5 Ways To Prevent Basement Flooding

A flooded basement is a homeowner's worst nightmare. When it happens, your old pictures, the spare chest of drawers, your children's clothes – it could all be in jeopardy. It's especially important to watch out for basement floods if you live in certain flood-prone areas of the U.S., like the upper Midwest, but it can't hurt to make sure you're prepared no matter where you live.

Check out these five tips for preventing basement flooding:

1. Clean the floor drains

Floor drains, which help prevent flooding and other forms of water damage, can become clogged with dirt and other detritus. This can obstruct the pipes for when water does get into your basement, leading to buildup that can cause flooding. Keep the drains free of debris and there's a better chance your basement won't flood.

2. Check your gutters

This may sound like a strange suggestion – but it's important to make sure your gutters are unobstructed so that any water that comes in doesn't collect. If your gutters are full of leaves or dirt, water has to go somewhere – usually down. If the rain dumps in buckets around your house instead of being diverted via the gutters, too much water could filter into the foundation of your home.

3. Divert rainwater

Along the same lines as checking your gutters, you should find ways to divert rainwater away from your home wherever possible. Extend your rain gutter downspouts and make sure your yard doesn't slope toward the house.

4. Test your sump pump

Having a working sump pump is the most effective way to ensure that your basement stays dry throughout the rainy season. Sump pumps – as their name suggests – pump out groundwater and sends it to the nearest storm drain or pond so it cannot seep through basement walls and floors. Test your sump pump by pouring a 5-gallon bucket of water into the sump pit. If the pump is operational, it will turn itself on, remove most of the water from the pit, then turn itself off again. Make sure the power cord is plugged in and secure so it cannot become tangled in the pump’s float switch and prevent it from turning on.

5. Have a backup sump pump or power source

Before the rainy season, make sure that your basement sump pump will continue to operate even if the power goes out. If your home has a backup generator, be sure the sump pump is connected to it. Consider installing a battery-powered or water-powered backup sump pump that will take over pumping duties if your electric sump pump stops working for any reason. For more information about sump pumps and backup sump pumps, call Roto-Rooter today.

For more information about how to keep your basement clean, with help installing your sump pump and to consult a professional in case of the unthinkable, call Roto-Rooter today.