A flooded garage basement after heavy rain

Basement Flooding Problems

Basement flooding isn’t something you want to wake up to or find after coming home from a family vacation. It has been estimated that 90% of all homes with cinder block basement walls will leak within the first 25 years. Sometimes, these problems are related to natural groundwater tables which fluctuate with seasonal changes. Every basement is susceptible to flooding, so you need to be proactive; and they tend to flood because they are located underground. Understanding the root cause of basements flooding is the first step to getting a solution. So, why is your basement flooding? Here are some primary causes of basement flooding you should know;

A break in the water line or house plumbing

The first thing to do when you notice your basement is flooding is to rule out the possibility of a water line break. The best way to do this is to turn off the main water valve and observe. Sometimes the leak is small and may be unnoticeable, so it needs to be monitored over an extended period. Check the plumbing system, pipes connected to appliances such as washing machines, water heaters, and condensation flowing from air conditioners on the inside of the building. For minor leaks, check plumbing pipes for wetness and dampness. In cases where internal plumbing issues are suspected, seek the services of a licensed plumber.

The direct inflow of surface water

This kind of flooding is a result of overland surface drainage entering the basement via doorways, window wells, or cracks in the above-ground basement walls. This is usually the easiest kind of flood to detect and resolve since it usually occurs during or immediately after a rainfall and is visible at the points where the water enters. The soil around the foundation should be well compacted to reduce the soil’s ability to retain water. The ground bordering the window wells should be sloped away from the house. Additionally, gutters need to be free of debris to keep water from spilling over the sides and next to the foundation walls of the building.

Surface water infiltration

There are three major factors that contribute to flooding from this source, and they are;

  • The condition of the exterior basement waterproofing, the underdrain system, and the foundation wall.
  • How quickly water penetrates the soil around the building.
  • The ground surface slope and the resultant drainage of rainwater around the perimeter of the house

Surface water leakage begins shortly after the rain starts and ends after the rain stops. Oftentimes, water leakage will be noticed only in certain areas. Usually, flooding occurs when surface water collects on the ground surface adjacent to the home and infiltrates into the building.

Groundwater infiltration

Groundwater levels vary, especially during different seasons, so when the levels are high, they can become a cause for concern, especially in low-lying areas. This can weigh down the capacity of wastewater treatment facilities, resulting in higher treatment costs; this is because infiltrated water, when mixed with sewage water, will require being treated like sewage. It could also cause backflow into homes and waterways, resulting in pollution.

Groundwater infiltration is unavoidable to some extent but controlled in order to prevent the overloading of wastewater treatment plants, especially where combined sewer systems still exist.

Areaway Drain Surcharge or Blockage

In some cases, basement flooding occurs due to water being forced out of a drain under intense pressure. This situation occurs if the floor or foundation drains are connected to a sanitary sewer or public storm drain system, usually at or near the basement floor elevation. Suppose water being forced out under pressure has been determined to be the root cause of flooding. If that is the case, then an alternative means of draining the floor drains may be required, or in some instances, a one-way discharge valve or backflow preventer may help resolve the issue.

In conclusion

Various waterproofing measures can manage and control most of the problems outlined. However, in some cases may be impossible to eliminate the flooding problem due to particular site conditions or the homeowner’s inability to undertake the necessary corrective measures. In cases like this, it may be advisable to consider alternative use of the space. Appliances and heating equipment can be elevated if flood depths are not more than several inches. However, if you find expert services, you can say goodbye to your flooding problems. At Dry jersey, we are dedicated to giving you the best services as we are equipped with the right tools and skills to help you resolve your basement flooding issues.