A flooded basement is no small problem. Any valuables sitting in your basement can get damaged beyond repair — you’ll have to throw out furniture, carpeting, electronics and priceless personal belongings. The water can ruin the condition of your flooring and walls. The excess moisture can cause mold and mildew to spread over any surface that hasn’t dried properly. The entire space can become unliveable.
Waterproofing your home: Install plumbing protections
The smartest thing that you can do is install plumbing devices that are designed to protect your home from flooding.
One device you should install is a sump pump. A sump pump is installed in the lowest part of your basement called a “sump pit” or “sump basin.” It collects water filtering into the sump basin and redirects it away from your home’s foundation. This will come in handy during heavy rainstorms or periods of snowmelt when the groundwater levels rise and threaten to enter your basement.
What if you already have a sump pump? Check if it’s in working order. You should test out your sump pump at least once per year to make sure that it’s running properly. You don’t want to find out that it isn’t working during a storm. If it’s not working well, repair or replace it immediately.
Sump pump backup
Your sump pump should have a backup energy source in case you have a power outage during a storm. Without that backup plan, the sump pump will stop working when the power goes out, which could leave your property in trouble.
Waterproofing your home: Backflow valve
You might want to install a backflow valve. This will block sewage from coming up through your drains and flooding your home. Sewer backup can cause a lot of damage because it’s not clean water—it’s filled with hazardous bacteria and debris.
When will a backflow valve come in handy? If the municipal sewer system gets inundated during a storm, it can sometimes send that overflow into the connected neighborhood’s sewer lines. The backflow valve can stop that overflow from moving further up the line and out of the home’s drains.
It can also come in handy if there is ever a clog further down the sewer line. That clog could push your sewage back up toward your drains. A backflow valve will protect your drains from that disaster, giving you time to call a professional plumber to investigate the situation and clear the clog.
Grade your yard so that it slopes away from the foundation. If the yard slopes toward your foundation, it will force rainwater and melted snow to pool there—which increases the risk of flooding. Directing that water away from the foundation will mitigate that risk.
Waterproofing your home: Protect yourself financially
It’s possible that even with all of these plumbing protections, your basement will still flood. You’ll want to prepare yourself for the extensive repair costs. Here’s how you can do that.
Many homeowners don’t realize that their home insurance policy doesn’t help them with water damage in disasters like overland floods. So, to make sure that you’re covered in cases of overland floods that result in damages to your property, you should sign up for a supplemental flood insurance plan.
An emergency fund can help you cover certain urgent expenses like repairing a burst pipe or cleaning up a flooded basement. Even if you have insurance, it could take weeks for the company to process your claim. You’ll want to have a way to cover the costs right away and include the receipts in your claim.
If the insurance company approves your claim, you’ll have the costs reimbursed (or at least, partially reimbursed). If the company denies your claim, at least you’ll have the initial problem resolved.
What if you don’t have enough in your emergency fund? There are some alternatives that you can turn to when need help now with finances and your options are limited. You could apply for a personal line of credit loan. With a personal line of credit loan, you could request a withdrawal to help you cover an urgent payment. An approved request could give you enough borrowed funds to make the payment and move forward in a short amount of time. After that, you could focus on a steady loan repayment plan made through a monthly billing cycle.
Your property could be vulnerable to flood damage. Don’t let that happen. Take these precautions as soon as possible.