How To Protect Your Basement Against Floods

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If you're building or buying a home with a basement or want to try to add a basement to an existing home, you need to think about flooding. Since your basement is underground, it doesn't take much water to cause a lot of water damage. Here are some of the steps you can take.

Use Watertight Doors

Many basements have outside doors. You might have an uncovered stairwell leading down to your basement or a horizontal door covering a stairwell or ladder. When a door is at or below ground level, water can very easily get through the seams around the door.

You can solve this problem by using watertight doors. These doors do exactly what they say. When you seal them shut, water won't enter even if there's major flooding around your home. They cost more than regular doors, but the difference is much less than having to replace everything in your basement and the hassle that comes with major home repairs.

Be Careful With Your Window Placement

You may also have windows that are below, at, or slightly above ground level. If these windows open, water can get in through the cracks even if they're tightly shut. If the windows don't open, water may be able to get in through holes in the caulk around them. Windows are also at risk of breaking from either water pressure or objects floating into them.

It's possible to solve this problem using the same type of glass a zoo or aquarium might use for its marine life exhibits, but this isn't really realistic for a homeowner. The best thing to do is to place your windows where they can't be flooded. This could be above ground level if your basement isn't fully below ground, or you could protect a below-ground window with proper barriers and drainage.

Have Drains and Pumps in Your Basement

It's next to impossible to fully waterproof a basement. You may also have a leak inside of your home such as a broken pipe or faulty water heater. If you can't keep water out completely, the next best thing is to get it out as quickly as possible. This keeps the water level from getting too high and reduces the extent of the damage. You achieve this by adding a drainage system with pumps to pump the water back outside.

To learn more about how watertight doors and other precautions, contact a professional near you.