basement
Depending on the dwelling, you may come across a variety of maintenance issues, including the following:
- In the absence of any obvious surface water sources, the water is very certainly hydrostatically pressed groundwater located deep below the surface. Whenever water is located below the earth's surface, we call it groundwater. Groundwater issues lower below the surface are more challenging and costly to resolve than those closer to the water's top. When the outside groundwater level rises over the basement floor, the basement will act like a boat in a pond. Any cracks or holes in a boat's hull will be able to let water in while the vessel is left submerged. The same can be said for a basement. Hydrostatic pressure may propel water through gaps as narrow as a human hair. Causes of this problem include water seeping in through multiple entry sites or rising through cracks in the concrete basement floor.
- Site of the drainage system Older city homes without sump pumps sometimes have their perimeter foundation drain systems connected directly to the city storm drainage system. If there is a basement, this is the situation. Try to picture the basement as being lower than the street. When precipitation builds up in the city's storm sewage system and causes a backup, it may be driven into the perimeter foundation drain system. Because of the hydrostatic pressure that is created when rainwater saturates the soils at the basement level around a house, it is possible for water to leak into the basement.
The most efficient way to manage underground water is to instal a drainage system around the perimeter of the building that can release hydrostatic pressure. The groundwater is channelled into the drainage system rather than being shoved into areas where it could damage carpets, walls, or valuables. Water is evacuated from the structure via a sump pump after it has accumulated in a sump pit via gravity.
There Are Two Types Of Wet Basement Drainage Systems.
- Drainage system that runs around the outside of a building but is installed above the slab. This system is installed on top of the floor slab at the base of the exterior foundation walls. It's also the main component of the wall's construction.
- Perimeter drains that are installed below the slab. The installation of a below-slab system is more costly since it necessitates cutting into the concrete floor and running drainage pipe. For the most part, these specifications are unnecessary for a standard gutter setup.
Since under-floor drains release hydrostatic pressure well before water reaches the base of the floor slab, they are generally considered superior to above-floor drainage systems.
Storm Sewer Water From The Municipal Storm Sewer System Backing Up Into The Home's Perimeter Foundation Drain
Perimeter foundation drains are installed outside the exterior wall and next to the footings in most residences built before 1980. Older houses with basements will typically have these drains installed. Most homes have a pipe running from the perimeter drain of the foundation out to the street, where it is connected to the city's storm drainage system.
Because of the city's limited storm sewer capacity, this may become an issue as growth in the area continues. When this happens, the sewer system may become overburdened, causing water to back up and flood the house rather than drain away.
Putting in a sump pump and a basement drain system that circles the inside of the basement can often fix the problem. If it doesn't, a much more costly option is to dig up and plug the pipe that connects the house's perimeter foundation drain with the roadway. However, this isn't always feasible because the pipe in question is often used to drain sewage from indoor plumbing fixtures like sinks and toilets.
You should consult a professional contractor if you think you're having this problem.
Sanitary Sewer Water From A Clog In Your Home's Sewer Line, The Municipal Sewer Line, Or A Combination Of Both Backing Up In Sink And Floor Drains
If water is rising from the basement's floor drains or sink drains, the issue is likely due to a backup from the city's sanitary sewer system. In some ways, this is a potentially hazardous situation. Extreme rainfall has the potential to overwhelm combined sewer systems and cause backups. As a result, sewage water may flow backwards into the system, and even into people's houses.
Additional speculations are possible. Sewage backups, for instance, can be triggered by a number of different issues, such as grease, garbage, tree roots, pipe breaks, moist soils, or a combination of these. Sewer mains can also become clogged as a result of vandalism or the dumping of large objects down maintenance holes.
Basement flooding is a major problem for homeowners because it's usually unavoidable and usually means sewage and other waste is backing up into homes, which may be quite dangerous to people's health.
Backflow preventers, once installed, can aid in line maintenance by stopping sewage water from flowing backwards into the home. Online stores sell backflow preventers. Sewage backups can be greatly reduced if you keep your lines in good repair and do proper maintenance on it, such as doing so once a year by dumping tree root killer down the toilets. The actual issue itself is rarely within your control.
Sewage in the basement means a lot of labour cleaning it up and worrying about what might go wrong in the future. It's up to you to notify the proper authorities if you've seen something suspicious in your own home. The least you can do is be aware of the risk, and that means keeping valuables away from your home's drains.
Here Are A Few Home Improvement Ideas That Might Help
No matter the source, fixing the costs associated with water damage may add up quickly. This is true whether the water came from a leaky pipe in the basement, the roof, or a combination of the two. Making the following adjustments to your house can help protect it from flooding:
- Improve the drainage system by expanding or upgrading it. Installing gutters and downspouts is a must if you want to keep water away from your house's foundation.
- If your gutters are overflowing, you can address the problem by either adding a new downspout or enlarging the one you already have. If you have to pick between these two options, go with installing a second downspout as a backup in case the first one gets clogged.
- If you're going to replace your existing downspout with a bigger one, you'll need to make sure the hole in the gutter is big enough to accommodate the new downspout.
- Put a sump pump in place. You should try this improvement if water seepage into your basement has been a chronic problem. Cast-iron sump pumps tend to last longer, so look into purchasing one; moreover, a battery-operated backup pump is a good idea in case of an electrical outage. You should service your pump twice yearly, or as often as the manual specifies.
- Fix the plumbing. Depending on the material, domestic plumbing can last anywhere from 50 to 80 years. If your home was built around this time, you may want to have a professional plumber inspect the pipes to ensure they are in good working order. With PVC pipes, replacement may be necessary every 25–40 years.
- Establish a leak-detection system. An automatic water shut-off valve will cut off the water supply to a home if it senses water on the floor or a leak in the pipe. Automatic water shut-off valves are a form of leak detecting device.
- Upgrade to modern doors and windows. Make sure any replacement doors or windows you invest in come with watertight options. It's important to routinely clean, paint, and restain the wood on older wooden windows. If the trim has any splits, they should be resealed. In order to improve the energy efficiency of older windows, the glazing compound around them should be replaced if necessary.
- Inspect your roof frequently for signs of wear and tear. Look for issues like missing shingles and excessive wear on the shingles.
- Close and lock the basement door. Water damage can be reduced or avoided altogether with the use of silicate-based paints, varnishes, and sealants. Each method serves a distinct purpose and comes at a different cost.
- You should replace your washing machine's supply hoses every three to five years as part of your preventative maintenance schedule.
Multiple problems can create a flooded basement. A reliable sump pump prevents this problem. Rain and spring snow thaw are the most typical causes of basement flooding. Individual properties produce most floods. Unsealed or poorly sealed basements can let groundwater in.
Snow-prone locations often experience basement flooding from snowmelt. Routine gutter cleaning reduces the probability of water damage. However, these things can break and flood basements. If your gutters leak, call a pro. Low land around the house or a sewage backup could cause basement flooding and damage.
The land is steep if your yard and house's surroundings slope away from it. Civil engineers can examine issues and give recommendations, such as how to handle water runoff. Most houses built before 1980 have perimeter drains near the footings. These drains prevent water from accumulating in older basements. In addition, most houses have a pipe connecting the foundation's perimeter drain to the street for storm drainage.
Grease, garbage, tree roots, pipe breaks, and wet soils can cause sewage spills. Vandalism and putting large objects down maintenance holes also clog sewer mains. If water pools in your gutters, add or enlarge a downspout. An automated shut-off valve turns off the water supply if water is detected on the floor or pipe.
- Multiple circumstances can lead to a flooded basement, but installing a reliable sump pump is the best way to prevent this problem.
- The water in your basement could be the result of several different problems.
- Gravity will try to push water into your basement if the groundwater or sewer water around your property rises higher than the basement floor.
- To comprehend why a basement could flood, it is essential to display the more frequent paths that allow water to move into or around your basement, whether purposely built or not.
- One of the best ways to avoid having your worst basement flooding nightmares come true is to become familiar with the most common causes of such disasters.
- When it comes to basement flooding, the following are some of the most typical causes: Inadequate sealing on the floor and walls of the room.
- To determine whether or not this is the primary cause of your basement flooding, you need to have a professional assess the area.
- If the downspouts on your house are broken or missing altogether, water will pool near the structure and could seep in or even flood through foundation cracks if it is allowed to sit there.
- If you want to keep the basement dry, it's important to have gutters or eavestroughs that lead water away from home and into the yard.
- Water can seep into the basement if the gutters aren't cleaned regularly and water pools on the sides of the house.
- Contact a professional if you notice water leaking from your gutters and require repairs.
- If your property has one, several potential sources of water damage are located in your basement, including the hot water tank, the water supply line, and the sump pump.
- Water damage in the basement can be caused by several factors, including the house's location in a low place on the property and the possibility of a sewage backup.
- This will help move water away from your house and level out low spots in the landscape.
- Get in touch with a professional who can advise you on effectively preventing water from seeping into your basement during a storm.
- This article will go over various steps you may take to figure out where the water is coming from and how to lessen the danger it poses.
- Water seeping into your basement without your knowledge can ruin your belongings, destroy your flooring, and encourage the spread of mould.
- Consequently, it is important to determine whether or not it is safe to abandon items in areas at risk of flooding and to take action to lessen the possibility of flooding occuring.
- If your basement has ever flooded, you know how important it is to determine if the flooding was a one-time event or a recurring problem.
- There must be some decision-making if water seepage into the basement is a persistent problem.
- When water problems arise in a basement, the first place to look is where surface water drains from the area around the foundation walls.
- Water accumulation in one specific area or along an exterior foundation wall is indicative of surface water issues.
- An integral part of any homeowner's maintenance programme needs to be keeping the gutters clean and preventing the accumulation of material that might cause the gutters to overflow.
- The trees in your region will determine how often you'll need to clean your gutters.
- Whether or not your yard and the land around your house slope away from it is an indicator of how steeply the landscape is inclined.
- Seek out any craters in the soil in the space just outside the foundation walls.
- If any are located, connect them to the soil so water can drain away from the house.
- Avoid having the sprinkler system for your grass located too close to your house.
- Ensure the rain gauge is working properly to get an accurate reading for your irrigation system.
- Depending on the dwelling, you may encounter various maintenance issues, including the following: In the absence of any obvious surface water sources, the water is very certainly hydrostatically pressed groundwater located deep below the surface.
- When precipitation builds up in the city's storm sewage system and causes a backup, it may be driven into the perimeter foundation drain system.
- Because of the hydrostatic pressure created when rainwater saturates the soil at the basement level around a house, water can leak into the basement.
- The most efficient way to manage underground water is to instal a drainage system around the perimeter of the building that can release hydrostatic pressure.
- Most homes have a pipe running from the perimeter drain of the foundation out to the street, which is connected to the city's storm drainage system.
- Putting in a sump pump and a basement drain system that circles the basement inside can often fix the problem.
- You should consult a professional contractor if you have this problem.
- If water rises from the basement floor or sinks drains, the issue is likely due to a backup from the city's sanitary sewer system.
- Extreme rainfall has the potential to overwhelm combined sewer systems and cause backups.
- Backflow preventers, once installed, can aid in line maintenance by stopping sewage water from flowing backwards into the home.
- No matter the source, fixing the costs associated with water damage may add up quickly.
- This is true whether the water came from a leaky pipe in the basement, the roof, or a combination of the two.
- Making the following adjustments to your house can help protect it from flooding: Improve the drainage system by expanding or upgrading it.
- If your gutters are overflowing, you can address the problem by adding a new downspout or enlarging the one you already have.
Frequently Asked Questions About Basement Flooding
The most effective way to keep rainwater out of your basement is to install an internal drainage system. A proven solution for keeping the basement dry, a good waterproofing system minimises hydrostatic pressure. An interior drain tile connects to a sump pump.
The typical basement flood remediation cost ranges from $3,000 to $10,000. A minor flood with several inches of water could cost under $2,000, whereas a more substantial flood may cost $25,000 or more to remediate.
During heavy rains, combined sewer systems can become overwhelmed with water. This can cause sewer water to back up in the system and sometimes into homes. ... Sewer backups can be caused by individual service lines clogged by grease, waste, tree roots, breaks in pipes, or saturated ground.
Most times, basements do not flood but have minor seepage. Seepage is when your basement floor gets some little rivulets and puddles of water, usually no deeper than 1/4 to 1/2″ deep, which soaks and ruins the carpet in the finished portion of a basement.
Standard homeowners insurance usually covers sudden and accidental damage caused by frozen or burst pipes flooding the basement. So if your pipes freeze during the winter and burst, for example, the resulting damage should be covered.