Many people spend thousands of dollars finishing a basement. So the last thing you want is seeping water or a flash flood. Before you know it your basement is holding three feet of water and all your possessions and hard work is ruined.
Protecting a basement from floods is an important part of finishing your basement. Without flood protection, your basement is vulnerable to all types of mishaps. So how do you prevent flooding?
The first place to start is to examine the landscape outside your home. Make sure the surface of the yard slopes away from your home. Remove any obstacles such as shrubs, decorative rocks, trees or lawn ornaments which could direct rain towards your home. Take a walk around the yard during a downpour. Make a note of where water is pooling and where water drains. In areas where water is pooling add a sloping ditch or other drainage to help direct the water away from your home. Inspect the neighbor’s lawn, sidewalks and driveways which could slope towards your home and cause rain water to flow your direction. Some excavation work may be needed to re-grade the yard to direct water away from the home.
Now take a look at the exterior of your home. Make sure all rain gutters are study, attached to the home and clog-free. Water should flow freely through the gutter with nothing obstructing the flow. Add extensions to rain gutter spouts which end at the foundation to keep water away from the home.
Install either a propane or nature gas emergency backup generator. There are a wide variety of generators available on the market which will turn on automatically when electricity fails. Use the generator to provide power to the refrigerator, heating unit and sump pump.
Install a sump pump to help keep water leakage to a minimum. Sump pumps act like huge floor drains to keep water from getting deep in the basement. In addition, install a backup battery operated sump pump system. The backup system should be configured to automatically kick on if the primary pump goes out.
If possible, install a water sensor or monitoring system to notify you in case of flooding. Monitoring systems can send a text message to your cell phone to alert you to moisture in the basement. Some water sensors cost as little as $18.00.
In the event water does get into the basement make sure there are vent-holes in the walls where the water can flow out. This little tip can not only save you money on your flood insurance but also prevent damage to some items in the basement.
Don’t think that a basement can only flood due to weather. There are other factors which could cause a basement to flood. Make sure you check all water and drainage pipes for leakages and clogs. Inspect and seal all cracks or holes in basement walls and floor. Make sure all floor drains are properly installed and functional