Basement Flooding & What To Do
Basement Solutions 911 are experts at basement waterproofing. We also like to explain our clients some of the most common issues that cause your basement to flood.
Flooding of basements can occur any time. It can happen to anyone who has a basement, even if never flooded before. While most often flooding occurs during big rains or rapid snow melts in the spring, it can occur even during dry weather.
There are a number of reasons why basements flood. Flooding can occur by seepage or flow through the walls or foundation floor, from surface water sources, or by a sanitary or storm sewer backup.
PLEASE REMEMBER – Basements are naturally prone to flooding. They are, the lowest level of a building, typically built partly or entirely below ground level.
Groundwater is water that is naturally located below the ground’s surface. The groundwater level can be, at times, above the level of the basement floor. In some locations, groundwater can be above the level of the floor at all times. The ground water level, also called water table, can rise depending on factors such as heavy rains, rapidly melting snow, etc.
Gravity does its best to move water from high to low. If either the groundwater level around your home is above the basement floor, gravity will try to move that water into your basement. A crack in the foundation floor, for example, provides gravity with a perfect path for water to be pushed into the basement. That is why is so important to address any foundation and basement cracks immediately. We at Constructions Solutions 911 are experts in foundation and crack repairs, in addition to basement waterproofing.
Rain, ground-thaw and snowmelt put a heavy load on drainage systems. With the additional water on the surface and underground, there are a number of reasons why a basement might flood:
Surface inflow, or overland flooding: During periods of heavy rain or rapid snowmelt, surface water may pool around the house, or accumulate in hard surface depressions such as driveways or roads adjacent to a home. During extreme weather events, this water can flow into the home. Close proximity to a natural stream or road-side ditch can also present a risk. Generally, proper grading on the property will reduce the risk of surface water getting into your home.
Foundation drainage failure: Homes usually have some form of a drainage system built around them. This safeguard promotes the movement of water away from the basement and blocks the entry of water into the building. An external french drain is a typical drainage system. When these fail, water can flood your basement.
Seepage: If the water table rises, water can enter the basement via cracks, holes and other unintended flow paths. This is generally considered to be part of the aging process of the home and the materials used to build it. Regardless of the condition of the drainage materials and pipe work around the foundation, if water can enter the foundation floor or walls via cracks and holes or other defects, it likely will do so during heavy rains, ground-thaw or snow-melt periods, when there’s lots of water in the ground. Settlement of the lot grading around the building and downspouts discharging run-off water too close to the home can increase the quantity of water around the foundation and increase the risk of water entering via cracks.
French Drain Failure: Over time, the foundation drainage system can deteriorate. As a result, the weeping tile system can fail. This may be, due to a partially- or fully-collapsed pipe, or due to sediments plugging the pipes. If the french drain fails, the drainage of water around the foundation is either impeded or blocked altogether. As a result, the groundwater level around the foundation gets too high and it may spill into the basement via the sump, if one exists, or via leaks in the foundation. In situations where there are leaks in the sewer lateral or plumbing beneath the foundation, groundwater can inundate the sanitary lateral and restrict the flow of sanitary wastewater. This could result in groundwater entering the basement by way of the floor drain or lowest sanitary fixture.