Help! My Basement Keeps Flooding
When your water table is higher than the level of your basement, it essentially means that your basement is surrounded by water trapped in the earth. Left for long enough and without the necessary protective measures, your basement is bound to “absorb” some of this water. And when it rains heavily, your ground water level will rise, resulting in an increased likelihood of your basement becoming flooded. Rainier climates can see the risk of this at any time, but more seasonal climates might find that this happens once the winter snow and ice begin to melt. But there's more behind the potential of basement flooding than the season.
Faulty Sanitary Sewer Lateral
Your sanitary sewer lateral is often designed to channel sewage from the property to the sewer. However, in certain circumstances, like the lateral deteriorating and causing a backup, it is possible for the water from the sewer to flow backwards towards the property.
When this happens, its first point of contact would most likely be the basement as the wastewater would be looking for the next available outlet to drain into. If the basement has weak or cracked walls and flooring, it will seep into the basement, flooding it in the process.
Slope of the Ground
Where’s your home or basement located? Homes located downhill are, of course, more likely to see their basements flooded. This is because when it rains, water will naturally flow downhill resulting in a higher water level which will most likely flood the basement while it’s looking for a place to settle. The location and performance of your gutters and downspouts play a part in how water runs away from your home as well -- that broken or leaning downspout could actually be directing a flow of water into your foundation or basement, and if you're lucky, a call to the gutter experts might be all you need.
Homes and properties with poorly maintained foundations are very likely to experience frequent basement flooding. Any path the water takes from there is just as likely to deteriorate, leaving your basement and foundations even more susceptible to the further encroachment of water. You might not notice the effects until your foundation and basement have already been affected. But the cause might be as simple as a broken downspout funneling all the water from your gutters right down through the foundation of your home. This is why gutter experts like Aerotech frequently advise homeowners to clean the gutters they install every season.
But no matter how trivial you might think the cause, the end result could be a lot more than a leak in your basement -- your entire home could end up shifting or tilting over a compromised foundation.
If you're reading this because your basement is flooding, like most home repair issues, you're already looking at two options:
Try to Fix it Yourself
If you decide to go this route, you will be joining countless homeowners who've tried the same thing. But if you take one thing away from this article, it should be that frequent basement flooding is usually an indicator of a chain of issues and related damage. As a homeowner, it can be difficult to see every link in that chain. Sometimes, flooding can be caused by blocked or broken downspouts, or clogged and leaky gutters. Or it could be an issue with your water table. Whatever the case, you need to be able to draw a line from the flooding to the source of the water.
If you can't draw that line, or if you find that there has already been too much damage done, it's time to call in the big guns. While any individual task might have a DIY solution, you don't want to allow the source of the water the time to do further damage. Find a licensed and insured contractor in your area to inspect your home and basement, get a second opinion if you need it, and get the necessary repairs before your home is literally under water.