Basement flooding has always been a problem in homes. It’s even more of an issue these days, however. More and more homeowners have converted basements from neglected, empty voids into living spaces, home offices and other uses. Frequently, basements are also utilized to store valuables, too. Consequently, any water inundation into the basement can be especially damaging and expensive. It also poses a health hazard — a chronically wet basement becomes ground zero for mold growth that can affect the entire house.
Basement flooding can originate from several sources. Here are some common causes and what to do about them.
- Grade the landscape — The contour of the landscape surrounding the perimeter of the home’s foundation should slope away from the house. During rainy periods, this prevents water pooling and soaking in around the foundation, eventually entering the basement through minute cracks and crevices.
- Clean the gutters — Overflowing gutters hammer the ground directly below with cascading water during heavy rain or rapid snow melt. This deluge can penetrate the foundation and infiltrate the basement. Check the gutters for obstructions and clean them when necessary. Also make sure gutter downspouts extend far enough away from the house so discharged water doesn’t soak into the foundation and basement.
- Install a sump pump — A high natural water table under the house exerts pressure on the basement slab. Ground water may invade the basement through small cracks, particularly during rainy weather. A sump pump installed the basement floor automatically pumps infiltrating ground water through a discharge line into the backyard. A foundation drainage system in the ground around the perimeter of the foundation also channels ground water away from the house.
- Install a sewage backflow valve — Sewage backup can result from an obstructed sewer line or if the municipal system is inundated with water during a flood. Toxic sewage reflux entering your home first emerges through drains in the lowest point in the house — the basement. A backflow protection valve installed by a qualified plumber prevents sewage reflux.
For professional advice to prevent basement flooding, contact Roth Heating & Cooling.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland, Oregon area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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