Spring storms, spring thaw, and the subsequent rapid accumulation of water run-off increase the risk of flooding in homes, especially in basements. Because basements are basically holes in the ground, they are more susceptible to moisture and water damage. Protect your property and valuables by preparing your basement for unpredictable spring weather by following the below guidelines:
INSIDE THE BASEMENT
Dehumidifier – Get a high-quality dehumidifier (at least 65- 70 pints per day capacity) to control the amount of humidity in your basement mainly between April and October. Choose a model that has a drain hose which allows water to drain directly into a floor drain or sink. Clean the dehumidifier coils once a month to prevent them from clogging.
Plastic Vapor Barrier – Excess moisture caused by leaks, condensation, or other water problems are soaked up by carpet or hardwood floors, causing water damage and mold. Have a plastic vapor barrier installed between the carpet and concrete floor to avoid these problems. Use synthetic carpets for your basement, such as those made from polypropylene.
Drywall – Poorly installed drywall can absorb moisture. Make sure the drywall in your basement is installed at least one inch above the concrete floor. If there is no gap between the drywall and floor, cut out one inch at the bottom.
Sump Pumps – These devices are your home’s first line of defense against flooding. Sump pumps help divert unwanted water that has accumulated around the foundation away from your home. Make sure your sump pump has a reliable backup power supply (120 volts) that can last during an extended power outage. Install a backup sump pump as well for extra protection.
Foundation Cracks – As a house shifts and settles, gaps and cracks may occur in the foundation. Leaks and signs of moisture on the basement floor and walls are indicators of foundation cracks. Fill these cracks with epoxy or inject them with high-pressure polyurethane foam.
Water Alert System – Even if you have a sump pump, you should be alerted when your basement floods. Water leak detectors (or sensors) emit an alarm when they detect water, giving you time to act accordingly. Leak detectors can be placed near areas that are prone to water damage: on sump pumps, near water-bearing fixtures, and behind or beneath pipes.
OUTSIDE THE BASEMENT
Gutters and Downspouts – Keep gutters and downspouts clear of debris and in good condition. Blocked gutters may cause roof water to pour on the foundation, increasing the risk of basement flooding. Downspouts should extend at least six inches from your house via downspout extensions.
Landscape Slope – The grade around your house should slope one inch down for each 12 inches away from the house. This way, rain or floodwater drain away from your home’s foundation. Fill any depressions in the ground next to the foundation walls with dirt or hire a professional landscaper to do so. The pavement should also slope away from your home.
Window Wells and Covers – Remove leaves, sticks or other debris from your window wells to eliminate potential causes for water accumulation. Add fresh gravel to the bottom of window wells to improve water drainage. Install window well covers to protect them from debris and water intrusion.
Roof Rain Diverters – If you notice excess water collecting near your home’s foundation, you may need to install roof rain diverters. These prevent rainwater from draining onto sensitive areas around your home, redirecting it elsewhere.
Backflow Valves – Backflow valves are usually installed on washing machine drain lines, laundry sinks, rain downspouts, and sump pumps, as well as sewer/septic connections. They are gate-like devices to keep water from backing up into your basement. Make sure to check with local officials to find out if these devices are allowed in your community
French Drains –If your basement is particularly prone to flooding, install French drains. They are gravel-filled trenches around your house that capture and transport water a safe distance away from the house.
Flood Insurance – Most homeowners’ insurance policies don’t cover flooding or sewer backups so review your property insurance policy and consider obtaining flood insurance and other additional coverage. Note that flood insurance policies normally take effect 30 days from the date of purchase.
Following these guidelines can help you prevent basement flooding. After a flood or water damage problem, always hire a professional restoration company, like Purofirst . They will employ the proper equipment and techniques to efficiently restore your property and its contents to pre-loss condition.