Source: Institute for Business & Home Safety
Heavy rains are pounding Long Island today, which will cause flooding throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.
Basement flooding can be a problem in some homes, and there are steps to take to minimize potential damage. But since a flooded basement can result from a number of things, there is no single method for prevention. The most important things are to determine:
1) When is the basement flooding?
Does the basement flood every year at approximately the same time?
Does the basement flood during random intervals?
2) Where is the basement flooding?
If water is entering near the top of the wall in one location:
- An improperly sloped landscape angled toward the house could be the cause.
- Extend and re-direct the downspouts.
- Reshape the landscaping around the foundation of the home.
Inspect the location where water is entering:
Caulk any cracks on the interior.
If the entire wall is damp or water is entering through multiple wall surfaces, this may be a sign of a faulty or missing water proofing membrane.
Remove soil around the foundation.
Hire a licensed contractor to install a waterproofing membrane.
Consider applying an internal sealant that can be painted on interior surface of basement walls:
This is not an option for finished basement walls.
These products require constant maintenance or they will stop working.
If the water appears to be entering the home near the foundation or through a floor drain:
One solution is to install a “French Drainage” system around the perimeter of the home or at least in areas subject to frequent flooding.
- Remove the soil around the perimeter of the home.
- Waterproof the foundation wall with a waterproofing membrane.
- Install a French Drain at the base of the foundation:
- Ensure that the drain has a method for diverting the water.
- The drain should empty into the primary storm drainage system, a retention pond or other source.
- Backfill the area with gravel to provide adequate drainage.
- Install a sump pump with a battery backup:
- This requires demolition of a portion of the basement floor.
To be effective, the sump pump needs to be hooked up to a drainage system, usually installed around the perimeter of the basement foundation, or at least in areas subject to repeated flooding.
Because this is installed at the perimeter of the foundation, the flooring in this area will also face demolition to install the drainage system.
Sump pumps should be tested at least once a year, preferably in the early spring.
Test the system if a storm is approaching.
Make sure the sump pit does not contain any debris that will clog the sump’s inlet pipe.
Pour water into the sump pit until the sump turns on (about 5 gallons of water).
If the sump does not turn on contact a professional to diagnose the problem.
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