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Flooded Basement: How to Prevent It

window well cover

Small foundation cracks, leaky windows or incorrect grading can all lead to costly flooding damage as the weather warms up and water starts to accumulate around your home. We’ll show you how to prevent basement flooding this season with these simple fixes, upgrades and maintenance tips.

Skill Level: Beginner
  1. Step 1 Remove Debris from Storm Drains

    Remove Debris from Storm Drains

    Proper water drainage into curb-side storm drains is crucial in preventing a flooded basement. Be sure to clear any storm drains of debris so that water can freely drain into them, rather than build up and potentially redirect toward your home.    

  2. Step 2 Direct Water Away from your Foundation

    Direct Water Away from your Foundation

    The grading of your property is the level of your ground, and it determines which direction the storm water moves around your home. Proper grading will force storm water to flow away from your foundation. Consult an expert if you feel your ground may need re-grading. You can also extend the downspouts from your gutters to roughly 10’ away from your foundation to ensure proper water evacuation.    

  3. Step 3 Install Window Well Covers

    Install Window Well Covers

    While window wells are great for letting light into windows that are below grade, water can accumulate in them and cause issues. Window well covers fit over the top of an exposed window well and are used to prevent water from building up inside the well, which could ultimately lead to basement flooding. 

  4. Step 4 Repair Cracks in Foundation and Windows

    Repair Cracks in Foundation and Windows

    One of the biggest contributors to basement flooding can be a crack in your foundation or windows. Be sure to check your windows thoroughly to ensure a water tight seal. If you notice a leaking crack in your foundation, you’ll need to repair it using a hydraulic cement, caulk or various other options. Fixing cracks and applying interior basement waterproofing techniques to your foundation are some of the most important steps in preventing basement flooding. 

  5. Step 5 Install a Sump Pump

    Install a Sump Pump

    Installing a sump pump is another tool for basement flooding prevention. A sump pump pumps water out and away from your foundation, helping to keep the area under your home dry and prevent it from flooding. If your area’s water table – the level below which the ground is saturated with water – is above the foundation of your home, a sump pump is recommended.    

  6. Step 6 Test your Floor Drain

    Test your Floor Drain

    Test your floor drain by pouring water down it once in a while to ensure proper drainage. While this method may not find issues that originate between the main line and the home, it’s a good test for blockages in your trap or issues with your sump pump.    

  7. Step 7 Set Up a Flood Alarm

    Set Up a Flood Alarm

    Flood sensors are small devices that are easily installed near your baseboards and monitor for changes in moisture. They connect to your smart home and will notify you if there is water wherever you’ve placed it. While they won’t help with flood prevention, they can save you a lot of headaches by catching flooding early and allowing you to manage it before it gets out of hand. Battery life on some of these devices can last up to 10 years, so you’ll constantly have protection when you need it.    

  8. Step 8 Store Valuable Items in Waterproof Containers

    Store Valuable Items in Waterproof Containers

    A good rule of thumb is to pack anything in your basement that can’t/shouldn’t get wet in water-tight containers. They’re stackable and in the event of a flood, they’ll protect your valuable items from water damage. 

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