5 Ways to Prevent (and Mitigate) a Flooded Basement

If you’ve gone to the trouble to finish your basement into a family room or spare bedroom, or even if you’re just storing your old things, basement flooding can do serious damage. Standing water can lead to electrical problems, undermine your foundation, or contribute to dangerous mold. Here are some steps you can take to prevent and deal with basement flooding.

Flooded - 5 Ways to Prevent (and Mitigate) a Flooded Basement

  1. Basement Inspection

Minor but frequent flooding could be a matter of simple repairs. These can come from cracks in the basement concrete that allow seepage, leaky plumbing, clogs, or gaps around basement windows. Use a hardware store product made for concrete sealing that will expand into any cracks. Ensure that any windows or other points of entry are watertight. If you need help with leaky pipes or clogged drains, call a plumber.  

  1. Perimeter Inspection

After a hard rain ends, walk around your house and look for spots where the rain is pooling against your foundation. Fill in any holes or pockets. The soil should be pitched slightly downward to direct water away from the house. Move any plants at least 12″ away from the basement wall so old roots don’t interfere with drains or channel water against the foundation. Have any significant cracks inspected and repaired by professionals. 

  1. Check the Roof

Much of this drain water could be coming from your roof. Be sure your gutters and downspouts are cleared to allow proper drainage. Downspout drains should be lengthened and directed straight away from the house. During the next rain, walk around your house and observe that the roof, gutters, and drains are functioning correctly. 


  1. Storm Water

The worst flooding will occur during heavy rainstorms. Often you won’t know your foundation is leaky until it’s too late. To prevent this disaster, or to keep if from recurring, install a sump pump and a backup power supply to ensure the water is promptly removed. Do not go down into a flooded basement.  

  1. Mitigation and Repair

Make certain that every member of your household understands the hazards of a flooded basement, such as chemicals and electric shock. After the water is pumped away, call a professional water damage restoration service like First General Services to dry the space thoroughly and check for issues like moldy drywall, furniture, or wood rot before starting repairs. 

The best way to deal with flooding is to do every bit of prevention you can before it happens. Have your foundation inspected, get flood insurance if it’s recommended for your location, and put together a list of professionals who can help. 

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