How To Protect Against Basement Flooding

Your finished basement is your pride and joy. You’ve already spent thousands of dollars and countless hours converting your concrete dungeon into a habitable and comfortable space.

The last thing you need is underground water or a sewer leak into your home office or your game room. A simple flash flood or rising stream can easily transform your new carpeting in a moldy sponge.

Your basement is not “finished” without some preventive measures against flooding.   You need “layers of protection” for adequate security for your family and your property.

Focus on prevention. Long before you’re in a flood situation, look around your property to ensure it diverts rainwater away from your home. Some important considerations are extending downspouts away from the house, and ensure that the slope of the surface of your garden drain water away.

Clean gutters in the spring and after all the leaves have fallen in autumn. The blocked channels will cause all the water falling from the ceiling directly above your foundations, increasing the likelihood of a flooding basement.

Extend gutters far enough away from your house. Do not connect the downspout drains at the base of your foundation or underground wells. This will only cause water to oversaturate the ground, causing a flood in your basement.

Walk around your yard during a storm. See if water collects in puddles near your home or if surface water is directed toward your home. If this is the case, find a local landscaper or contractor excavator for advice about how to re-level your yard so that the surface water is directed away from your home.

Provide emergency power. Install an automatic emergency generator to provide electricity to essential circuits like your water heater or electric heater, well pump, refrigerator, septic tank or drain pump in case of a power outage. If you don’t have emergency backup power, you could come home and find your basement flooded, frozen water pipes and an overflowing septic tank.

Install a drain pump.
 An automatic drain pump helps prevent leaks from normal rainfall accumulating in the basement. While the tank has an opening at the top, this pump will act as a great floor drain and prevent water from accumulating.

Flood insurance. Add a flood insurance policy to your existing home. Sometimes the government provides flood insurance and makes it quite accessible.  In the US, if your homeowners policy does not provide flood insurance, contact FEMA (“Federal Emergency Management Agency”) to find out what local agencies do offer such insurance.