Because the basement is the lowest point inside a house, basement flooding is a very common event. Insurance industry statistics show that over 90 percent of residences with a basement will experience some sort of flooding. Critical household components such as electrical and HVAC are frequently installed in the basement, so these events can be very damaging.
The good news is, reducing the risk of significant basement flooding is very doable.
- Keep gutters clear. Just one inch of rainfall on a typical 1,000-square foot roof sends almost 700 gallons of water into the gutters. If clogged gutters overflow, the cascade of water pounds the ground directly below, penetrating deep into the soil and infiltrating the basement through joints and cracks in the basement wall.
- Extend downspouts. Gutter downspouts should be at least three feet long to discharge roof runoff far enough from the house so it doesn’t soak into the ground and then leak into the basement.
- Install a sump pump. The natural force of ground water pushing up beneath your foundation may be strong enough to seep into the basement through cracks and other openings. A sump pump installed in a basin excavated in the basement floor catches rising ground water and automatically pumps it out of the basement.
- Consider a sewage backflow valve. If your sewer pipe becomes obstructed, or the municipal sewer system is inundated with water after very heavy rain, raw sewage could reflux into your house. Typically it will emerge at the lowest point in the house—usually floor drains or fixtures down in the basement. A backflow valve placed in your sewer pipe automatically diverts sewage through an outdoor clean-out port to prevent basement flooding.
- Watch for small leaks. Seemingly minor leaks on water supply lines usually routed through the basement, such as small pinhole dribbles or wet pipe joints, may be the early warning of a catastrophic pipe rupture that could flood your basement with hundreds of gallons of water. Consult a qualified plumber ASAP.
For a professional opinion on preventing basement flooding, contact the experts at Cool Power.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Hauppauge, New York and the Long Island area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about preventing basement flooding and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 631-292-0629.
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