3 Tips For Preventing Basement Water Damage

basement water damageWhen it comes to avoiding basement water damage, nature isn’t on your side. Natural forces of gravity and hydrology put your basement at risk from multiple water sources. Just over 40% of single family homes in the U.S. include a basement. However, many residential basements weren’t originally constructed to waterproof standards in the first place. Insurance statistics, therefore, predict that fully 98% of homes with basements will experience some type of water damage. However, you may be able to improve those odds by taking a few proactive measures.

Install A Sump Pump

A sump pump installed in a basin at the lowest point in the basement floor protects against water damage in two ways. In case of a ruptured indoor plumbing line or outdoor inundation, water entering the sump basin is automatically pumped out through a discharge line as long as flooding continues. Then, the pump automatically turns off. The sump basin also accumulates ground water rising beneath the house in locales with a naturally high water table. This reduces hydrostatic pressure under the foundation and resultant water seepage into the basement.

Reduce Outdoor Water Sources

Rain water or snow melt saturates soil surrounding basement walls, seeping in through tiny cracks and pores. The excessive weight of water-saturated soil can also structurally damage basement walls. Ground immediately adjacent to the foundation should be graded into a slope to divert water away from the house. Keep gutters clear to prevent overflow—a typical residential roof sheds 1,250 gallons of water per inch of rainfall. Gutter downspouts should extend at least six feet from the house so discharge doesn’t seep through basement walls.

Get A Backwater Valve

Sewage backflow usually inundates the house at the lowest point: the basement. Installed in the house sewer line just outside the basement wall a backwater valve permits flow of sewage away from the house only. In case of backflow, it automatically closes. This prevents Category 3 water damage caused by raw sewage, a toxic biohazard that requires comprehensive professional clean-up and decontamination.

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