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Why Does My Basement Keep Flooding?

Flooded basement

Cleaning up a flooded basement once is one time too many. It’s time consuming and costly. But what happens if you’re faced with a second or third flood?

If you clean up the water damage without ever addressing the root cause of the flood, you’ll set yourself up for recurring floods. The key to preventing future basement flooding is to address the root cause and perform preventive maintenance. Many of the steps below can also be taken before you ever experience a flood.

If you’ve already experienced a basement flood, check out Roto-Rooter’s step-by-step guide to water removal and restoration. After your basement has fully dried, take the time to go through the following maintenance steps before you replace carpets, furniture and belongings.

Indoors

1. Check basement floor drains regularly

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 and prevent drainage whenever water does get into your basement, leading to flooding. Keep the drains free of debris and there's a better chance your basement won't flood.

2. Install a sump pump

This is one of the easiest ways to ensure that your basement stays clean and dry throughout the rainy season. Sump pumps move groundwater away from the house’s foundation by channeling it into a sump pit before pumping it out to a storm drain. Your local Roto-Rooter professional can come to your house to survey and help you determine what kind you need.

But remember, a sump pump is only as good as its power source. If a raging storm knocks out power, your sump pump won’t do you any good. Make sure your sump pump is connected to a battery powered backup sump pump in case of unexpected power outages.

Outdoors

1. Make sure roof gutters are clear

Just as sump pumps are intended to move groundwater away from the house, your gutters are intended to move excess rainwater away from the home to avoid oversaturating groundwater. If leaves, dirt or other debris block up your gutters and downspouts, water will collect and spill over the edges. If your home is surrounded by lots of trees, gutter screens or guards can be particularly helpful in preventing leaves from piling up and causing blockages. Worse, during winter the wet leaves can freeze and create a heavy ice dam that blocks flow and can cause gutters to pull away from your roof.

2. Extend your downspouts

Gutter downspouts should drain at least six feet away from the home. Ten or twelve feet is even better. Extensions or troughs can be easily obtained at your local hardware store.

3. Cover basement window wells

If your basement has below-grade windows, install covers to prevent water accumulation. Clear acrylic covers are inexpensive and will still allow light to enter the basement, while keeping out water, debris and pests.

All around

Routinely inspect your foundation, basement floor and walls for cracks. If you find any, seal cracks with epoxy immediately.

If you’ve taken all these steps and are still having problems with basement flooding, it’s time to call your local Roto-Rooter professional. You can rely on our leak repair professionals to locate any plumbing-related leaks or sump system problems. Some leaks, like a dripping faucet, usually don’t require immediate service, but water pouring into your basement from a broken water line or cracked water heater is an emergency. Roto-Rooter offers immediate service for just those types of emergencies.

Roto-Rooter plumbers are leak repair experts! Our licensed plumbing professional will get to the source of the problem quickly. A basement plumbing leak repair is routine for a trained plumber. Call Roto-Rooter at 800-768-6911 for any basement plumbing services you require.

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