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5 Tips to Prevent Basement Water Problems

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

basement leaksPreventing basement floods ought to be a concern for everyone with a basement. Some sort of water intrusion, minor or major, affects 98% of basements during the life of the home. Besides ruining possessions stored there, electrical panels, HVAC equipment and other vital systems—as well as posing the potential for long-term contamination by toxic mold—basement floods can also be damaging to the foundation and structure of the house.

Since the flood that never happens is the easiest kind to deal with, here are five tips for preventing basement floods:

  1. Maintain gutters. A roof sheds hundreds of gallons of water per hour during a heavy rainstorm, more than enough to cause flooding if it makes its way down into your basement. Water cascading from clogged, overflowing gutters inundates the ground below and may penetrate the basement wall. Also, make sure gutter downspouts discharge water at least three to five feet from the house
  2. Grade away from the house. Prevent pooling of water around the foundation perimeter. Landscape next to the house should be graded so water flows away and doesn’t soak into the ground immediately next to basement walls.
  3. Install a sump pump. A high groundwater level may cause basement flooding, especially during extended rainy periods. Installed in a sump basin excavated in the basement floor, a sump pump activates automatically to remove groundwater rising up beneath the house. After water is pumped out of the basement and discharged outside, the pump turns off automatically.
  4. Consider a backflow valve. Raw sewage flowing backwards through the sewer line from various causes enters the house at the lowest point—usually basement drains or fixtures. A backflow valve installed in your sewer line diverts sewage reflux up through an outdoor clean-out port before it floods the basement.
  5. Don’t ignore plumbing leaks. Pinhole leaks or seeping joints in water supply lines routed through the basement aren’t “normal” and shouldn’t be ignored. They may be a warning sign of an imminent pipe rupture that can flood the basement with thousands of gallons of water.

Ask the experts at Rytech, Inc. for more information about preventing basement floods.

What to Avoid to Prevent Plumbing Leaks

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

Anything you can do to prevent plumbing leaks is better than the alternative. Leaks from water supply lines, no matter how apparently small and trifling, should never be acceptable. A water supply pipe is under pressure and even minor leakage may be the sign of a pipe or joint that’s about to fail. Once it does, it can rapidly inundate the house with hundreds of gallons. If it happens when nobody’s home, the consequences can be even more catastrophic. Prevent plumbing leaks and you not only prevent needless waste and increased water bills, but you also may prevent expensive water damage.

prevent plumbing leaksCheck Your Water Pressure

High household water pressure — generally above 80 p.s.i. — may trigger or exacerbate leakage. A qualified plumber can test your supply pressure. If it’s above limits, he’ll investigate causes such as a misadjusted pressure regulator, typically located at or near the meter.

Replace Washing Machine Hoses

Cold and hot water supply hoses that connect to your washing machine are usually rubber with a life of only about 5 years. A leaky or ruptured washing machine hose is a common cause of water damage. Don’t wait for them to fail. Replace rubber washing machine hoses with braided stainless steel lines that have long expected service life.

Soften the Water

If the local municipal water has naturally high mineral content, mineral deposits forming inside water supply pipes may cause pressure to increase as well as accelerate corrosion. Installation of a whole house water softener will extend the life of water pipes — as well as your water heater — preventing a common cause of corrosion and plumbing leaks.

Don’t Let Them Freeze

Insulate all exposed spans of plumbing you can access. Seal any external openings that allow frigid air to contact water supply lines. When temperatures drop into the danger zone — below 25 degrees — keep the household thermostat at 55 degrees or higher and open taps very slightly to allow water to dribble out as long as freezing temperatures persist.

The water damage specialists at Rytech, Inc. have more ideas to help you prevent plumbing leaks and avoid water damage.