5 Tips to Flood-Proof Your Basement
Most of us don’t know what we’d do without our basements. After all, we use our basements to do laundry and store all of the items we don’t want to keep upstairs. For many of us, basements are the most important tool we have for keeping the rest of the house organized. Do you know how to flood-proof your basement, though?
It is important to understand the importance of flood-proofing your basement before it’s too late. A flooded basement is a major inconvenience that, most of the time, could have been prevented with some minor preparations. Understanding the causes of basement floods and taking steps to prevent them could potentially save you a huge headache in the future.
How to Flood-Proof Your Basement
1. Repair all cracks
The main cause of basement floods is a house foundation that is not strong enough to keep water out. Knowing how to flood-proof your basement requires knowing how to recognize places where water can come in. Even the tiniest crack in the wood frame or concrete foundation can become a hole that allows water in.
While you will need an expert trained in basement flooding solutions to fix the cracks in your foundation, there are preventative measures you can take on your own. For example, it is common for the wood around your floor-level windows to develop cracks that are ripe for seepage. By caulking these cracks, you can minimize the chances that water will leak through.
2. Direct water away from your house
Many people have to deal with the fact that their front and backyards are slanted toward their house. If your yard is slanted toward your home, of course, this means that rainwater will run downward and accumulate at the house’s foundation.
In this case, you’ll have to do some landscaping to prevent water from building up at the base of your home. Experts say that the ground around your house should slant downward for at least six feet.
3. Equip your house with a French drain
Basically, a French drain is a pipe or series of pipes that sends water away from your home. You’ll be able to pick one up at any hardware store and can bury it one foot under the ground to lead water away from the architecture.
You can also use a PVC pipe to do the same job if you’d like. It is important to remember that French drains have to be facing downhill in order to work properly, and you’ll most likely need more than one.
4. Clean those gutters
For many of us, cleaning gutters is a dreaded chore. However, faulty gutters are one of the leading causes of basement floods. If you truly want to know how to flood-proof your basement properly, gutter cleaning is a necessary step.
If your gutters are clogged or damaged, it is much more likely that water will accumulate and you’ll eventually have to deal with a flood in your home. Although you may not look forward to it, is important that you climb up on the roof, clear the debris from the gutters and look for any holes that need to be repaired.
5. Get yourself a sump pump
In the case of a flood, a sump pump is going to be your saving grace. Essentially, it is a high-powered vacuum device that sucks water in and moves it outside through a hose.
A sump pump is the quickest and most effective way to clean a flooded basement. While it may seem ridiculous to buy a sump pump now, you’ll be happy you have one if your basement ever floods.