There are many reasons your basement could end up looking like a bowl of soup (especially during Michigan’s rainy season). But don’t panic! There are definitely a few easy things you can do proactively to prevent your basement from flooding; a few simple tips for flood proofing your basement before you’ve got a wet mess on your hands and the lower section of your house looks like grandma’s minestrone!
Where Did That Water Come From!?
A weak foundation is more often than not one of the primary causes of water finding its way into your basement. We know when people hear “Foundation Issues”, many homeowners want to throw your hands up in the air and start looking for a new home. You should have a foundation specialist out to your home to work on any cracks or slivers in the concrete that might let in water.
Professionals aside, there are safeguards you can take on your own to help to protect your basement. One of the easiest things you can address on your own is the framing around windows at the main level. These windows can often be the main cause of rain water leaking in to the basement. With a quick trip to the hardware store, you can pick up some basic caulking to apply to any slight openings or gaps to limit the odds of any flooding.
One fail safe way to help protect your basement from troublesome basement windows is to seal them completely. Many basements will have small windows resting just above ground level, which don’t really provide much of a view or light to begin with. In these cases you may want to seal these windows from the outside. Some basic masonry work should do the trick, covering them with properly-sealed bricks over the window openings.
As always, if you don’t feel comfortable doing any of these projects yourself, consult a professional!
Just In Case
Sump pump, sump pump, sump pump…. It’s so much fun to say! Really we could say it over and over again and still not have said it enough. Chances are good you already have a sump pump in your basement. If not, you should look into getting one; with all our rivers, lakes, and wetlands, every home in Michigan should probably have a sump pump! Even if you already have one, you’re not quite done yet. Since it’s out of sight and out of mind, it’s easy to forget about your sump pump. But you should be checking up on it at least every 3-6 months to make sure it is operating in tip top shape – otherwise, you may walk downstairs to do some laundry and discover a lot more may need cleaning!
Backup and Detection
Having backup plans are a good thing for anyone. Basement floods, particularly, would be a perfect thing for which to have a backup plan. We’ve already gone over sump pumps, but what about a back up for your sump pump? Having a second battery-powered sump pump backup should be required for anyone living in a flood zone, or if you frequently suffer power outages. A failed sump pump due to a power outage is another incredibly common issue that can make you wish water didn’t exist. Installing a backup for your sump pump can be crucial to avoiding a major financial burden.
Another thing you can do to help to detect the moment you might have a problem on your hands is to purchase a smart water leak detector for your home. There are many products on the market now that can alert you to water leaks in your home so you can take action before things get too crazy. Many of these new devices even have apps that can connect to the detector and alert you wherever you are on your smartphone.
Armed with these simple tips for flood proofing your basement, you can be confident that you’ve done everything you can to prevent your basement from ending up like the one in the picture at the top of this article. While this isn’t an exhaustive list, you should be much better prepared for avoiding the most common basement flooding problems.
It’s impossible to cover every flooding scenario of course, so if you ever do have a flood in your home, just know that the water damage experts at Modernistic are just a phone call away! 24/7/365, we’ll be there for your basement flooding emergencies.