The key to preventing basement flooding is to keep water away from the home, especially during periods of heavy rain. Check for any water pooling in the yard during heavy rains and take some steps to take that water away from your home. A few easy but effective steps can help to keep your basement dry and free from leaks that can cause flooding.
Preventive Steps to Take That Prevent Basement Flooding
- Look at your downspouts. If they’re short and close to your home, attach extensions that take water away from the home. It’s best to use extensions that are at least three feet long or longer.
- Keep rain gutters clean and free from leaves and debris that can build up in them, especially in the fall in Michigan.
- Carefully inspect your basement for any cracks in the foundation. These can be repaired and filled with epoxy. After that, apply masonry sealer to help keep walls drier.
- If you have a septic system, call a professional to come out and inspect it once a year and to clean it if necessary. Normally it’s best to do this in the spring. If your sewer or septic system is allowed to become clogged, it can lead to basement flooding.
- Make sure your sump pump is up to the latest standards and keep it free from debris. Check to be sure the sump pump is working by opening the cover and pulling up on the float. This allows you to hear the motor running. If it doesn’t seem like it’s working, check circuit breakers and connections.
- Invest in a generator. If you live in an area like Michigan that is prone to heavy rains in the spring, having a generator can help to keep your basement drier. Sump pumps can only work when they have electricity to run them. If you live where there are occasional or frequent power outages, the sump pump will not work unless it has power.
- Window well covers are another smart investment to keep water away from windows. They also help keep debris from building up near the window and keep pests away.
- Have a plumber check plumbing to be sure there are no leaks in your system. Even a small leak can create a huge problem later. The basement can be one of the first areas compromised when plumbing pipes are leaking.
- If you have steps that lead to the basement, like many older homes have, be sure to check the drain at the bottom of the steps to be sure it’s free from debris. In older homes, these drains are very small and can become clogged easily.
Keeping Water Away is the Solution
Keeping water away from your basement by promoting positive drainage is the best solution to prevent basement flooding. Paying special attention to basement walls and to the basement foundation structure can pay off in a flood free basement that the entire family can enjoy.