Monday, 28 April 2008

Basement Flooding & Water Removal

Do you have the flooded basement blues? Due to their nature, being underground structures, basements are prone to water damage. It doesn't take a river overflowing its banks or a major hurricane to flood a basement. In fact, basement flooding often occurs due to water build up in the surrounding soil.

So what's a home owner to do? Prevention is always the best medicine, especially when it comes to your home. As little as an inch of water can cause thousands of dollars of damage. Even small leaks can become major disasters when mold takes over. If your basement isn't flooded now, take the necessary precautions to prevent the most common basement flooding problems. You'll save yourself a great deal of heartache (and money) later.

First, if you have block walls, use a waterproof coating using the manufacturer's spread rate specifications. Don't skimp! You may even need a second coat if water seepage continues after the first application. Use a waterproof coating that is specifically formulated to block water passing through due to hydrostatic pressure.

What is hydrostatic pressure? This is pressure caused by water in the soil which could include the water table, rain runoff flowing toward your home underground, or even your home's own gutter system.

Other prevention steps include fixing leaks, ensuring proper drainage, and installing a sump pump. Leaks in the basement don't always originate down below. For example, if you have a leaking toilet above, where do you think the water is going to end up? Drip, drip, drip... down to the basement!

Remember that faulty gutter system? Is rainwater draining properly or is it collecting in the soil that's pressing against your basement walls? Make sure that your home's gutters are draining properly - away from the foundation and basement. Does the ground near your home slope away from it or toward it? Ideally, the ground should slope away. If not, consider grading the soil.

Sump pumps are increasingly being used as a preventative tool. In the past, sump pumps were used after flooding occurred. Now, many municipalities have restricted builders from routing rainwater from gutters to the sewer systems as they try to comply with the Clean Water Act. If the water isn't carried away from your foundation and basement, flooding can occur.

The sump pump acts to remove water from the lowest sections of the basement, even below the basement floor. A sump hole collects rising ground water. The sump pump kicks in when the water reaches a "critical" level and begins pumping the water out. The water is pumped through a pipe that diverts it away from your home's foundation and basement.

Many different types of sump pumps are on the market. Most use a "float" which activates the pump when the water reaches a certain level. Some are designed to work underwater while others are not meant to get wet. Different materials such as plastic and cast iron affect the price and long term performance of the pumps. In addition, sump pumps can be powered by either water or electricity.

Sump pumps should have a "check valve" to prevent water from flowing back in once the pumping is complete. Otherwise, the water will come right back in, trigger the sump pump, and create an endless pumping cycle. Choose the type of sump pump that best meets your needs and check it frequently to make sure that it's working properly.

What if it's too late and your home is already flooded? Help is just a click or two away. Let us help you dry out your basement and take care of any related mold issues. No matter where you live, a Dryout affiliate is ready to help. Simply fill out a brief form explaining the damage and a local representative will call you back right away.