With the unusual amount of heavy rains in St. Louis this summer, you may be worried about household flooding. Waterproofing your basement is a top priority! Whether you are a first-time homeowner or someone who’s dealt with basement water in the past, here are some tips for waterproofing your basement and dealing with emergency flood situations.
Common Sources of Basement Water
The three most common sources of basement water are groundwater, surface water, and plumbing failures. Groundwater seepage results from pressure on your house’s foundation. It will typically enter your basement 12–36 hours after a heavy rain begins. You’ll see water around the perimeter of your basement floor, at the bottom of walls, or through cracks in the floor. Surface water seepage typically starts about 30 minutes into heavy rain and stops about 30 minutes after. Poor drainage and grading can cause water to pool around your house and allow surface water to enter the basement through a window, crack, or upper foundation wall. Plumbing issues like leaky pipes, faulty water heaters, and burst washing machine hoses are also common culprits of basement water.
Tips for Waterproofing Your Basement
The key to waterproofing your basement is to control the amount of water coming in and out of your home. While there is no such thing as a totally dry basement, here are some measures you can take to prevent damage-causing water and flooding:
- Install a French drain and/or sump pump to prevent groundwater seepage
- Clean out your gutters regularly
- Install downspout extensions
- Re-grade your yard so that it’s pitched down away from the house at least 5 feet
- Replace cheap washing machine hoses with high-quality hoses
- Install a whole house water leak detection system for premium defense against water damage
What to Do If Your Basement Is Flooded
Be careful! Basement water may be charged with electricity or contain sewage and toxic bacteria. Call a professional right away, and make sure conditions are safe before rescuing your personal items. The experienced professionals at Tony LaMartina Plumbing Company will quickly diagnose the problem and advise you on the best solution.
Act quickly! Infiltrating water often causes expensive damage to your home. It also exposes your family to health risks such as mold. Check out this EPA guide to mold and moisture in the home for more info.