flooded basement

7 Tips to Prevent a Flooded Basement

A flooded basement can be a real problem, especially if it happens every time there is a period of heavy rain. Today, we’re going to give some tips on how to prevent basement flooding. Many of these are things that you, as a homeowner can do to help prevent future problems.  If you know your basement leaks you can at least make these painful clean-ups less frequent.

1. Deal with Your Gutters and Downspouts

Keep your gutters clear, whether you do it yourself or hire a pro. Do a visual check at least twice a year to make sure leaves, twigs, and other debris are not clogging your gutters and downspouts. This causes water to sheet down over the edge like a waterfall right next to your foundation.

In addition, use downspout extenders to drain water at least 3 feet away from your foundation. You can get these pretty cheaply at any hardware or big box store.

2. Keep Basement Drains Clear

If you already have a basement drain, make sure it is clear as well. Check it at least on a weekly basis. If you have uncovered outside steps leading down to a basement entry, the drain at the bottom of the steps can easily get clogged with leaves. If you already have a drain within your basement, ensure it doesn’t get covered up by anything.

3. Check Your Sump Pump

If you haven’t heard your sump pump go off in a while, you may want to test it to make sure it’s working properly. And if your pump is more than 7-10 years old, consider getting a new one installed. Today’s pumps are more powerful and more efficient.  Battery Back-Up sump pumps are always a good idea.

4. Check for Foundation Cracks

If you have a finished basement, this is easier said than done. You can at least check your furnace room for cracks. If you spot one, you should get it repaired ASAP, to prevent more water intrusion.  You can also inspect the above-grade portion of your foundation outside for cracks.

5. Use Window Well Covers

If you have basement window wells, install covers on them to prevent leaves and debris from getting in and building up in the well.  If you have water sheering off of your roof these will help keep that water from “fishbowling” in the window well.  These are available in clear acrylic, so you still let the light in, but keep the rain out of the window well.  Make sure you are not creating a greenhouse!  Growth in your window wells may look pretty but it will not end well as it will decay and your window will end up rotting and leaking.

6. Make the Grade

Over time, the soil around your foundation may have eroded away. If the ground now slopes towards your foundation, you’ll have standing water, which will then trickle down and soak into the exterior of your basement walls.

While you can buy some bags of soil to fix a small grading issue at the foundation, if it’s a problem around the whole house, you may want to hire a pro.  If you see settling around your foundation you may have structural issues that need to be addressed!

7. Hire a Basement Waterproofing Company

If you have tried all of these tips and you still have a wet basement, or a flooded basement when there is a prolonged period of heavy rain, it’s time to call in the professionals. Ask around about local basement waterproofing companies and have 3 of them come out and assess your situation.  Check their warranties and be sure they have the capabilities to service their customer base long term!

The only permanent solution to a wet basement is basement waterproofing. It’s well worth protecting your home and will give you peace of mind when you hear those sump pumps running.


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Schedule a FREE Basement Inspection

If your flooded basement was due to heavy rain and saturated ground rather than a burst pipe, you need to get to the root of the problem. If you’ve already taken all of the steps above, it may be time to schedule a FREE basement inspection.

Our basement waterproofing professionals will examine your basement to find how and why the water intrusion happened. Then we will draw up a customized plan to offer a solution to your problems. Over the years, we’ve helped tens of thousands of homeowners throughout Maryland, Washington DC, northern Virginia, and Delaware.

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