How To Protect Your Basement From Flooding in Stormy Weather

February 26, 2022

Storms can cause various types of disruption at home, from power cuts to severe property damage. And the basement is one of the most vulnerable areas of the home during extreme weather conditions. They can be expensive to put right, too: according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), flooded basements cost $43,000 to repair on average.

It’s crucial that you take steps to protect your basement from flooding during wet weather — otherwise a heavy downpour could leave you facing a sizable cost to put it right.

So, what can you do to protect your basement before a storm arrives? In this post, we’ll look at a few ideas to help you get started. First, though, we’ll explore the type of damage that floods can inflict upon your basement.

What Damage Can Flooding Cause to Your Basement and Home?

Discovering that your basement has flooded during a storm can be devastating, especially if you don’t have the time or equipment to remove the water effectively. However, the damage could be more extensive than it at first appears, and could lead to the following issues if overlooked:

Mold

Dark, damp environments are the perfect breeding ground for mold — which makes a flooded basement a prime habitat. Mold creates a musty, highly unpleasant smell over time, and is recognizable by its dark patchy appearance.

This fungus can spread by releasing spores into the air, allowing it to grow in multiple areas if left unchecked. But mold can be hazardous to you and other members of your household if you inhale those airborne spores.

As reported by CBC, Health Canada warns that mold may cause:

  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing
  • Eye irritation
  • Nose irritation
  • Throat irritation
  • Allergic reactions
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Worsening asthma symptoms

Address any mold you discover in your basement as soon as possible.

Structural Damage

Water can damage your basement’s foundation, support beams, drywall, and any wood it comes into contact with. This may contribute to rot, wear away at load-bearing fixtures, and negatively affect the structural integrity of your home.

Attracting Pests

Pests may be attracted to your basement after a flood, including termites, cockroaches, and silverfish. You could have an infestation on your hands after a flood if you wait too long to have the water removed and your basement dried out. Taking preventative measures is the best way to keep pests attracted to moist interiors at bay.

Ruined Possessions

A basement is a convenient place to keep non-essential goods out of the way — countless households use theirs to store boxes filled with possessions, some of which may have sentimental value. But a flood could rush in and destroy prized belongings, from family photo albums to certificates and trophies.

Damaged Appliances

If you keep your washing machine, dryer, or other appliances in your basement, a flood could damage their electrical components. Even if a machine can be saved, repairs may be costly.

How Can You Defend Against Flooding?

The following steps will help protect your basement against flooding in stormy weather:

Install a Sump Pump

A quality sump pump is vital to fend off flooding, so if you don’t have one, consider installing one as soon as possible. This will pump water out of your basement and remove it through a drain pipe, which empties the water outside.

Flood water will end up well away from your foundation — providing you with invaluable peace of mind during a storm.

And if you already have a sump pump in your basement? Make sure it’s in full working order before wet weather arrives. A professional service will identify any issues and get it back to its best.

Address Foundation Cracks

A cracked foundation leaves property foundations more likely to be penetrated by groundwater. You may not notice cracks until it’s too late, which is why it’s crucial that you check the foundation regularly. Fill in any cracks you spot to reinforce it.

Invest in a Backwater Valve

Backwater valves defend against backups that can create a foul mess if sewer systems become clogged or backed up. Installing one in your basement will decrease the likelihood of your property being struck by a flow of smelly, unhygienic sewage.

Check Your Gutters and Downspouts

Gutters and downspouts keep rainwater flowing away from your property’s foundation, but they can become clogged over time. Debris (e.g. leaves) may pile up throughout the year, and your gutters and downspouts could be rendered ineffective when stormy weather comes around again.

Aim to clean your gutters every quarter (at least) to avoid issues. Your downspouts should be positioned properly to ensure water is discharged away from your foundation safely, too.

Hire Professional Basement Waterproofers

Basement waterproofing services can make a massive difference to your home’s safety ahead of a storm and all year round. Aluneed has undertaken countless waterproofing projects over the past 25 years. Our services include exterior waterproofing, interior waterproofing, and underpinning.

Let’s take a closer look at each:

Exterior Waterproofing

Waterproofing your basement’s exterior involves several steps. Excavation is conducted using a machine or by hand to reach the bottom of the foundation, before all debris is removed. Any cracks or holes in the foundation are fixed and sealed. A bituthene primer and delta membrane are applied to the foundation.

Next, a flow test confirms that water exits your home properly, and fresh weeping tiles are installed.

Interior Waterproofing

Interior waterproofing begins with the removal of all debris from the foundation, before a trench is created along the foundation wall. A drainage membrane and weeping tile system are installed, before gravel is placed over the weeping tile.

The weeping tile is connected to a sump pump or drain, and concrete slabs are reinstalled.

Underpinning

Underpinning is essential to expand livable space in your home or balance a structural issue. This service reinforces the property’s foundation to ensure it can support the house.

Contact Aluneed now for a FREE estimate and protect your basement against a flood!

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