Did you know that flooding is the number one disaster in the US? And, that floods cause over $40 billion in damage worldwide each year?
From the years 2005 to 2014, the average flood insurance claim in the US was $42,000.
Clearly, flooding is a huge problem that many Americans worry about. Luckily, there are things you can do to prevent flooding in your basement.
Check out this guide to discover how to prevent basement flooding.
Grade Your Lawn the Right Way
Grading your lawn the right way is one of the most effective things you can do to prevent basement flooding.
If your lawn slopes toward your home instead of away from it, then you're pretty much asking for water to seep into your basement. Ideally, you want your lawn to be graded so that water runs towards the gutters and city streets.
If you're building a new home, then make sure you speak with your landscapers about grading your lawn the right way. If you're already living in a home with an incorrectly graded lawn, then you can still fix your landscaping.
Some things you can do to fix your lawn include:
- Installing a rain garden
- Diverting rain spouts
- Installing a green roof
- Digging out an indentation in your lawn that will help divert the rain
- Using heavier mulch
These simple solutions can all prevent your basement from flooding.
Maintain Gutters and Downspouts
Maintaining and cleaning gutters and downspouts is another important step to keeping your basement flood-free.
By keeping debris out of your gutters and ensuring that your downspouts are positioned properly away from the home, you'll ensure that water flows freely away from your home instead of pooling up next to it.
Your downspouts should direct water at least three feet away from the foundation of your home. In order to achieve this distance, you'll likely need to invest in a downspout extension or a trough.
When it comes to cleaning your gutters, we suggest cleaning them out each spring and fall. Otherwise, they won't drain correctly.
Leave Gaps Between Your Siding and Mulch
Leaving gaps between your siding and mulch is another thing you can do to prevent flooding in your basement.
We suggest leaving a gap of around 6 inches between your outside walls and your landscaping. This is especially important if you don't have a very durable siding material.
Inspect Your Foundation
Maintaining your home's foundation is essential if you want to prevent basement flooding.
Cracks in the foundation of your home is basically an open invitation to water. To prevent water from seeping into your basement, spend some time visually inspecting your foundation's exterior, as well as your basement walls and floors.
If you notice any cracks during your inspection, repair them as quickly as possible by filling them with epoxy. If leaking still continues after this, or you run into a more serious issue with your foundation, then call a professional.
Install a Sump Pump
Installing a sump pump is another excellent way to deter basement flooding.
A sump pump will prevent water from building up after normal rainfall. If you're not familiar with how sump pumps work, basically, they act like a large floor drain.
When water pools in your basement or in the surrounding foundation of your home, thee sump pump sucks it up and redirects it out of harm's way.
In addition to installing a sump pump, we also suggest installing a backup system. If the main sump pump goes out, the backup one will kick in.
Maintain Your Sump Pump
In addition to installing a sump pump and a backup sump pump, it's also very important that you take the proper steps to maintain your sump pump system.
Sump pump failure is a very common cause of basement flooding. Simply owning a sump pump isn't enough to prevent flooding in your basement.
Luckily, maintaining a sump pump is fairly easy. If a big storm is coming your way, check your sump pump to make sure that it's plugged in and working properly.
Additionally, you may want to consider investing in a generator for your sump pump. This will come in handy in the event that you lose power or your sump pump fails on you when you need it the most.
It's important to keep in mind that if your basement floods because of a sump pump failure, you may not receive coverage through your homeowner's insurance.
Install Window Well Covers
Installing window well covers is another great way to prevent basement flooding.
When window well covers are securely fastened to your basement windows and latched to the foundation of your home, they provide an extra-strong barrier in waterproofing your basement.
If you don't want to block light from entering your basement, opt for window well covers that are made from clear acrylic.
Clean Septic Systems and Inspect Sewers
When was the last time you cleaned your septic tank or inspected your sewers?
If you don't remember, then it's time to do it! Skipping out on septic tank cleanings and sewer inspections is a surefire way to welcome clogs, overflows, and floods into your basement.
Familiarize Yourself With Your Insurance
Last but not least, don't forget to familiarize yourself with your insurance.
If you don't already have flood insurance, now is the time to purchase it. Even if you don't live in an area where flooding typically occurs, your basement can still be damaged by regular rainfall.
If you already have flood insurance, you should make sure that you have coverage for sewage backups. While insurance won't do anything to prevent a flood, it will save you thousands of dollars in the event that your basement gets flooded.
How to Prevent Basement Flooding: Time to Act
Now that you know how to prevent basement flooding, it's time to put these tips into action.
Then, you can move onto other preventative maintenance around your home. Check out this guide to learn how to maintain your drains to prevent clogging.