Having a basement is pretty commonplace when you live in the Twin Cities area. Since foundations must be constructed below the frost line to prevent shifting during freeze-thaw cycles, most homes were historically built with their lowest level underground. But that level can easily flood if your property suffers from a few different issues.
To avoid unexpected water intrusion into your home’s lowest level and an emergency call to a water removal specialist, understanding whether your basement is at risk for flooding is critical. Is your home’s lowest level at risk for water intrusion? Below, you’ll find four telltale signs that it definitely is.
Your Property Slopes Toward Your House
If the land around your house slopes downward toward your foundation, any rainwater or snowmelt that ends up on your property will flow toward your home rather than away from it. When that happens, water can seep through tiny cracks in your foundation and eventually end up in your basement or crawlspace. Ultimately, you’ll find yourself calling a water removal specialist to avoid mold and mildew growth and serious basement damage.
Is there anything you can do about a land sloping problem? You’ll have to get in touch with an engineer who can formulate a plan to fix the slope of the land around your house. Ideally, that land should slope away from your home for at least six feet.
Water Pools Near Your Home’s Foundation
If you’ve ever noticed water collecting near the foundation of your house, you may have a flood risk on your hands. This issue tends to happen when:
● Your gutters overflow with water during a storm.
● Your outdoor spigots are leaking.
● Pits or holes form near your home and they allow water to collect inside.
To avoid basement flooding and a call to a water removal specialist, you’ll need to do some investigating. Inspecting your outdoor spigots to see if they leak, and if they do, repair them. If there are any pits or holes in the ground around your home, fill them in and level them off.
There Are Cracks in Your Home’s Foundation
When there are visible cracks in your foundation, your basement is at serious risk of flooding anytime there’s substantial rain or snowmelt. Foundation cracks act as channels to direct water straight into your basement or crawlspace, a phenomenon called infiltration flooding. To avoid a call to a water removal and remediation specialist, you’ll need to fix those cracks ASAP.
Sometimes, fixing the problem is as simple as applying sealant wherever you find foundation damage. Other times, when the cracks are more severe, a contractor may be necessary. If the cracks are really serious, you may need to have the entire foundation repaired.
Water Damage and Musty Odors
If you have a finished basement, some indicators are issues like bubbling drywall, lifting floor material, and peeling wallpaper. For a concrete basement there may be water staining on the floors or walls. In addition, if you are smelling musty odors, these are red flags that your basement is vulnerable to flooding and you need to call an expert to assess the damage.
Cracks in the Basement Walls
Because the basement sits below the ground, it will make it easier for water to enter it, especially after a storm. You want to check the interior concrete surfaces for cracks because these can get larger over time and create an even greater space for water to get inside.
In most cases, a minor crack can be dealt with by applying a waterproofing sealant and some caulking, but if you don't catch them soon enough, you may have to seek restoration services.
Another area that you may have never considered as a problematic area or your gutters. In a lot of cases, the basement can be flooded due to clogging in your gutter system, and it happens for three main reasons:
Overflow happens when the gutters become too clogged with debris like dirt, twigs, and excess leaves. If the rainwater can't move around this efficiently, it will end up spilling over the side and flow directly to the foundation.
If the gutters are sagging or need repair in some form, this can also contribute to the flooding. This is due to the hardware loosening over time and forcing the water to go in the wrong direction, potentially creating flooding and damaging downspouts.
Another concern is if there are trenches that the rainwater has created. Sagging gutters can contribute to this because they will force extra water to pool in one space and end up near the foundation, giving it easier access to enter your basement area.
The primary way to address this is to check out your gutters to see if they’re filled with debris. If they are, clean them out to prevent water from overflowing out of them and be sure to include regular inspections to ensure they are in the best condition possible.
Your Driveway Slopes Downward
If your driveway slopes downward toward a garage that’s underground, the lowest level of your home could be at risk for flooding. However, that depends on whether your property has a properly designed drainage system.
Most homes with downward sloping driveways are constructed with catch basins or some other form of drainage system designed to collect water and disperse it away from the house. But if your home doesn’t have that, or if the drainage system gets overloaded with water during a heavy storm, water can flow into the lowest level of your house.
To avoid a flood and a call to a water removal specialist, make sure your sump pump is fully functional at all times. Implementing a backwater valve in your drainage system will also help prevent overflows.
Kiser Construction: Your Twin Cities Source for Comprehensive Water Removal and Damage Restoration
If your basement has suffered any degree of flooding, get in touch with our team at Kiser Construction right away. Prompt water extraction is the best way to avoid serious structural damage and mold growth, both of which are expensive and time consuming to fix. To get started or learn more about how we can help you, give us a call today at 763-633-2010 or contact us online. If you’re in need of immediate, emergency service, please call our 24/7 emergency response line at 612-518-8852.