How to Prevent Basement Flooding

How to Prevent Basement Flooding: A Flash Flood Guide

Updated: April 24, 2024

Homes in Grand Forks and Fargo have an increased risk of basement flooding from flash floods, which affect the Red River Valley region. Common causes of basement flooding in the region include drainage failure, poor weatherproofing, downspout failure, or clogged gutters.

If you are experiencing basement flooding or fear your home could be more prone to flooding, this article explains how to address the issue to arrest the potential risk of damage it poses to your home. Also, learn how Steamatic of Red River Valley can assist you with flood and water damage restoration, plus mold remediation.

Installing a Sump Pump

While weatherproofing helps prevent basement flooding, it might not provide enough protection against flooding incidents caused by heavy downpours, flash floods, or even drainage leaks. Installing a sump pump is always a recommended option for preventing basement flooding.

A sump pump is a device installed inside a sump pit to drain the water that collects in the basin. The sump pit is dug at the lowest point of the basement to collect flooding water and keep it from entering your home.

The sump pump is connected to a pipe that drains water to a nearby drainage system (dry well or storm drain). When the water rises inside the basin to a certain level, a switch is activated, and the water flows through a discharge pipe into the drainage system outside the house.

Sump Pumps for Basement

You can install a submersible or pedestal sump pump, depending on your basement size. In a submersible sump pump, as the name suggests, the motor is submerged in water and is quieter than a pedestal pump. However, it requires a much larger sump pit. A pedestal sump pump’s motor sits above the water level and is more durable but noisier than the former.

Sump pumps use electricity to pump water, but you should have a backup battery so it can continue draining water even when the power goes out, especially during severe storms.

To guarantee the optimal functioning of the sump pump, regular maintenance is essential. The pump comes with a maintenance manual, but mainly, you should clean it every few months to clear any debris and ensure the pipes are well-fastened and the vent holes are not blocked.

Inspecting Your Property and Sump Pump

Besides installing a sump pump, you should inspect your property to identify and fix issues that could be contributing to flooding or increasing the risk of flooding. Some common flooding risks include:

  • Leaky pipe: A leaky pipe, even with a minor leak, can cause substantial damage over time. You should repair any leaky pipes quickly.
  • Cracked foundation: Cracks in the foundation can easily let in water; hence, they should be sealed.
  • Clogged and damaged gutters and drainage downspouts: You should clean the gutters and drainage downspouts to remove debris that would hinder proper drainage. You should also check for damage to avoid incidents of water pooling at the corners, which can eventually leak into the basement.
  • Poor landscaping: If the yard’s slope causes the water to pool around your house instead of directing it away, it could increase the chances of basement flooding. You can resolve this by improving the yard’s grading.
  • Blocked drainage systems: Over time, debris can gather inside the drains, causing a blockage and potential flooding. You should check the drainage systems and clean them regularly.

Common Damages from Basement Flooding

Basement flooding can contribute to a host of issues. Common damages include:

  • Mold and mildew
  • Structural damage
  • Electrical system damage
  • Ruined insulation

Mold and mildew growth can ruin walls and ceilings and cause health complications, while water damage to the structure can lead to weakened foundations and warped and cracked walls and floors. Similarly, damage to the electrical system is a potential hazard.

Professional Services are Available from Steamatic of Red River Valley

If you experience basement flooding issues or are concerned your home might be at risk of flooding, the above tips can help with prevention. Remember, in addition to installing a sump pump, inspect your home to identify and fix issues that are potential risks.

Meanwhile, at Steamatic of Red River Valley, we can assist you with flood and water damage restoration and mold remediation. If you had a recent basement flooding incident, contact us and let us help you restore your home to a safe and comfortable state.

Image Credit: sophiecat  / Shutterstock