Whether itâ€™s the result of a natural disaster you couldnâ€™t control or a burst pipe you probably have, thereâ€™s little worse than a flooded basement. Itâ€™s expensive to replace ruined furniture and treat structural damage, and when your basement doubles as storage, you risk losing much more. Luckily, there are steps that you can take to prevent this devastating problem.
- Insulate your pipes. During the winter, cold weather can cause water to freeze and crack your pipes. This common cause of flooding can be prevented by insulating your pipes with a pipe sleeve or heat tape, but if your pipe has already cracked, be sure to shut off the water valve to prevent a mess when it inevitably thaws.
- Insulate your walls. Unlike a flood, itâ€™s harder to notice condensation build-up in your walls, but the effects of excess moisture in your basement can be just as harmful. To keep your wall interiors dry and get rid of that damp basement smell, insulate them with a rigid foam board or fiberglass.
- Keep your gutters clean. It may seem like an annoying chore, but cleaning debris from your gutters regularly can save you a lot of hassle in the long run. A cluttered gutter allows rain water to seep down into your homeâ€™s foundation and directly into your basement.
- Test your sump pump often. If you have a basement and donâ€™t have a sump pump already, get one. These handy pumps collect water that drains into the basement and automatically move it outside where it canâ€™t do any harm. Clean your sump pump pit, test it regularly, and make sure you have a backup battery-powered pump just in case the power goes out, because the last thing you want is to have your sump pump stop working during a rainstorm.
- Turn off the main water supply. Planning a vacation? Make sure you turn off your homeâ€™s main water supply while youâ€™re gone so that you donâ€™t come home to find a lake in your basement. Even if youâ€™re not going anywhere, you should still know how to operate your main water shut-off valve so that you can stop a leak in its tracks.
- Check your water heater regularly. A lot of people stick their water heater in their basement and then forget itâ€™s even there. The average lifespan of a water heater is about ten years â€“ anything older is at a high risk of leaking. Monitor the surrounding area carefully, checking for mold and damp drywall, and replace it as recommended.
- Seal any cracks. The little cracks in your basement walls may not seem serious, but if water starts to leak through them you can have a serious mold problem on your hands. Spot treat cracks with sealant and then cover the entire wall with waterproofing paint.
- Extend your downspouts. Your gutters should move rain water at least five feet away from your home â€“ to do this, youâ€™ll probably need a downspout or have to extend an existing one.
What to Do When Preventative Measures Fail
No matter how prepared you are, unexpected basement flooding can still occur. Following these prevention methods can help, but they certainly arenâ€™t full proof, and when a flood strikes you need to act quickly to prevent further damage and mold growth. Instead of trying to tackle the problem on your own, your best bet is to enlist the help of a professional contractor. For fast water damage restoration services in the Denver, Colorado area, contact the experts at Restoration Logistics.