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Why Does My Basement Flood When It Rains?

Mar 31, 2024 | Water Damage Restoration

When you are relaxing at home, the last thing you would want to worry about is that a change in weather will cause you problems to deal with. It is not always a big disaster that can lead to unwanted problems. Rainy seasons may come and go, but if you often find your basement flooding when it pours, you have a problem that needs fixing as soon as possible.

Why Does My Basement Flood When It Rains?

Knowing the reasons why might help you stem the problem before the proverbial dam bursts. After all, prevention is definitely better than a cure when it comes to flooding basements.

Here is a list of common reasons that may be contributing to your basement woes when the skies open up:

Unwanted Openings

Suffice to say, if there are openings that are not properly taken care of or secured, a simple shower can easily fill your basement with moisture. One of the most important places to check are your window wells.

Although these convenient crevices allow for both light and air to enter the basement, they can also be prime spots for water to flow into the basement if they are not installed with proper care and precaution.

Water also tends to collect within the window wells as well, so you need to keep an eye out before it causes any lasting damage. Another area of concern is the surrounding walls of the basement. If porous material was used to construct parts of the basement, water may seep through as well.

Laws Of Physics

At any given time, rainwater should theoretically be absorbed by the ground surrounding your property. This would be fine if it is not a constant occurrence. However, consistent and heavier rainfall can cause the ground around your property to become oversaturated.

As the amount of water increases, the ground will no longer be able to contain the incoming rainwater. This will then lead to the groundwater table, which is the upper limit of the underground surface in which the ground is overly saturated with water, to exert hydrostatic pressure. That means excess water is headed to your basement.

The water absorbed by the soil around the foundation of your house is not exactly gone either. The liquid will still cause lateral pressure. Together, these conditions will cause the excessive water to find an escape route, which may very well be your basement.

Lack of Proper Maintenance

Every house, especially one with a basement, should come with a drainage system. This allows for water to be moved away from both the foundation as well as the vulnerable basement. A drainage system that has failed, or worse, is not included, will have homeowners staring inevitably at basement flooding.

Certain homes will also come with sump pumps. These handy devices are designed to help pump excess water away from a structure’s foundation. Should it experience a failure or lose power, instead of helping get rid of water during a downpour, it may actually be another avenue for groundwater to flood your basement.

You might also think having gutters and downspouts should keep you safe from such unneeded troubles, but they can also be unwilling culprits in your flooding problem.

Gutters and downspouts should also be constantly checked for blockage. Should they be blocked or overflow due to a heavier than usual downpour, you could have water pooling at your foundation. If you are unfortunate enough to have poor grading for your property, it will lead to a wet disaster even quicker.

Obviously, wall cracks will contribute to the flooding problem. Be sure to check for stains on the walls or the floors when it rains. If the unwanted spots appear, you have a water seepage problem on your hands.

It would also be wise to ascertain which kind of wall cracks you may be looking at. Horizontal cracks are worse than vertical cracks, as they indicate constant pressure against your walls. They may even lead to worse problems than just a wet basement.

Related Content >> Is it Safe to Walk in a Flooded Basement?

Conclusion

A home with a basement is supposed to provide extra storage space, but a flooded basement is of no use to anyone. Be on the lookout for potential problems, and prevent yourself from suffering the fate of an unwanted underground pool. Call your local flooding basement cleanup experts to help!

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