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How to Protect Your Basement From Water Damage

Saving Your Basement From Water Damage

Water is a strong force, and while we welcome it most of the time, it can be a nuisance at home. Under the right circumstances, water can cost you thousands of dollars in damages, which is a situation that nobody wants.

Your basement is particularly vulnerable to water damage, as H2O from inside and outside the home can directly feed into the lower level. Here’s what you need to know to protect your basement from costly water damage.

Identify Vulnerability

How likely is it that you’ll get water damage in your basement? Do you have a lot of flooding in your neighborhood? If you saw water in the basement, would you know the likely source?

These are all questions you should ask yourself and be ready to answer when assessing your water vulnerability. Areas that are prone to flooding need to have extra precautions in place to safeguard their home. Remember when we said water was a strong force? In a flood, this couldn’t be more true.

Also, be familiar with the area around your home, specifically where the ground meets your foundation. Be aware of slopes, slants, soft spots, and openings. If your lawn isn’t draining correctly, water will head for the next location that will take it - which is likely your basement!

If a flood happens or one is on the horizon, make sure your basement is ready to stay dry.

For extra protection, consider installing water detection sensors. These devices connect to your smartphone and can alert you of any water exposure in your basement.

Install/Replace Sump Pump

When flooding occurs, a sump pump can be your best friend. Ensuring your sump pump is in working order can be the difference between a flood solution and costly water damage. A sump pump can remove hundreds of gallons of water per minute.

If you don’t have a sump pump already, consider installing one to guard against flooding in your basement. If you do have one, a simple test can ensure it will be ready for any impending flood. Pour a five-gallon bucket of water into the basket, wait for the motor to start, and empty the water. If all is normal, you’re all set! But if you notice the water isn’t draining properly, there’s a burning smell, or the basket doesn’t look empty, call your local plumbing experts to address the problem.

Also, consider investing in a battery backup for your sump pump. In the event of a power failure, standard sump pumps won’t work, and you’ll be stuck enduring potential water damage. With a battery backup, you can be sure your sump pump will do its job.

Repair Foundation and Windows

Cracks in your home’s foundation are the perfect avenue for water to enter your basement. Take a close look at your exterior foundation, then at your basement walls, both furnished and unfurnished. If you notice cracks, water buildup, or stains, fix the issue immediately. If there is still leaking, call in a professional to assess your foundation.

Basement windows, if you have them, can also be a source of leaking. Make sure windows are insulated and fit correctly. Install well covers to protect water from reaching the windows in the first place. These simple structural improvements can have a profound effect on waterproofing your basement.

Check for Other Structural Damage

Basement flooding doesn’t just come from outside. Damage in your own home can have an impact on your basement, causing damage without your knowledge.

In the winter, try to prevent frozen pipes on frigid nights. A pipe burst can bring serious damage to your basement. If there is a leak in your pipes, have it taken care of by a qualified plumber.

Similarly, address any roof damage that may be present. Roofs are meant to shield our homes from the elements, so a breach can damage different areas of your home.

Getting You Ready for the Next Flood

A sump pump can save your home from water damage, and the experts at Ostrom Electrical Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning can make sure yours is working properly. Call us at (540) 253-1559 for same-day appointments!

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