Gutters and downspouts are designed to direct rainwater away from your home. Good home maintenance habits help keep them working efficiently. But other areas of your home and home’s exterior also contribute to successfully remaining safe and dry. Ways to prevent basement flooding include cleaning the gutter system, covering window wells, and installing a downspout extender.
Clean the Gutters and Downspouts
Many gutter cleaning professionals might argue that fall is the most important season to clean the gutters and downspouts because it helps to get ready for the winter ahead. Overflowing gutters and blocked downspouts are two common gutter problems that can contribute to basement flooding. In addition to regularly scheduled gutter cleanings, make it a habit to inspect the gutters and downspouts after heavy rainstorms or very windy days.
Clear Floor and Storm Drains
Inside your home ensure all floor drains are clear of obstructions and work correctly.
Especially in the fall, check any curbside storm drains near your home for leaves, etc. If you find them blocked, clear away the debris with a broom or rake.
Maintain Basement Windows
While homeowners remember to caulk the windows, check trim for wood rot, and replace cracked glass panes, basement windows can be easily neglected. But it’s just as important to maintain them if you want to prevent basement flooding.
When you have window wells on your property consider installing a window well cover to keep moisture from collecting inside and then seeping into the basement. Select one that is adjustable, strong, and transparent so it can let in light (which is the whole point of window wells).
Install a Sump Pump
A sump pump is a device that detects rising water levels and water pressure. The pump is switched on when water begins to rise and directs it into a discharge pipe, guiding it safely away from your basement. If your area’s water table is above the foundation of your home a sump pump is a great preventative measure for a flooded basement. If you’re not sure of the groundwater level where you, live use the BC Groundwater Level Interactive Map.
Install a Downspout Extender
Downspout extenders, also known as downspout extensions, help to move water further away from your home when downpipes are too short and deposit water too close to the foundation. They are simple to install; usually available at home improvement stores. A downspout extender can be an extra level of protection against basement flooding.
Inspect the Foundation
Water can get into the basement through cracks in the foundation. Inspect the foundation for cracks – if you discover hairline cracks conduct a visual home maintenance inspection at each change of the season to ensure they are not becoming larger. Make repairs as necessary. If the cracks are large enough for an index finger to be inserted up to the knuckle, call a contract for a consultation – the foundation might require professional work done to prevent water from getting into the basement.
Install Gutter Guards
If you have trees on your property, particularly ones close to the house or live in a community with a lot of trees, a gutter guard system designed to catch leaves and other types debris can help prevent clogs and overflows. However, choose gutter guards that are compatible with your gutters and roof; suit the kinds of trees you have (deciduous, coniferous, or a mix of both), and are the right type of leaf protector for the area in which you live.
Change the Grading of Your Yard
The landscaping around your home should slope away from the foundation of the house so that water does not flow toward the exterior walls and the basement. If the grading of your yard slopes toward rather than away, you may need to ask the advice of a landscaping contractor to change the grade to prevent basement flooding.