Preventing Basement Water Damage

Basement water damage can occur for many reasons such as obstruction in the leaders and gutters, blocked pipes, faulty soft grading, overflowing wells, sewerage backup, as well as hose or faucet leak.

Image of a flooded basement

Basement flooded with water

Water damage in your basement can lead to all sorts of issues ranging from wet carpets, warped wood flooring, water damaged walls and even mold growth. Unfortunately most people use basements for storage of all sorts of treasures ranging from valuables to family heirlooms and family photos and since most are used as storage, most people don’t go down to their basements unless they need something which increases the chance of secondary damage from water if it’s been there for a long period of time. 

Each source of water damage has its own set of characteristics, methods of cleanup and prevention methods. It’s best to consult with a plumber about what your potential issues could be that may lead to water damage in the future. When it comes to water damage, the old adage is true – An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Whatever the cause of basement water damage, listed below are some steps to reduce the chances of water in your basement:

1. First, you have to work on the soil around your home and lead the water away from your home’s foundation instead of going towards it. This will require you to dig trenches that prevent the inflow of water to your home and save it from damage.

Basement water damage image

Basement water damage caused by city sewers

2. Check the structure and function of your home’s leaders and gutters because if they get dirty and full of silt they crack and will eventually cause water leakage into your home and your basement.

3. Be sure to check for damage and malfunctioning dry wells in your home if there are any. If your dry well malfunctions it will dispose an abnormal amount of water wastes that can get into your house and cause damage. Another helpful step to prevent water damage is to check dry wells regularly and if it’s in bad shape you should construct new ones.

4. Area-ways are wells that can also cause water leakage into your basement if left unattended for too long. Therefore it is also highly recommended to clean up these area-ways to prevent basement water damage.

5. You can also increase your home’s water-absorption ability by installing a sump pump under your flooring system to drain out any accumulated water, thereby preventing the occurrence of any form of water damage.

6. Check to see if there are broken pipes or leaking faucets and hoses these too can get water into your house. If you find any leakage have it repaired immediately.

7. You also have the option to extend the downspouts in your home this can redirect water away from your house and keeping water influx to minimum therefore preventing water damage. Downspouts should extend at least 10 from the footings or foundations.

8. Lastly, never try to do any of these basement water damage prevention steps on your own if you don’t have prior knowledge about the cleanup process especially the fifth step. It’s better if you hire a professional to do the job for you.

About Dan Camara

Dan Camara is the CEO of PuroClean Home Rescue in Sacramento. We have been helping the good folks of Northern California with water damage dryouts, mold removal and fire cleanups for nearly 5 years now. Connect with me on Google+
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