Posts Tagged ‘basement’

What Makes a Basement Flood

Sunday, April 24th, 2011

Of all the issues that a homeowner has to deal with, a flooded basement may be the most easily preventable. Outside of a major natural disaster such as a river flood or major hurricane, virtually all basements can be sealed against flooding with a little preventative maintenance and repair. The first step in this process is understanding what causes a basement to flood in the first place.


There are four main areas of concern when it comes to your basement. They are:


The integrity of your basement walls

Property drainage system

Foundation drainage system (weeping tiles)

Household drainage system (gutters and downspouts)


Basement Walls


Leaks or cracks in your basement walls are probably the most common cause of flooding in a basement. Many homeowners will replace siding or paint the exterior of their home occasionally to keep it looking good, but forget to seal their basement. Groundwater builds up with each rainfall and can leak through to cause flooding and harmful mold that can affect the health of your family and household pets .


Basement walls can be sealed with specialized sealants and polymer coatings that can be used on both the inside and outside surfaces. This should be combined with an overhaul of your drainage system to ensure maximum efficiency.


Property Drainage


In addition to ground water, the walls of your basement can also be affected by water running into them during a rain storm. This is the result of poor property drainage. Property should be graded so that water runs away from, and not into, your home. If you have a slope on your property where water runs downhill into the home, you can alleviate the problem by planting bushes or shrubs or digging drainage trenches that will take water around the home.


Foundation Drainage


Weeping tiles, or footer drains, can settle or crack over time and may not function properly, causing your basement to flood during a rain storm. These are areas where water can collect and leak into your foundation walls. Even if you apply a sealant to those walls, the solution will only be temporary if you don’t replace your footer drains.


Household Drainage


The eaves and downspouts of your home are designed to collect water and allow it to flow down and away from your home. The gutters themselves need to be sloped so water runs into the downspout and the downspout needs to end at either a splash block or an extended drain that is sloped properly to allow run-off away from the home . Any break or clog in this system can result in water leaking and getting into your basement eventually.


To sum it up, the best way to prevent a flooded basement is by using the force of gravity to your advantage. Sealants will help, but will eventually be penetrated by a constant flow of water pushing up against them. When water flows downhill, it will not stop until it hits a level spot where it can pool. Pools of water are what causes your basement to flood. This is simple common sense. To avoid flooding, make sure that you create a steady downward slope beginning at your gutters on the edge of the roof and going all the way off the property. Each of the elements described in this article are pieces of that slope . Make sure they are uninterrupted and then seal your basement walls. You’ll remain warm and dry if you do.

Flood in Your Basement?

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

While no one can predict when a flood might happen to your basement, or anyone’s basement for that mater, it’s best to be prepared with a flood protection plan in case you are suddenly stuck with a flooded basement.


First, it’s a good idea to keep all heating and cooling units on the first floor or have them mounted on the wall so that if you do end up with a water damaged basement, they will not become damaged and cost you further money in damages. A flooded basement is costly enough to repair without the additional cost of having to replace a heating and cooling system. It might be a cost to have them raised to the ceiling level now, but it is one that you should be willing to pay now rather than pay much more later down the road.


Placing your furniture up on blocks might not look fashionable, however, if you basement is prone to flooding, you might consider it or take the furniture out and use the basement as an unfinished area where you might just store things up on pallets of wood or cinder blocks to protect them from water damage. Put your valuable items being stored in waterproof plastic tubs with lids will also help.


Most basements are finished and you can protect your self by having flood insurance policy on all your belongings in the basement . When you purchase a new couch and chair or television and recliner, make sure you notify your insurance agent and take photos of all your belongings in the basement, this includes washer and dryer if they are located in the basement. That way you have proof of their existence and, you will be able to show the insurance agent exactly what was in the basement if you have to clear it out before he or she can get to you.


Sometimes there is a large area that floods many basements and the insurance adjusters are very busy. You don’t want mildew building up in your basement so you need to take everything out that came in contact with the water and make sure it is hauled away by the garbage truck. Mold and mildew can be deadly if left to grow in your basement. Once the furniture is taken away and the water has receded, make sure you take up any carpet or hardwood flooring or vinyl flooring that has been laid down because mold and mildew love to grow under these types of materials. Next you need to scrub everything with bleaching agent and water combination so that the mold and mildew will die. It’s a living, breathing fungus and you need to make sure it doesn’t reproduce and grow again.


A sump pump is another option for a basement that might be prone to flooding. This is a machine that is placed in the basement, deep in a hole in the ground, which helps pump water away from the basement from underground. It is fairly effective, yet also costly.

How to Handle Basement Flooding

Friday, March 18th, 2011

If you experience basement flooding it can be very depressing . You may not know what to do next . You have a really big mess on your hands especially if you have items stored in your basement. The first thing to do is to act immediately . Find yourself a top-notch service that specializes in water removal . It is essential that you get the water removed from your flooded basement quickly .


To go about finding a top-notch company search the Internet for companies . Read their testimonials from previous customers. A lot of reputable companies will have the seal of approval from the Better Business Bureau. That is a good way to ensure you that you will not get taken advantage of . You have your hands full with a flooded basement, the last thing you need is a company that does a terrible job and still leaves your basement damp. Have peace of mind knowing that the Better Business Bureau approves the company you are considering to hire.


Next call the business and make sure they can start to work on your basement within a few hours to remove the water. As mentioned, water removal is critical to be eliminated as quickly as possible . The longer you wait to have the water removed, the stronger the possibility that you will have mold to deal with. Make sure the company uses some type of chemical to eliminate the possibility of mold growing in your wet basement. I have heard of homes that were so full of mold the family living there was getting sick . With mold people are susceptible to allergies, respiratory problems, and other health risks . I have seen homes that were torn apart to destroy the mold. New wood and materials had to be bought to replace the previous walls to entirely get rid of the mold. With a quality restoration contractor that will perform water removal, you will not have to worry about mold growing in your home in the future. The problem will be handled by the professionals.


Once the the area is dry and clean , you want your basement to look as good as new. You do not want any traces of water or odor. Make sure the company leaves you pleased with their service . Let others know how happy you were with their service . Maybe you can take a few moments to leave a testimonial for their fantastic service.

Procedures for Flooded Basement Cleanup by the Professionals

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

Flooded basements are a common problem faced by a large percentage of US homeowners at least once a year. A basement may become flooded with water due to a tap left turned on , a breakage in a water pipe or any natural disaster like storm. Whatever the reason , cleanup of a basement clogged with water can be a frustrating job and results in great financial loss for the homeowner.

The best option is to hire the services of a water damage restoration company for water removal and cleanup of the basement. This can prove quite helpful in making the basement clean without your involvement.

Here’s the usual procedure followed by water damage restoration professionals .

Steps before the Actual Cleanup

The company engaged for cleanup of the basement will ensure that the electricity and the gas supply of the house have been shut off. The workers will check the basement from inside and outside to inspect any structural damages to the walls of the basement. Windows and doors will be opened to let the fresh air into the basement.

The most important thing is to pump the water out of the basement using either a gas pump or a sump pump. A sump pump is run on electricity and proves handy for handling minor flooding in the basement. The pump needs to be installed in the basement for sucking out the flood water. However, water should not be pumped out quickly or it might result in structural damages to the basement.  

Cleanup of Flooded Basement

Once the water is removed from the basement, the professionals then begin undertaking the cleanup process by wearing protective gear including rubber shoes, gloves and goggles for safety. This involves removing any garbage and debris on the floor. After this, a heating system or a commercial dehumidifier is used for drying the basement completely.

Preventive Measures in Cleanup

A few preventive measures can not only make the cleanup procedure easy but also reduce the probability of the basement becoming flooded again . Some of the measures include installing drainage pipes around your home. Take care not to place drainage pipes in the low lying areas around your house . Also, all joints between the walls and the floor need to be sealed to prevent a flooded basement.