Investigating and Eliminating Common Causes of Basement Flooding

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If a fierce storm causes nearby waters to rise to record levels or a neighborhood sewer-line unexpectedly breaks down, you know the cause of the subsequent flood in your basement. It’s a mess and a misfortune, but, hopefully, the situation is a one-time occurrence.

Determining the cause of chronic, repeated basement flooding often takes a bit of detective work. Flooding is caused by any of a host of system failures, so you or your contractor must investigate. You may even find more than one problem is adding to the basement puddles. Below are the most common causes of basement flooding and how you can eliminate them.

Detect the Cause of Your Basement Flooding

There are a number of issues that can contribute to basement flooding, including the following.

Plugged Upper Floor Drains 

If water appears to be running down a wall before ending up in the basement, suspect a leak from a shower, sink, or toilet. This may likely be the cause if the water appears to originate close to one of these plumbing fixtures. A leaky dishwasher, washing machine, or refrigerator should be suspected if one of these appliances is located close to the leak’s starting spot.

You may have to tear out sheetrock or do other demolition to walls in order to locate the source and path of an upper-floor leak. Many times, you’ll find that a drain under a shower or sink is clogged or collapsed. Water from the sink or shower either backs up and spills over or leaks from pipes that have cracked from the strain of backed up water. The water pours down along walls, saturating floors, ceilings and, eventually, your basement.

Fixture and Pipe Leaks

Small cracks in pipes and fixtures also cause similar basement waterlogging. The pan under your shower may have small cracks or may bend under the weight of people, letting water spill between the pan and the shower surround. The floor or wall adjacent to the shower becomes saturated, and the excess water drips down to the basement.

Sinks, tubs, and toilets may have leaks in the seals, basins, or hot and cold control knobs. Loose shower tiles, caulking, or pipe fittings may be inviting water to flow in a constant stream down to the lowest floor of your home. Pipes that freeze and thaw can crack and leak for a while before being detected. You may need to listen in order to hear some leaks located behind walls or underneath flooring.

Foundation Cracks

If basement flooding is coming from the foundation, you most likely have a crack in your foundation. Water will find a way inside cracks in your basement if the foundation isn’t properly sealed and waterproofed. Whether your foundation is cinder block, cement, concrete, or stone, small cracks develop for all sorts of reasons.

Earthquakes, storm runoff, landscaping, and nearby construction may cause settling and cracks. Aging foundations may crack as the home settles over time. Pests can infiltrate insulation around openings in the foundation, allowing water to pool, freeze, and crack the underlying material.

Clogged Yard Drains

Groundwater drains around your home are a smart investment since they’re designed to divert water away from your home’s foundation. If they become clogged or damaged, however, the backed-up drains will allow water to pool next to your basement, increasing the chances water will flood your home. If water is flooding the basement from a ground-level window or foundation crack and the ground outside the area is saturated, suspect your yard drains.

Leaves, trash, mud, and even animals can get stuck in the drains, causing them to back up. Either end of a groundwater drain may become clogged by toys or by vehicles parked on top of the grates or drain ends.

Prevent Future Floods Now

Resolving your basement flooding issues is much easier when you know the source of the problem. Be aware that some of the causes of basement flooding may remain even after you repair your basement and fix the source of the unwanted water. To keep water out of your basement, follow the steps below.

Replace Old Plumbing Fixtures and Pipes

If your fixtures are aging, and prone to cracks, leaks, and clogged drains, it’s time to have the entire plumbing system examined and overhauled where necessary. Replace leaking taps and shower heads; remove, clean, and replace drain screens; and have a professional inspect, clean, and repair all of your older pipes and drains.

Repair Foundation Cracks

If your home’s foundation has one crack, there may be more cracks you haven’t noticed yet. Dig around under the dirt next to the foundation to see if you spot any more cracks that could spell future trouble. Have cracks repaired, and have your basement sealed to prevent external water from penetrating the foundation.

Hydro-Jet Stubborn Drains

Outside drains should be fitted with grates over the ends to keep out debris. After heavy storms and whenever necessary, have the drains hydro-jetted to remove large debris and muck.

The hydro-jet method is an efficient way to clean all sorts of pipes, from vent stacks to floor drains, because technicians have the ability to shoot water both ways at high pressure inside the pipe. Combined with the large variety of nozzles for scraping and scrubbing, the high water pressure gets pipes much cleaner than snaking or rooting does.

 

The experts at Perma-Dry Waterproofing & Drainage, Inc are here to help you solve your basement flooding issues. Whether you need waterproofing, basement sealing, or drain clean-out, call us today to schedule our professional, skilled home services.

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