You’ve Recovered from a Flooded Basement, Now What?
A flooded basement can be devastating, causing tens of thousands of dollars in damage and potentially damaging prized possessions. Still, when it happens, we generally know what to do. You drain the basement and clean up the damage on your own or through a professional company.
But what happens next? How do you ensure that you’ll never have to go through this awful experience again? Here, we break down all the steps needed to prevent basement flooding and protect your home.
The Two Main Causes of Basement Flooding
The biggest determinant of how you should address basement flooding is its cause. Ideally, you want to find ways to protect against both major causes, but let’s discuss each one in turn.
BASEMENT FLOODING FROM NATURAL DISASTERS
Although with truly major flooding there’s very little you can do to protect your basement or the rest of your home (unless you’re this man), there’s plenty you can do to protect from heavy rain. First, make sure your drains are clear and are successfully diverting water away from your home (downspouts help for this). That could mean just stepping outside in a heavy rain and watching how the water moves.
To assist with this, you can design your landscaping to ensure water flows downhill and away from your home when possible. Finally, check the seal on your basement, look for cracks and inspect the areas around windows to make sure there isn’t any structural or other damage which might let water in. But there are other things that can cause basement flooding.
BASEMENT FLOODING FROM HOME WATER LEAKS
Even if your landscaping, gutters, and everything else look impeccable, you can still suffer a flooded basement as a result of something like a ruptured water heater. To protect yourself from these emergencies, there are a few things you can do.
First, switch to a tankless water heater to eliminate the risk of a leak or rupture causing a major flood. Then, look into whether you should upgrade your plumbing. Even a small hidden leak from an old pipe can cause serious headaches. Finally, double-check the connections on your other appliances that use water, like dishwashers and washing machines.
Consider a Sump Pump
If you believe you’re at serious risk of basement flooding (or just want to be extremely safe), a sump pump is a reliable way to prevent basement flooding. Installation is a bit complicated and expensive, but one or two of these pumps, along with a backup generator to run them in case of an outage can make sure any water flooding your basement is quickly pumped out.
Aside from the technical aspects of home maintenance, there’s even more you can do.
The Importance of Insurance
This should be a given, but many homeowners are not aware that their homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover flood damage. The result is countless tragic stories whenever an area is affected by major flooding. The good news is that the federal government provides extremely affordable flood insurance through FEMA, which can be added to your insurance policy.
If there’s even a small risk of your area being hit with a major flood of one kind or another, this kind of insurance just makes sense. But there’s one last tool in the arsenal of today’s homeowner that’s just making its way onto the scene and adding another layer of protection against all kinds of home water leaks.
Investing in a Smart Home Leak Detection System
As you’ve no doubt noticed, leaks of all kinds which can lead to home damage come from many different places within the home. That’s what can make preventing them so complicated. Fortunately, new smart home leak detection systems allow you to immediately detect a leak at the source and shut off your home’s main water line within seconds.
That means leaks are detected and stopped right away and at the source, saving you thousands the first time your system prevents a major leak (let alone basement flooding). As these devices get more affordable, reliable, and technologically savvy, they make more and more sense as a first line of defense against basement flooding and other water leaks.
Prevention Should Start Today
Bringing all of this information together, it’s clear that starting to look into prevention measures before your basement floods makes sense. But even if you’re recovering from a flooded basement, these steps can give you the peace of mind necessary to move on with your life and feel secure in your home. So start preventing your next major water leak today.