Basement flooding can be caused by a number of events. You may live near an overflowing river that swells as the result of a heavy storm or hurricane. Indoor water damage can also occur from pipe leaks inside the house or from freezing pipes that crack and burst. Appliances, such as a clothes washer, can cause leaks. Worst of all is sewer water backing up into the basement. No matter how it happens, water in your basement is a serious issue that can cause significant damage and expense to clean up.
If you find water in your basement, it is important to determine its source and how much damage it is causing. For example, if water seeps into the wall insulation, drywall, studs or carpets, the dampness can lead to mold contamination. In the worse-case scenarios, it can even cause structural damage. Even a small amount of water can cause thousands of dollars in damages.
A number of preventative measures can help keep your basement water-free. These tips will help prevent the most common causes of basement floods from occurring.
Many basements walls have cracks that can allow water and moisture to enter. Waterproof coating applied to the basement walls will help keep water from passing through due to hydrostatic pressure. (Pressure caused by water in the soil.) Cracks should be filled in first and then the waterproof coating should be applied as directed. A second coat of waterproofing is generally recommended.
Any interior pipe links should be fixed. Even the drip from a slow pipe leak can cause water damage over time. Examine any basement floor drainage to make sure it is working properly. If necessary, a sump pump should be installed to remove excess water. Select a sump pump that best meets your requirements. Check it regularly to make sure that it's properly working. Do not wait for a flood to find out that it's broken!
Your gutters should drain the water far from your home. Water should not be allowed to collect near the foundation.
Severe basement water damage can actually cause structural issues such as bowed walls. This is a serious problem that can further damage your home. Fixing the problem and shoring up the walls will require professional help.
If your home does flood or sustain significant water damage, a professional water removal service will help get the water out and properly dry the area out. Lingering water and moisture can lead to mold growth – which brings about an entirely different set of problems.
Keep in mind that not all insurance policies will cover flooding incidents. Even if the damage does not appear to be large, take pictures and video the damage. You'll be glad you did if you end up turning it over to your insurance company.