How to Prevent Basement Flooding During Heavy Rain: A Guide for Homeowners

99% of U.S. counties have been impacted by a flood event between 1996 and 2019. In the United States, there has been an urban flooding event once every two to three days over the past 25 years. 

As the lowest point in a home, basements are especially prone to flooding if the proper preventative steps have yet to be taken. You must prepare for heavy rain and other flooding causes to prevent extensive water damage.

This homeowners guide will tell you how to prevent basement flooding during heavy rain.

How to Prevent Basement Flooding During Heavy Rain

So, what steps should you take to prevent basement flooding from occurring in the first place? Here’s what you should do.

Improve Your Landscaping

Improving the landscaping near your house can also help prevent water from flooding your basement. The ground near your home should be sloped to send rainwater away naturally. A simple landscaping project can improve this slope and allow the ground to send water away from the foundation.

Trim Trees and Shrubs

Trees and shrubs could lead to water damage if they aren’t well maintained. Roots can damage basement walls and create opportunities for water to travel inside your house. 

Ensure you keep your trees and shrubs in control. Keep them maintained, and keep an eye on the roots. Consider relocating a tree or shrub if necessary to prevent excess water from entering your basement.

Seal Your Basement

You should seal openings with caulking or weather stripping to protect your basement. Water can enter any small gaps in your basement, so sealing them adequately will help prevent water from getting in. 

Be sure to check windows and doors and repair any cracks. This will help keep your basement as dry as possible.

Fix Foundation Cracks

You should also fix cracks in your foundation. Checking for foundation cracks and fixing any can help prevent basement flooding. 

Both big and small cracks can be problematic, so try to identify them as they appear. Check your foundation regularly and repair damages to prevent water from entering your basement.  

Install Gutters

Install gutters to keep your basement free from flooding during heavy rain. A well-built gutter system will help remove rainwater and direct it away from your home’s foundation. 

Without a gutter system, the water will pile up around your home and have a good chance of causing damage. Hiring professionals for a gutter installation is usually a good idea, but you can install it yourself if needed.

Keep Your Gutters Clean

If you already have gutters attached to your home, ensure they’re cleaned regularly. If your gutters have a lot of debris, they won’t do their job.

Keep your gutters well-maintained. Keep an eye on them and plan to clean them at least twice every year to be safe.

Extend Gutter Downspouts

You should pay close attention to your gutter downspouts. Ensure they are as long as necessary to send water away from your foundation adequately. 

Consider extending the gutter downspouts if necessary. Longer downspouts can help send water far away so it doesn’t seep into your basement.

Install a French Drain

In some cases, improving grading and gutters may not prevent basement flooding when it rains. In these cases, a French drain can provide extra help. 

A French drain is a perforated drainage pipe located underneath gravel. When water appears, it will enter the French drain, carrying it away from the home.

It can be tricky to install a French drain, and you may need local zoning approval first. However, doing so can be well worth it for protecting your basement.

Install a Sump Pump

Installing a sump pump is one of the most valuable things you can do to prevent your basement from flooding during heavy rain. A sump pump works to draw out water before it ends up flooding your basement. It then sends it to a nearby drainage system.

A sump pump forces water out of low points in your home, such as a basement, and can prevent it from flooding. After installing, make sure that you inspect your sump pump yearly. Keep it clean to ensure it keeps working to protect your basement. Adding a back-up generator gives you additional protection if the electricity goes out and the sump pump cannot function.

Steps to Take After Your Basement Floods

While the above tips can be helpful for basement flood prevention, they’re only sometimes enough. If your basement has flooded, know what to do afterward. 

First, focus on the safety of you and your family. You’ll need to turn off the electricity in the basement to prevent the danger of electrocution. Be cautious and avoid slips and falls when in the basement. Consider using boots and gloves in case of water contamination.

After your basement floods, consider calling flood restoration specialists. Specialists can help remove standing water from the area and check for structural issues and damage. 

Protecting Your Basement From Flooding

To safeguard your home against the perils of basement flooding during heavy rainfall, applying these strategies can make a significant difference. Start with sealing your basement to keep moisture out, then assess and enhance your home’s landscaping for better water management. 

Regular maintenance of your gutter system is crucial to ensure proper water diversion and consider the installation of a sump pump for added protection. Taking proactive steps now can help you maintain a dry and secure basement, regardless of the weather. 

Stay prepared and keep your home safe. Should you have further questions or concerns, or if you’re interested in exploring how flood insurance can offer extra security, don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.