Basement Flooding: Common Causes - Part 3

Basement Flooding: Common Causes - Part 3

Welcome back to our blog! In the last several blogs, we’ve been discussing common causes of basement flooding. Unfortunately, at times, basement flooding cannot be helped due to natural disasters, problems with the city’s drainage system, et cetera. However, there are ways to prevent some flooding situations. Today, we are going to wrap up our current series by further discussing common causes of flooded basements and how you can do your part to avoid them.

Subsurface Ground Water

Flooding can be caused by subsurface ground water. If you find water in your basement and there seems to be no apparent cause, the root of the problem may be due to ground water under hydrostatic pressure. Subsurface ground water can get into your basement through cracks in your basement. Like a boat on a pond (your basement is the boat) and due to hydrostatic pressure, your basement will fill with water if the level of the subsurface groundwater rises above the level of your basement floor. Water can leak through compromises in your foundation as little as a hairline crack. Also, if you live in an older home and you don’t have a sump pump, most likely your foundation drainage system is connected to the city’s storm sewer. If you commonly see water in your basement during major thunderstorms, it may be due to the storm sewer becoming backed up. When you live in an older home, it is always best to consider upgrading your drainage systems to make sure you don’t have to deal with water damage later on that could have been avoided.

Underground Springs

Another source of water that can wreak havoc in your basement is underground springs. Again, water can leak into your basement through hydrostatic pressure and small cracks in your basement’s foundation. The best way to combat this is to consider updating your foundation drainage system. Hydrostatic pressure can actually work to your advantage when you install a sump pump: water is pushed into the sump pit which is then pumped out of the house. Another solution is an above-slab gutter system which is installed at the base of the exterior of your foundation. Another variation of this is a below-slab system which is installed in the concrete floor slab. Many suggest that, instead of installing a basic drain in your basement, you should install a drainage system. A drainage system is a more proactive approach to dealing with water in your basement because it relieves hydrostatic pressure before it can cause problems.

Sewer Backup

All homeowners hope and pray that they will never encounter the sewer backing up into their home. Not only is it gross, but it is a major health hazard, and can ruin anything and everything that is kept in your basement. You can often encounter problems during heavy rainstorms and when your sewer lines become backed up by grease, waste, tree roots, and other blockages. Unfortunately, in some cases, there is little that you can do to prevent the sewer backing up into your home. However, there are preventative measures that you can take to make it less likely that you will encounter a gross problem in the future. First, maintain your sewer lines by not flushing objects other than toilet paper down the toilet. Secondly, keep your sewer lines free from tree roots with tree root killer. Your tree will remain healthy and happy but won’t be blocking your sewer lines. You can also install backflow preventer which will keep water from flowing backward into your drainage systems. If you continue to have problems, you will need to contact your government.

Water Damage & Disaster Response

If you’ve had the misfortune of incurring water damage in your basement or really anywhere else in your home, call Disaster Response. Our water damage experts serve West Michigan and beyond with our professional services. We offer dehumidification, mold testing and mold remediation. We would love to help you get your home back in order with our water damage restoration services. Contact us to learn more about how we can help put your home back together if and when disaster strikes.

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