Natural calamities like heavy rains and overflowing rivers are often the cause of indoor floods. But in some cases, flooded basements are due to preventable causes that aren’t environmentally related.
If you take active precautions to prevent basement flooding, you can help save yourself a ton of stress and expenses that come with cleanup, water mitigation (the process of preventing further damage to a building after a flood), and repairs.
Below, we delve into the different causes of basement floods and the warning signs that flooding is imminent.
Top Causes of Basement Flooding
Leaky, deteriorating, and damaged pipes are the most common causes of basement flooding in homes and buildings. Pipes can last for decades, but they aren’t immune to wear and tear and external factors like getting struck by heavy or sharp objects (e.g., accidentally hitting a pipe when drilling through or nailing things on a wall).
Faulty plumbing can be any of the following:
- Leaky pipe joints
- Frozen pipes
- Broken pipe nozzles
- Punctured or cracked PVC pipes
- Clogged pipes
Sewer System Failure
A sanitary sewer service lateral pipe connects your home’s plumbing to the municipal sanitary sewer system. It carries the wastewater from your sinks, drains, and toilets to the public sewer main. However, the lateral pipe can sustain damage over the years. An example of this is when a section collapses or gets clogged by a tree root that has penetrated the pipe, and resultingly, sewage backup may occur and send blackwater into your basement.
Deteriorating Foundation Drainage
Builders install drainage systems beneath a house or building’s foundation. They are designed to carry water away from the foundation naturally through gravity. In places where the foundation drain is not as low as it should be, builders install pumps and sump holes so that water in the ground will continuously flow away from the foundation.
If the pump breaks, the sump hole becomes clogged, or the foundation drainage system fails, water will no longer drain as quickly as it should through the ground. So the next time it rains, rainwater will pool very quickly, and it can enter your home through the ground-level basement windows.
Here are other possible causes for basement floods:
- Your home is in a flood-prone area.
- The lot your house stands in wasn’t graded correctly.
- Your lot is at a low point (e.g., at the bottom of a hill).
- The weatherproofing materials used for your house are low quality or have deteriorated.
- You have a faulty gutter system or clogged downspouts.
Lessons from Water Mitigation: Tips to Detect Water Damage
After floodwater recedes, the risk of water damage lingers. To prevent this, immediate water mitigation is crucial for preventing or limiting damage. The goal is to reduce the humidity and moisture as quickly and thoroughly as possible to prevent microbial growth (mold).
The issues addressed in water mitigation offer some insight into possible red flags for basement flooding. Here are some of them:
- The ground around the house has high moisture content.
- Standing water quickly pools when watering plants or outdoor faucet leaks.
- The lot slopes toward the foundation of the home.
- The catch basin of a house with a reverse-sloping driveway is clogged with dirt and debris.
- There are visible cracks in the basement walls and floor.
- The plumbing inside the house is frequently clogged, backs up, or drains very slowly.
- The walls in an unfinished basement are often moist.
- Dark stains and discoloration appear on the drywall and baseboards of a finished basement.
Restore of Your Safe Haven Through Flood Damage Restoration
Prevention is infinitely better than dealing with the aftermath of a flooded basement. But it could still happen despite your best efforts to prevent it, especially if the cause is beyond your control (i.e., natural calamity, damage to public infrastructure).
The good news is that flood damage restoration experts are just a phone call away. Restoration 1 is the best in water damage repairs and restoration for residential and commercial buildings in Kansas City. The company specializes in water damage restoration and provides mold remediation and flood cleanup services. So if you have an indoor flooding situation, you can cover all bases by calling Restoration 1.