5 Common Causes of Basement Flooding

A basement drainage system illustration.

Basement flooding is an obnoxious problem that many homeowners face on a regular basis. Rather than dealing with it, many people prefer to wait and let the problem go away on its own. Such an attitude is dangerous and can have grave consequences for your home over the long run.

When your basement floods, it is best to deal with the problem straight away. To do so successfully, you will need to understand why basements flood.

1. Unsuitable Locations for Your Home

One of the most typical causes of basement flooding is that the house has been constructed on an unsuitable site. Houses are usually built on sloped terrains, allowing accumulated water to drain. If your home has been built on the low part of your estate, chances are it will flood frequently.

If that is the case, you will be happy to learn that land slopes are conspicuous targets for the elements, and in the course of time they tend to be leveled by erosion, a circumstance that will probably fix your problem.

2. Poor Floor and Wall Sealing

Another common reason for basement flooding is poor flooring and wall sealing. If the basement tiles have not been sealed properly during the construction of your house, water will easily seep through them in the event of extreme weather conditions. If your basement often fills with water after heavy storms and downpours, you may want to check its seal. If necessary, take measures to fix it.

3. Blocked Gutter System

Another cause of flooding is a blocked gutter system. When the manifold connecting your house to the public sewer system plugs, it may cause floods on your property. If that is the case, call the respective local authorities immediately because water levels may rapidly increase with disastrous results for the foundations of your home.

4. Improperly Installed Drainage System

A drainage system that has been installed incorrectly leads to leaks. If the downspouts of your house have been placed too close to the basement wall (within 6 feet), or if they drain towards it, they may overload the weeping tile and cause leaks in your basement. Ideally the downspouts drain towards the street or the backyard, not towards your basement walls or those of your neighbor.

5. Debris in the Eavestroughs

Eavestroughs which are filled with debris may overflow with rainwater right beside your basement and cause leaks to sprout. The solution is simple. All you have to do is climb on your roof and clean them. If the clean eavestroughs overflow, replace them with larger ones that better match the local climate.

If your house is equipped with a sump pit drainage system, it is advisable that you remove, clean, and test the sump pump at least once a year.