Flooded Basement? Prevent Major Water Damage With These Tips

As a homeowner, one of the most common yet devastating problems is a basement flood.  As water pours in, it’s nearly impossible to avoid feeling helpless.

All you can do is move your most important belongings out of the basement — assuming they’re not already damaged beyond repair — in hopes to save what you can.

While it’s impossible to prevent a natural disaster, there are steps you can take in order to mitigate or even prevent the potential destruction water can cause in your basement.

Signs Your Basement is Susceptible to Flood and Water Damage

Even in dry conditions, there may already be signs that your basement is susceptible to flood damage.

How you take care of the outside of your house can actually have a big impact on the inside, even in your basement. In fact, people who neglect to clean their gutters or don’t have them set up to drain several feet from their homes are actually more likely to see flood damage in their basement.

“Keep those maintained and cleaned out,” said Jeremy Baxter, who oversees the water department here at Paul Davis Restoration of Northeast Indiana. “Make sure that you have the water going away at least three feet from the house, whether that's using an extension at the bottom of the spout or something else that diverts the water away from the house.

“If your gutters get clogged up, that water will run down the side of the house and into the ground near the foundation.”

Along the same lines, it’s also important to pay attention to the landscaping next to your house. Flower beds that retain water or hills that run toward your home can wear on the foundation and eventually lead to water getting in.

If your basement is unfinished, it's important to monitor cement walls and floors for cracks. Even the smallest abrasion can be a gateway for water damage and further wear and tear

“Obviously, with smaller cracks, you can probably patch it, but if you get something that you can stick your finger in, I would definitely call a professional to see if you can get that fixed because that's going to let water in,” Baxter said.

If your basement is finished, you can check for moisture on the drywall. Over time, a basement that’s letting even a small amount of water in on a regular basis will start to soften or the tape and paint on the wall will begin to bubble.

Lastly, anyone with a basement should make sure that their sump pump is in working condition and is capable of handling an extreme amount of rainwater. If a sump pump falls behind, it will begin to let water in.

Schedule Routine Maintenance on your Septic System

Modern plumbing is a wonderful convenience, but that doesn’t mean it can be neglected.

“When's the last time you had your septic tank cleaned?” Baxter said. “Routine maintenance will prevent a lot of what we're talking about.”

It’s also important to have your sewer inspected to make sure there are no compromising issues. If either system malfunctions, it can lead to a huge mess and thousands of dollars in damage.

It’s also a lengthy process to restore a finished basement that has been significantly impacted by water damage.

First, wet and damaged materials must be replaced. Then those areas need to be left alone to dry. Once the area is dry again, contractors like the ones at Paul Davis can begin to restore your basement to its former state.

Experience Flood Damage?

If you’ve recently experienced a flooded basement or are worried about potential flooding, it’s important to look into your home insurance policy.

You’ll want to see what types of flood damage your policy covers, because not all flood causes are. Then check the monetary value of the policy. Will it cover $10,000 in flood damage? More? Less?

After that, you’ll be ready to call in experts, such as the specialists at Paul Davis Restoration, which can return your basement to its former state and offer additional tips for preventing future water damage.

To reach the experts at Paul Davis Restoration, visit www.pdrneindiana.com or call 260-436-7510.