7 Causes of Basement Flooding and Prevention

Basement flooding can be a nightmare for homeowner/s, causing costly damages to personal belongings and structural integrity. Unfortunately, numerous causes of basement flooding are often overlooked or ignored, making educating yourself on the topic essential. Knowing the causes of basement flooding can help you take preventative measures to protect your home.

If you’re a homeowner looking to protect your property from costly damages caused by basement flooding, you’ve come to the right place. Dive into the most common causes of basement flooding and equip you with practical prevention tips to keep your home safe and dry.

What Causes a Flooded Basement?

Water from heavy rains can seep under and flood the basement

Basement flooding is a common issue for homeowners. Even if you have taken measures to waterproof your basement, several factors can lead to flooding. The following are some of the most prevalent causes:

  • Poor lot grading

Flooding may be caused by poor lot grading. Lot grading refers to the design and slope of the property, both of which determine how water flows. Poor lot grading can cause surface drainage to steer toward the home instead of away from it, leading water to accumulat near the foundation and seep into the basement.

  • Inadequate sealing of basement floors and walls

Protecting the basement floor and walls with a sealant during a home building or remodelling is necessary to prevent water leakage and floods. However, if the sealing is not done properly, water can easily seep through cracks and openings, leading to basement flooding.

  • Clogged gutter system

Gutters and downspouts are meant to direct rainwater away from a home’s foundation. However, they can become clogged with debris such as leaves, twigs, and dirt. This can lead the water to overflow and seep through the soil near the foundation, exposing the basement to water damage.

  • Sewer backup

Sometimes, the sewer system can become overwhelmed with black water or stormwater, which can invade a home through toilets, sinks, or floor drains. This can result in harmful water entering the home, which can cause significant property damage and pose a health risk to occupants.

  • Malfunctioning or failed sump pump

Sump pumps are an essential component of basement waterproofing systems. They are responsible for pumping excess water out of the basement. However, sump pumps can fail for various reasons, such as a power outage, mechanical malfunction, or a clogged discharge pipe.

  • Heavy rainfall

Heavy rainfall can cause significant basement flooding issues. Water from heavy rains can quickly collect in basements, causing significant damage to the property and posing a safety risk to occupants. Water can seep into gaps and cracks around windows and doors. Homeowners should inspect their home’s foundation regularly, looking for any signs of cracks or openings that may allow water to penetrate the basement. Any cracks or openings should be promptly sealed using appropriate waterproofing materials to prevent water from entering the basement.

  • Plumbing leaks

Leaky pipes under the basement can result in water accumulation that can eventually cause a flood. Plumbing leaks can occur for various reasons, including aging pipes, faulty installation, or high water pressure.

What to Do When Your Basement Floods

When faced with a flooded basement, act quickly and take the necessary steps to ensure your safety and protect your home from further damage. Here are 4 simple steps to handle basement flooding:

  • Prioritize safety

Don’t risk injury by venturing into a flooded basement. Standing water can harbour dangerous bacteria, and touching electrical wiring or fixtures can lead to electrocution. Contact a professional to pump out standing water and avoid entering the basement until it’s safe.

  • Identify the source of the problem

Whether it’s a burst water line or leakage in different areas, it’s important to understand the cause of the flood to prevent future incidents. Consult with waterproofing specialists to diagnose the problem and recommend a solution.

  • Remove damaged items

Water-damaged walls and materials can attract mould and cause long-term damage to your home. Consider investing in innovative replacement systems to replace the damaged sections and prevent future issues.

  • Install a waterproofing system

Prevent future floods by investing in an effective waterproofing system. Patented interior drainage systems and sump pumps can effectively keep your basement dry and minimize the risk of future flooding. With battery backup systems, you can protect your basement even during a power outage.

How to Prevent Basement Flooding

Waterproofing the basement can prevent flooding

To ensure your home is protected from water damage, it’s crucial to have functioning drainage systems and effective preventative measures in place.

  • Measure and grade the slope of your property

Identify the low areas around your home where water accumulates. Then, using a shovel or other tools, re-grade those areas so the water flows away from the foundation. Create a slope at least 6 inches over the first 10 feet from the foundation.

  • Clear gutters and downspouts

Clear gutters and downspouts by removing large debris like leaves, twigs, or branches using a scoop or gloved hands. Next, use a hose to flush out any remaining small debris and check for any blockages in the downspouts. If there are any blockages, use a plumbing snake or a downspout auger to clear them.

  • Seal foundation cracks

Avoid flooding by sealing any cracks in the basement walls or floor. This can be done using a waterproof sealant or epoxy injection. A professional waterproofing company can assist in identifying and sealing any foundation cracks.

  • Install and maintain the sump pump

Inspect the sump pump regularly and perform maintenance to keep it in great working order. Clean debris from the pump regularly and ensure the float switch works correctly. The backup battery should be tested and replaced periodically as well.

Looking to protect your basement from flooding and water damage? Trust Plumbing Authority Inc. for all your plumbing needs. Schedule an appointment for a consultation for drain and plumbing services. Don’t wait until it’s too late; call us at 647-992-PIPE (7473) or email us at plumbingauthoritygta@gmail.com! Our plumbers help Caledon, King City, New Tecumseth, and Bolton residents keep their plumbing systems in good working order so they avoid a disaster.