With the heavy snowfall receding slowly and prospects of rain looking bright, it is wise for home owners to take some preventive measures to keep their foundation safe. Improper runoff as well as drainage can direct the water towards the foundation. Removing snow that is over two feet depth on the roof is necessary and while you are at it, you need to take care of the ice that you may find underneath the snow too.
Leak-proofing Your Home
Water can seep into the house by many ways. The rooftops, eaves troughs, sump pumps, and downspouts are some of the common areas that can cause moisture seep into the foundation.
• Removing the snow piled on the overhangs and eaves trough is significant as when huge amounts of snow collect in these areas, the water will backup and enter down underneath the shingles and get into the house.
• Basement is another area where water can get into the house. The clogged downspouts which are often due to the ice and snow packing up into them can make the water overflow and enter through the cracks that are present in the foundation. It is therefore important to keep the downspouts free of ice and snow.
• Clogged sump pumps can also let water enter the foundation. During heavy downpours, the water on the roof gets stagnated due to the snow and ice blocking the gutters and downspouts. It also starts to run beside the house getting into the foundation and the weeping tiles which can cause the sumps to overflow and flood the house. Ensuring that the sumps are clear and properly running will prevent this from happening.
Checking on the Basement
The basement is one area of the house that needs to be checked thoroughly to prevent water seepage into the foundation. For instance, you need to look at the areas where the utilities like hydro or cables come into the basement. Any gaps in the inlet area should be cleared of snow or if possible, the gaps should be sealed to prevent excess water from entering the home.
Checking the Property
Looking for drainage points and clearing them keeps your foundation dry and free of water. Here are some tips:
• Shovel away all the snow around the house to at least 3 to 5 feet so it drains away from the foundation.
• The downspouts need to be extended a minimum of 2 meters distance from your foundation.
• Sump pump needs to be in good working condition.
• Water sensing alarm can be installed.
If you find a storm drain plugged or water pooling in the neighborhood, you need to report it. For more serious problems within the house, calling a water proofing company will help. The waterproofing companies are trained in identifying the areas that allow water access and keep them repaired.
With the amount of rainfall that can occur being unpredictable, it is the duty of residents to gear up and lessen the magnitude. With an extreme winter and abrupt meltdown, properties can get damaged considerably. Making sure you have taken all the necessary measures will keep your basement dry and safe.
Richard Smith is a contractor with the flooded basement pros, they specialize in helping property owners recover from basement flood disasters. The occurrence of floods is a universal phenomenon that often claims damage to life as well as property. Although high-risk flooding areas are the ones that require an acute alerting system, the areas that lie in the moderate to low risk flood zones also need to be taken into consideration while planning to take precautionary measures to handle a flood situation. Flooding is not only common in the coastal low lying areas, but it also takes place in the plateau regions due to heavy rainfall and torrential storms.
Some reasons why the intensity of floods becomes unbearably high are as follows:
• Drastic change in the weather resulting in storms and tornadoes that often end in over-precipitation
• Melting of polar ice caps or de-solidification of glaciers floating in rivers and streams
• Occurrence of Tsunami in coastal areas
• Release of major quantity of water from storage dams
While there are means and measures to control flood situations, it is always better to ensure that the necessary precautions are taken well in time to avoid maximum discomfort. One of the chief reasons of water clogging and falling down of huge buildings is that rainwater gets collected at the bottom of the basement area either due to leakage or seeping from the earth, thus leading to basement flooding. A simple yet effective device called the ‘sump pump’ is the surest means to prevent flooding in your basement area.
How Does a Sump Pump Work?
A sump pump is generally fitted in basement area under a building. A ‘sump pit’ is dug at the center of the basement region and the device is installed within. The sump pump is a motored pumping machine that pumps out the water collected in the pit and channels it away from the residential zone into the municipal drains. Thus, water gets evacuated easily and the area under the building remains dry and safe.
Necessary requirements of a sump pump:
• Sump pumps are connected to the household electrical wiring system and require about 200 to 400 Watts of energy in order to work efficiently.
• Some sump pumps can be powered with pressurised water flow thus avoiding the use of electricity by using potable water. Even though these pumps do not require conventional energy sources, they are expensive owing to the costs of installation, maintenance, as well as disposal of used water.
• It is always better to have ample battery back-up to get the work done during long power cuts. Also, the floods and resulting consequences often hamper electrical supply. Hence, it helps to have a battery-fitted sump pump installed at high risk flood-prone areas.
Types of Sump Pumps
Sump pumps are usually of two types – submersible and pedestal. While each one has its own set of pros and cons, the qualities of both types have been enumerated below:
• Submersible sump pumps
I. In this type, the pump is fitted completely inside the sump pit and is sealed from the outside to rule out the possibility of electric shock in case of water leakage.
II. These pumps are safer to use since they prevent short circuits. But the downside is that they are quite expensive and last for about 5 to 15 years from installation.
• Pedestal pumps
I. In this type, the motor is fitted on top of the sump pit which makes it easy to get repaired in case of any damage or remove clogged debris from within.
II. Although 100% shock-proof safety is not ensured in this type of pump, it is considered more viable since it costs less and can last for nearly 25 to 30 years after installation.