Most people are excited to welcome spring after a long wait during chilly winter nights. I guess because we can all agree that we can enjoy the sound of the city or nature when we go out and do some outdoor activities.
Above all, we can dictate whatever we want to wear when it comes to fashion and for most men and women who are meticulous in looking trendy would probably agree.
Unfortunately for some people, spring is what they dread the most among all seasons. Why? Because for some residents when winter is over they would have to deal with a flooded basement and this is no laughing matter. This could be very dangerous since it can damage your appliances or any electrical equipment, your property and this can also be hazardous to your family members’ health.
How to Prevent Clogged Drains in Your Basement Floor
If your basement floor drain is clogged and water stays in your basement floor for a long time this can cause black molds to grow around your basement which is unacceptable for any household, it can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes and not to mention that termites might eventually be a problem as well.
There are a number of reasons why basement floors can be floodedafter winter or during spring– from cracked walls, clogged floor drains and pipes, to broken sump pumps. Having to clean up a flooded basement is a tough and ugly task and very expensive too!
So, we strongly urge you to read on and be well-informed so you can avoid a water flooding basement and save yourself from stress and most importantly from drilling a hole in your pocket.
In This Article We Will Be Covering:
- Top 5 reasons of basement flooding
- 7 Ways to keep your basement safe & dry
- 10 significant guidelines to avoid basement flooding
- 6 important tips in maintaining your sump pumps
5 Causes of Basement Flooding You Cannot Ignore
How to stop basement flooding is indeed a difficult job and it is one of the
worse plumbing problems that a lot of residential owners have to deal with.
Other homeowners just choose to wait it out until the water goes down and let everything dry for a few days, weeks or even months. This is definitely not a very wise decision to make if you really care about your home and your family.
You’re going to have to face the consequences in the long run if you choose to let the water subside by itself. Bear in mind that stagnant water can be the cause of a lot of problems and to mention a few… This can be a breeding ground for bacteria and mold. You’re also at risk of electrocution if you step into the water that has reached your electrical wall sockets.
So, to avoid these predicaments, you need to understand the causes of water leaking into basement.Then, you need to address it quickly if you see any of these problems listed below.
- Bad location for your home – One of the most common causes of basement flooding is the location of your house. Houses are usually constructed on flat or even sloped grounds.This can allow water to drain during extreme weather conditions.On the other hand, houses that are built on low areas or basin-like terrains are most likely to have flooded basements.When snow starts to melt after winter or heavy rains come during spring, this means a huge amount of water is released. This will trap accumulated water so it will eventfully find its way through your basement walls and floors resulting into flooding.
- Weak floors and walls – Bad flooring and weakwall sealing is another reason for having a flooded basement. If your flooring was not installed properly, meaning if the tiles were left with small cracks or the adhesive or sealant was not properly applied when your house was being constructed, during downpours there will be water coming up through basement floors.
Same goes for your basement walls, if your walls were not properly constructed and have small cracks or poor sealing, chances are water will also go through those smalls cracks and will later on flood your basement floors.
- Blocked eavestroughs & down spouts – If your gutters and down spouts are clogged, this could also be the cause of flooding your basement. The reason is when heavy rains come, water will overflow from your gutters and this may lead to water going to the ceilings, down through your property’s foundation and walls.Then it will soon be inevitable to have a flooded basement. However, you might be facing a much more difficult situation besides flooding. Your house’ foundation may even be at risk of collapsing when soaked with water for a long period of time. The walls, beams and posts may weaken and eventually give in.
- Poor drainage system – A drainage system, particularly a downspout in your home must be properly installed. If not, this may lead to leaks. If the downspout for instance, was installed a little too close to the basement walls, or even if it drains out directly to your basement walls, the water may go through it and may cause flooding.
Remember, that downspouts are meant to drain outside your residence going to the streets and gutters. This should not be installed any closer to basement walls.
- Clogged Gutters – The street gutters, when blocked or congested this can be another reason for flooding. For example, when the pipeline manifold that connects your plumbing system in your house to the public sewer system is blocked, then this may cause flooding on your residence.
The water level may increase rapidly because of this so it is imperative that you contact a reliable plumbing company to address this issue as this could also destroy your property since it will weaken the structure and foundation of your home.
Top 7 Tips for Caring & Maintaining Your Basement
If you want to avoid any damage in your property and spending an arm and a leg for a basement flood clean up, you must invest in your basement’s maintenance and care.
A wet basement can result into black mold and fungus. Therefore, this can lead to a number of health issues and this could be a huge threat to your loved ones.
Black mold grows if a place is exposed to moisture usually coming from dry walls, carpets, rags and flooring. Usually, the first sign of mold growth is when you smell something musty in your basement.
The inhalation and ingestion of these spores can primarily target the respiratory system and the effects are usually asthma, chronic coughing, sneezing, fatigue, severe allergies, and also eye irritation, nose and throat irritation, constant headaches, rashes etc. Prolonged exposure to black mold can be very dangerous.
So, ensure that your basement is always clean and free from any moisture to avoid black mold poisoning. Read below to help you learn about these important tips on how to waterproof a basement to keep it safe and dry.
- Apply water proof paint – During heavy rains, moisture and condensation can cause your basement walls to leak. This problem can be prevented easily by just applying a high-end water resistant paint on your basement walls.
- Use portable heaters or dehumidifiers – Depending on the amount of moisture you have in your basement; a dehumidifier is good for absorbing excess moisture so if your basement has only minimal moisture the dehumidifier will do the job.
Otherwise, a portable heater could be a valuable equipment in drying out your walls, floors carpets, rags, curtains if you have an excessive amount of moisture in your basement. You may need to use more than one heater if necessary.
- Water pipes must be insulated – Make sure that your water pipes are covered with insulation. Frozen or cold water pipes may have moisture or condensation on the surface.
You need to insulate your basement water pipes to avoid problems such as mold growth and fungus. Be meticulous and ensure that you have no problems or any leaks in your basement plumbing system.
- Don’t dry clothes in your basement – Another cause of moisture is by drying clothes and this can eventually be bad if you do this in your basement. By drying your clothes in your basement, it contributes to the humidity and condensation around the area.
Better yet, use dryers or might as well dry your clothes outdoors under the heat of the sun.
- Surround gravel and rocks around basement – One of the best ways to dry moisture is to use gravel and rocks. This method is inexpensive and they can absorb condensation easily.Put some gravel and rocks around the perimeter or outer edge of your basement. This will definitely reduce moisture accumulation from the foundation of your house.
- Roots from trees – If you have a garden and huge trees that surround your
home, you need to inspect that the tree roots are not hindering your underground water pipes.Otherwise, this can disrupt the water flowing through the pipes from your basement causing leakage and eventually water will find its way through the basement walls and it will definitely flood your basement. To be safe, be sure that the trees are at least planted 20 feet away from your home’s foundation.
- Plumbing lines – Have a regular inspection and check your plumbing lines in your home. Always make sure that there are no cracks or gaps in your pipes that can let water in during heavy rains. If in case you see any cracks you need to fix it immediately and use a water proof epoxy to seal the gaps and that should do the work.
10 Valuable Guidelines to Ensure Your Basement Won’t Flood
- Water should flow away from the house –Water accumulation is often because of poor location or wrong landscaping. Even if you have a good basement drain system, you have to make sure that your home is located in a high ground or sloped terrain so when it rains the water will flow down and away from your residence.
This will guarantee that rain water will not be trapped in your land and therefore, will not find its way to your basement walls and floors. The foundation of your home will be safe as well.
Most people love to have a beautiful garden especially if it’s close to the windows. However, the downside of it is if the landscaping isn’t done properly this could allow water to accumulate near your home’s foundation. Eventually allowing water to seep in your basement floors.
- Secure gutters and downspouts – Your home must have adequate system for collecting and getting rid of rain water and melted snow. Installing brand new and sturdy gutters and downspouts will ensure long usage and that they will not fail easily.Also, ensure that your gutters and downspouts are free from any obstructions or debris so there won’t be any overflows or back-ups. You need to make sure that the downspouts are 5 to 6 feet away from your house and more importantly, that water is flowing away from your foundations and walls. You might need to consider extending your downspout pipes if necessary.
- No cracks on walls and floors – One important thing that you have to make sure is that your walls and floor tiles must be free from any cracks to avoid flooring for basement that floods. You need to be thorough and meticulously inspect your walls and floors. Whether the cracks are big or small, you need to treat them the same and resolve it the earliest possible.
You may use epoxy sealant to seal and fill small cracks on your walls and floors. However, for a more intricate crack issues you might consider doing a masonry job for sealing bigger cracks.
- Working sump pumps – This is one of the most important equipment if not the most important one in your basement. It will absolutely save you from a major basement flooding clean up.Sump pumps will help you save your appliances in your basement from soakingand will also avoid getting the water level higher and reaching your wall sockets. That will save you from electrical problems and most importantly it will save you from being electrocuted.
You need to check and be sure that your sump pump is free from any debris. If you are using a portable sump pump, you may want to place it in the lowest part of your basement. Also, be sure that it is connected to a power source.
- Maintain sewers and septic tanks – Your sewers and septic tanks play a significant role in your household and plumbing system. You need to have an inspection to your sewers and also have your septic tanks cleaned.During the heavy rainfall, you may have a clogged sewer drain in basement due to accumulation of debris and septic tanks can overflow or back up and this can be a potential danger.
- Secure generators – Bear in mind that a sump pump is powered by electricity, so if there is power outage your sump pump will definitely not work. What you need is a contingency plan. You may want to secure a generator in your house particularly in your basement that is always ready to power your sump pump.
Remember, that this may be a good investment for your home especially if you live in a place where there are frequent storms that happen and a lot of black outs.
- Make sure appliances vent outdoors – In most cases, people choose to put their washing machines in their basements. If this can’t be avoided and there are no other places where you can do the laundry – Just be sure that the washer and dryer are connected properly.
Also, you need to ensure that the dryer vents out the air outdoors and not in the basement so this can’t create condensation and moisture. Be sure to always check and inspect your washer if there are any leaks.
- Install exhaust fans – Bathrooms and showers in the basement are contributing factors to humidity. You need to install exhaust fans in your basement to control humidity levels, to also get rid of moisture and improve your basement’s ventilation.
During hot sunny days, you may want to leave your basement windows open to allow hot air to come in which can be good to drying up moisture. Close your basement windows during cold breezy days.
- Install metal window wells – Another thing you have to consider is to install metal window wells in your basement. Basement windows may retain water especially if not properly installed.Ensure that your metal window wells are properly secured and cover it with gravel or pebbles. This will prevent water from seeping through the windows going to your basement floors.
- Be sure your property is insured – Depending on your insurance company and coverage but usually insurance companies do not cover flooding and sewer backups.You need to thoroughly review your insurance policy to probably consider increasing your coverage or ensuring that flooding and other plumbing catastrophes are included.
6 Steps to Maintain your Sump Pump & Properly Drain Your Basement
Basement sump pumps are generally dependable and this can really save you from a lot of stress and spending too much.
As time goes by, the sump pump could wear down just like any other equipment in your house. So, it is best to always maintain a regular maintenance to ensure that your sump pump is always working and will not fail during heavy rains.
Spend time inspecting your sump pumps every two months or before the storm comes. It is a small price to pay rather than being faced with a murky, flooded basement. Learn these basic steps to maintain your sump pump so you wouldn’t have to worry anymore when the next storm comes or in early spring.
- Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) – You need to be sure that the sump pump is plugged in properly to a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet and you need to be sure that this is working and the cord is in a very good shape.
You can reset your GFCI if necessary and you must check itperiodically. GFCI breakers may trip in some cases, automatically shutting off your sump pump.
- Secure sump pump upright – Be sure that your sump pump is standing upright at a flat surface since it has a tendency to vibrate during operations and this can cause the pump to fall or even tilt on one side. This can cause the float to jam and this cannot activate the pump.
- Test periodically – Test your sump pumps regularly by pouring a pale of water into the pit. This is to ensure that the pump starts automatically. This is to make sure that the water drains fast once your pump is on. If for some reason, your pump does not work you need to call in a professional plumber from Plumbers 911 to have checked.
- Clean the grate – You need to take off the submersible pump from the pit then you have to clean the grate at the bottom. When the sump pump operates, and starts pumping water it can also suck small stones and gravels into the grate, resulting into inlet blockage. This will eventually damage the pump overtime.
- Connecting pipes sealed tightly – To avoid any mishaps, ensure that the outlet pipes are securely tight and joined together. Make sure also that it is draining at least 20 feet away or six meters from your home’s foundation to avoid damages.
- Vent hole is clear – The vent hole or weep hole prevents the pump from going in to air-lock. It is when the sump pump is running but it is not delivering water. Make sure the vent hole in the discharge is free from any obstruction and that is it clear.
Why Hiring Professional Plumbers to Inspect Your Basement in Your Chicago Home is a Must
Being prepared is always the best recipe for any catastrophes. So, before early spring comes or before any storm threatens your home – be sure that your basement is water proof and has a perfectly working sump pump.
Trust only a reliable and dependable plumbing company that will surely address all your plumbing problems, call Plumbers 911 Chicago. Backed by years of experience, we guarantee fast and quality service that no plumbing company can top.
All our plumbing contractors are licensed, bonded and insured. They have also undergone over 10,000 hours of intensive plumbing training and you are rest-assured that your household will be in good hands.
With the help of high-end plumbing tools and top of the line equipment, you can always be sure that we can solve any plumbing problems, big or small. So, the next time you need plumbing help basement water leak repair in Chicago, call only the country’s most leading plumbing company you can find.
Leave it to us! We will definitely flush all your plumbing worries down the drain. Contact us today!