Flood Proof Your Basement

Flood Proof Your Basement

It is always better to do something, before you HAVE to.” – Larry Janesky

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It’s been a tough winter so far for all the East Coast. In NC, after a particularly dry fall season in 2010, we are seeing a lot of precipitation in these first months of 2011.

Lots of precipitation bring about another set of worries for the area homeowners, most of them having to do with water intrusion. The ground gets over saturated with water, and the resulting hydrostatic pressure pushes the water against foundation walls, causing leaks to spring in unprotected basements, and in some cases even basement floods.

In homes with finished basements, even a small leak can mean huge problems, due to mold concerns. And basement floods, well, they are not fun for anyone. Even if you only use the basement for storage, the hassle caused by a flooded basement is no laughing matter. There is the damaged property and the expensive and labor intensive cleanups.

To make matters worse, typical homeowners insurance might not cover the costs, and even flood insurance has some coverage limitations when it comes to basement floods.

The good news is that you can actually flood-proof your basement. With a few simple steps,  the right foundation drainage  and a good sump pump system, you can reduce the odds of a basement flood to statistical insignificance. Here’s the steps to have a flood free basement:

  1. Clean your gutters or install them if you don’t have any.
  2. Extend the downspouts so that they discharge as far away from the foundation as possible.
  3. Make sure the terrain around the house is properly graded. It should slope away from your basement walls.
  4. Install an interior basement drainage system, even if you have a working French drain outside.
  5. Get a good sump pump system, preferably with a battery operated backup sump pump, to keep your basement dry during power outages.

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