The basement is an underground room that is sometimes (or often) a necessary part of a house's structure. A basement can be built either underground or above ground. As a result, they are vulnerable to flooding even during dry spells. When something like this happens, it's usually due to gravity. Since gravity exerts a great deal of force in pulling water down from higher land to lower ground, the risk of flooding is almost always present when there is a chamber underground.
However, why does rain result in flooding in the cellar? The basement in your house, mine, their house, or anyone else's house could flood at any time, even if it has never flooded before. There are a lot of potential issues that could arise, and any of them could lead to serious flooding in the basement and result in costly repairs.
Sources Of Basement Flooding
It's not easy to give a simple answer to the question "why does my basement leak when it rains?" because there are so many potential reasons for this problem. If you do find water in your basement, however, it is imperative that you investigate the source of the leak immediately to prevent more damage. Just one cup of water might cause a lot of problems if it gets into your home.
While floods can happen in dry weather, they occur much more frequently when it rains. It doesn't matter if this is your first time dealing with flooding or if it happens frequently where you live; there are a few key locations you should always check first.
- Pooling of Water Near the Base The main problem is water seeping into the basement. Inevitably, if there is a method for this water to reach the basement, it will. Gravity is pulling it down. There will be pooling water near your home's foundation if the land around it is not graded properly and if the gutters and downspouts are clogged. You may avoid this by clearing up your downspouts and gutters regularly.
- Flooding is a real possibility if your home has problems with the foundation's drainage system. As a standard practise, drainage systems are set up around the exterior of houses during construction to redirect water away from the basement and the foundation. If this hasn't been put correctly or wasn't included in the original construction of the home for any reason, water can seep through any crevices or holes in the foundation to the basement below. But if there are fissures in the basement's walls, water will seep in during heavy rains; the risk of flooding through the fissures increases without proper grading or downspout extensions. Water will find its way into your basement if there are crevices in the foundation walls, regardless of whether or not there is a drainage system and whether or not it is functioning.
- Sump pump breakdowns are another major cause for alarm. Checking in on it regularly will help you see if it's working as it should, or if it needs replacing. A sump pump draws water from below a building's foundation and pumps it out. If the sump pump fails during a heavy downpour or if the power goes out, the basement could be flooded by groundwater that seeped in through the pump.
- One more common reason for water to seep into a basement is a clogged sewer system. Basement flooding can also be caused by a sewage backup. If the city sewers are filled to capacity by rain and begin overflowing, sewage could back up into your home. Raw sewage could potentially make its way towards your house if the sewers overflow. A basement flood could be the result of water entering through a floor drain or a toilet.
The Roots Of The Problem
It doesn't matter what the weather is like outside, basement flooding is always a risk. Even though no basement is completely safe from flooding, you can learn to prevent such disasters by figuring out what causes your basement to flood in the first place. Some of the most common causes of basement flooding are as follows:
- It was in the wrong spot and they built a house there. If your lot grading is poor, water from rain and other sources will flow directly towards your house, potentially flooding your basement. If this is the case, you may want to remodel your yard so that rainwater and floodwater may flow away from your home's foundation.
- It would seem that the floor and walls have not been adequately sealed. During building or remodelling, it is important to seal and waterproof the basement's walls and floor to prevent water seepage and flooding. Regularly inspecting the basement's walls and floors for damage and fixing any holes or openings is essential.
- Dried leaves and other debris have clogged up the guttering system. Your home's gutters and downspouts may be clogged with debris, leading to flooding during heavy rains. In time, the surplus water will seep through the dirt close to your home's foundation, flooding your basement. Maintaining a clean and well-inspected gutter system on a yearly basis can ensure that water is diverted away from your roof in a timely manner.
- The sewer system is backed up. Water can back up into your home through the toilets, sinks, and floor drains if the sewage system is overwhelmed with wastewater or rainwater. This is often a terrible ordeal for the sufferer. Backwater valves must be fitted in the sanitary sewage line to prevent backflows. The damage done by black water is discussed in greater detail in this article.
- It seems like the sump pump has stopped working. A sump pump is designed to prevent water from entering a basement, but it is still important to check on it regularly, clean it, and test it to ensure that it is functioning properly and won't let water in.
Why Does My Basement Flood? Troubleshooting.
It doesn't matter whether this is the first time your basement has flooded; the problem can be fixed, and there is a cause. Finding the root cause of the flooding will allow you to fix the problem at its source.
- If your property has poor grading, you can either hire a landscaper with experience in grading to fix the issue for you, or you can try your hand at a do-it-yourself approach. Using a shovel, move compacted earth along the length of below-grade walls to create a slope around your foundation at a rate of two inches per foot. The addition of topsoil, mulch, and vegetation will greatly enhance the visual appeal of the slopes.
- If your gutters and downspouts are full of organic stuff like leaves, you should clear them out. Continual Drainage Systems Given that gutters' primary purpose is to divert water away from a structure, keeping them clean is crucial for water management. If you find that water isn't draining far enough away from the building's foundation, you should purchase some corrugated plastic tubes to extend the length of the downspouts. You can get them at any retailer selling hardware or renovation materials.
- Foundational Flaws Foundation cracks in the walls of the basement are highly hazardous. They are the most efficient means of bringing in groundwater, but they will never get better without intervention. It is recommended that you hire a professional with experience in waterproofing basements to guarantee that the cracks are effectively sealed.
- Submersible Pumps It's crucial to keep an eye on your sump pumps no matter the season, but it's especially crucial in arid climates. If you want to avoid having to deal with flooding, you should check to see if it is working properly before it starts to rain. Certain professionals can diagnose and repair a failing sump pump, and they will also check to see if the pump is still under warranty. It is also prudent to have a backup power source in place. A backup power source can safeguard your home in the event that the electricity unexpectedly stops operating at the most inconvenient potential time.
- While you can't stop the amount of water that goes into the city's sewers, you can protect your basement's floor drains by capping them so that water can only go in one direction. Once built, they shield the basement from sewage by blocking the space beneath the drain grate. It's not too expensive, but you should check the plug on a regular basis to make sure it's clear of anything that could clog it and prevent it from doing its job.
How Can I Prevent Basement Flooding With Heavy Rain?
Waterproofing is done so as to avoid flooding; a dual pump system significantly reduces the likelihood of flooding compared to a single pump system. This is because a backup pump is in place to keep the system functioning in the event that the main pump fails.
For the sake of the pumping system's survival in the event of a power outage, maintaining proper operation is crucial (these can be common during severe weather and alongside heavy rainfall). In the event of a power outage, the sump pumps will continue to operate for a predetermined amount of time thanks to the battery backup. An alarm is a helpful extra precaution that is often built into pumping systems. You may miss signs of flooding if you don't keep up with your alarm's routine maintenance.
When My Basement Floods, What Should I Do?
Clean And Deodorize The Whole Basement
Prioritizing the disinfection of all affected areas of the property is a must. Because floodwaters may contain disease-causing organisms, it is important to cover up any exposed skin and keep kids and pets out of flooded regions.
Empty the affected areas in the basement.
Basement areas harmed by water must be thoroughly cleaned. Chlorine bleach and water can be used to disinfect places that have been flooded. Simply mix the two in a bucket and spray the solution on the affected areas.
Delete any decayed wood from the premises.
Now is the time to seek the help of a certified timber and damp expert. Removing flood-damaged wood from a building can lessen the likelihood of a fungal decay outbreak caused by damp wood. However, if dry rot were to invade the home, the owners would be up against serious obstacles.
Discard Any Broken Items
After taking photographs of damaged items for your insurance claim, you can then safely dispose of them.
How Can I Stop Basement Flooding?
Let's pretend you've spent a lot of time, money, and energy turning your basement into a habitable environment or a safe place to keep your most precious items. You won't want to put yourself in harm's way because of rain in that circumstance.
If you want to keep water out of your basement after it rains, one of the best things you can do is have a waterproofing drainage system built. This method has been found to keep your basement dry, even after weeks of heavy rain, because it reduces the risk of hydrostatic pressure. A sump pump and a waterproofing drainage system work together to remove water from the basement and direct it to an appropriate drain.
Having a waterproofing drainage system isn't enough on its own; instead, you need to perform regular maintenance on the system you've established to lessen the chances of an unexpected breakdown.
Why Is Sump Pump Maintenance Important?
Avoiding regular sump pump maintenance inspections is a recipe for disaster, as it can cause the pump and the entire system to fail. When something goes wrong, it can create major disruption since water can seep into your basement, ruining your belongings and making the space uninhabitable.
Tips for Preventing Mould Growth After a Flood
There is a higher probability of heavy downpours and floods during hurricane season. Additionally, there is the potential for mould outbreaks, which can ruin belongings and pose serious health risks to people with respiratory or immune system conditions such as asthma or allergies.
Within the first 48 hours, you should start working on a solution to the problem. Then, be sure to follow the guidelines that the government's safety experts have supplied.
Minor mould outbreaks, which are classified as areas less than 10 square feet in size, can be eliminated with a little bit of elbow grease and a mixture of detergent and water. People who have had their houses flooded or damaged by polluted water will likely need the help of a professional mould cleanup service if their heating and cooling systems have been affected.
Advice on Mold Removal Safety
Mold remediation is not something you should attempt on your own if you have breathing problems or are immunocompromised. Furthermore, bleach use and prolonged exposure to mould, as stated by Rogers, can be harmful to the health of people who already battle with a number of diseases.
- Clean up and dry up the structure as soon as possible. Start up the air conditioners and dehumidifiers, and throw up the windows and doors to let in some fresh air.
- Any porous items that have been submerged in water for more than 48 hours and cannot be thoroughly dry should be discarded. The continued growth of mould may be encouraged by these factors. Examples of porous and difficult-to-clean objects include carpets and wallpaper, upholstery, drywall, insulation material, ceiling tiles, different types of clothing, leather, carpet padding, paper, some types of wood and wood products, and food. The presence of mould, even after it has died, might trigger allergic reactions in certain people.
- Moist materials and surfaces should be cleaned with soap and water to prevent the growth of mould.
- Goods that have been damaged or thrown away should be temporarily stored outside of your home until your insurance claims can be processed.
- If the floodwater-induced mould cannot be removed with the detergent solution, try using a solution of one cup of bleach to one gallon of water instead.
If your heating or cooling system was damaged by the floodwaters, do not turn it on. You need the assistance of an educated expert in the field. When an HVAC system or its parts are exposed to water, any crevice or surface can become a breeding ground for dust, debris, and pathogens like mould and mildew. Other parts of the HVAC system that weren't even underwater can nevertheless become a breeding ground for bacteria and mould if they're allowed to retain water (such air supply ducts located high above the water). One reason why this is a problem. Therefore, it is important to have a professional check out the HVAC system and have all the parts cleaned and sanitised.
Put on Safety Equipment
The EPA recommends wearing protective clothing and equipment during cleanup work. Even if you don't need to wear a full hazmat suit to remove mould, it's still necessary to wear protective gear to safeguard your eyes, nose, and hands. You should also wear appropriate clothing to the job, such as a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, and work shoes. Here are some recommendations for decreasing your contact with mould and mould spores.
Use a respirator mask or other protective gear. Since mould spores are porous and can pass through fabric, dust masks and handkerchiefs provide ineffective protection. Instead, you should use an N-95 respirator, which may be purchased from many different sources, including the internet. You should expect to pay anywhere from $12 to $25. Some N-95 respirators resemble paper dust masks with a nozzle on the front; others are made primarily of plastic or rubber and have replaceable cartridges that trap mould spores. It's important to keep in mind the potential dangers of mould spores. If you want the respirator or mask to do its job, it needs to fit properly, therefore read the directions carefully. Use some protective eyewear. If you work in an environment where mould or mould spores could potentially get into your eyes, it would be wise to use goggles that do not include air holes.
Don some mitts. Do not touch mould or anything that has been contaminated with mould with bare hands. We advise you to use gloves that reach at least halfway up the forearm. If you'll only be handling water and a mild detergent, you can use any old pair of rubber gloves you find lying around the home. To protect your hands from harsh chemicals like bleach, disinfectants, and other biocides, use gloves made of natural rubber, neoprene, nitrile, polyurethane, or PVC. Natural rubber gloves are recommended for working with powerful cleaning solutions.
At the end of the process, there shouldn't be any visible mould or mouldy odours, although there may be some discoloration and cosmetic damage as a side effect. After the area has been cleaned and allowed to cure, you can paint over it.
Take Advantage Of A Dehumidifier
If you have persistent damp in your basement, a dehumidifier can help you deal with the problem. You should choose a model with a large tank that can hold 60 to 70 pints of water each day so that you can less frequently empty it. In alphabetical order below, you'll find three of our best-performing dehumidifiers.
A basement is an underground chamber that is vulnerable to flooding even during dry weather. Basement flooding can be caused by gravity pulling water down from higher land to lower ground. The main problem is water seeping into the basement if the foundation's drainage system isn't properly graded. During building or remodelling, it is important to seal and waterproof the basement's walls and floor to prevent water seepage and flooding. Regularly inspecting the basement's walls and floors for damage and fixing any holes or openings is essential.
Maintaining a clean and well-inspected gutter system on a yearly basis can ensure that water is diverted away from your roof in a timely manner. Finding the root cause of the flooding will allow you to fix the problem at its source. It's crucial to keep an eye on your sump pumps no matter the season, but it's especially crucial in arid climates. Certain professionals can diagnose and repair a failing sump pump. A dual pump system significantly reduces the likelihood of flooding compared to a single pump system.
Basement areas harmed by water must be thoroughly cleaned. Bleach and water can be used to disinfect places that have been flooded. If you want to keep water out of your basement after it rains, one of the best things you can do is have a waterproofing drainage system. Mold remediation is not something you should attempt on your own if you have breathing problems or are immunocompromised. You need the assistance of an educated expert in the field.
When an HVAC system is exposed to water, any crevice or surface can become a breeding ground for dust, debris, and pathogens like mould and mildew. Mould spores are porous and can pass through fabric, dust masks and handkerchiefs provide ineffective protection. If you have damp in your basement, a dehumidifier can help you deal with the problem. Use gloves made of natural rubber, neoprene, nitrile, polyurethane, or PVC to protect your hands from harsh chemicals like bleach and disinfectants.
- However, if water is discovered in your basement, it is critical that you locate the leak quickly to avoid further structural damage.
- Water Collecting at the Bottom Water seeping into the basement is the primary issue.
- If this water can find a way into the basement, it will.
- If there is a problem with your home's drainage system at its foundation, flooding is a real possibility.
- However, water can seep through the foundation and into the basement if this wasn't installed properly or wasn't included in the original construction of the home.
- However, if the basement's walls are cracked, water will seep in during heavy rains; the risk of flooding through the cracks increases without proper grading or downspout extensions.
- If there are cracks in the basement's foundation walls, water will find its way in regardless of how well your drainage system works.
- The failure of a sump pump is another major cause for concern.
- An additional common source of basement flooding is a backed-up sewage system.
- Causes of the Issues Regardless of the weather, there is always a chance that your basement will flood.
- While no basement is completely safe from flooding, there are steps you can take to lessen the likelihood of a flood occuring in yours.
- Basement flooding can occur for a variety of reasons. They put up a house in the completely incorrect location.
- In this case, it's important to redesign your yard so that water can drain away from your house's foundation in the event of heavy rain or flooding.
- It's important to check the basement's walls and floors on a regular basis for damage and to patch up any openings you find.
- Guttering has become inaccessible due to a buildup of dried leaves and other debris.
- Clogged gutters and downspouts can cause water to back up into your home during storms.
- The extra water will eventually seep into the ground around your home's foundation and flood your basement.
- In order to keep water from pooling on your roof, you should clean and inspect your gutters regularly.
- There is a backup in the sewage system.
- If the sewer system is unable to handle the volume of water generated by human waste and rain, water can back up into homes through drains such as toilets, sinks, and floors.
- This article elaborates on the harm caused by black water.
- There appears to be an issue with the sump pump.
- If your basement has flooded before or not, there is a reason for it and a solution.
- If you can determine what's triggering the flooding, you can stop it cold.
- Issues at the core Cracks in the basement's foundation walls pose a serious safety risk.
- A professional with knowledge in basement waterproofing should be hired to ensure that the cracks are properly sealed.
- Centrifugal Pumps In dry climates, it is especially important to check on your sump pumps regularly.
- If you don't want to deal with flooding, make sure it's functioning properly before it rains.
- As a corollary, it is wise to arrange for a reliable power reserve.
- Water will continue to flow into the city's sewers no matter what you do, but you can prevent flooding in your basement by sealing off the floor drains.
- This is because, in case the primary pump fails, there is a secondary one ready to take over.
- During a blackout, the battery backup will keep the sump pumps running for a set period of time.
- If you don't keep up with the regular maintenance of your alarm, you might miss signs of flooding.
- Disinfecting the affected areas of the property should be a top priority.
- The affected areas in the basement should be emptied.
- Remove all rotting wood from the premises.
- Having a waterproofing drainage system installed is a good way to prevent water from seeping into your basement during rainstorms.
- To drain water from the basement, a sump pump and waterproof drainage system are used in tandem.
- Failure of the pump and the entire system can result from neglecting routine maintenance inspections.
- In addition, there is the risk of a mould epidemic, which can destroy property and cause serious health problems for people with asthma or allergies.
- You need to begin focusing on a solution to the issue within the first two days.
- Then, adhere to the rules that the government's safety experts have laid out.
- Do what you can to clean up the building and get it dry as soon as possible.
- To stop mould growth, wash damp items and surfaces with soap and water.
- If the detergent solution does not eliminate the mould that the floodwaters introduced, try a mixture of one cup of bleach to one gallon of water.
- Please do not turn on your heating or cooling system if it was damaged by the flood.
- You should get some help from an educated expert in the field.
- When an HVAC system or its components are wet, any crack or surface can become a haven for dust, debris, and pathogens like mould and mildew.
- As a result, you should have a professional examine the HVAC system and clean and disinfect all of its components.
- Wear Protective Gear Clothing and gear designed to prevent exposure to hazardous materials are strongly encouraged by the EPA.
- Put on a face mask or other form of protection.
- Mold spores can cause serious health problems, so be aware of the risk.
- You need to make sure the respirator or mask fits properly for it to be effective.
- Do not put your bare hands on mould or anything that may have been contaminated with mould.
- As long as you're only dealing with water and a mild detergent, any old pair of rubber gloves will do.
- Gloves made of natural rubber, neoprene, nitrile, polyurethane, or PVC are recommended for use when handling harsh chemicals such as bleach, disinfectants, and other biocides.
- Use a dehumidifier if the atmosphere is damp. The use of a dehumidifier can be helpful in eliminating dampness in a basement that has not responded to other methods of drying out the space.
Frequently Asked Questions About Basement
Here are eight strategies to keep water out of your basement. Add Gutter Extensions—plug Gaps. Restore the Crown. Reshape the Landscape. Repair Footing Drains. Install a Curtain Drain. Pump the Water. Waterproof the Walls.
Common causes are leaks in the ceiling or a crack in the exterior of the home, which both permit water to enter. If the water is seeping up through the floor, it could result from insufficiently-sealed foundations, or there could be cracks in the foundation floor.
When Doesn't Homeowners Insurance Cover a Flooded Basement? Essentially, any flooding caused by nature will not be covered under your home insurance policy. The best defence against a flooded basement is to have a functioning sump pump that pushes the water out as it fills up in your sump tank.
It is common to have a septic backup after or even during heavy rain. This is because significant rainfall can quickly flood the ground around the soil absorption area (drain field), leaving it saturated, making it impossible for water to flow out of your septic system.
Here are five tips for dealing with water in your basement. Remove water. Get the water out as soon as possible. Dry it out. Use dehumidifiers and fans to move air around, discouraging the growth of mould and mildew. Scrub flooring. Examine and clear gutters, downspouts and drains. Freeze your assets.