How Groundwater Causes Basement Flooding
If you’ve ever experienced a flooded basement, then you know just how disruptive and costly it can be. While there are many potential causes of basement flooding, one of the most common is groundwater. In this post, we’ll explore what groundwater is, how it can cause basement flooding, and what homeowners can do to prevent it from happening in the future.
Groundwater is water that is found beneath the surface of the earth. It is usually found in layers of soil and rock, known as aquifers, which act like sponges and absorb water from rain or melting snow. This water can then be pumped out of the ground for use by humans.
Groundwater plays a crucial role in global water supply, with it being used to provide drinking water, irrigate crops, and even generate hydropower. It is an abundant resource that is replenished by the cycle of precipitation and can be considered a renewable source of water. However, groundwater can cause extensive damage to homes and other buildings in the instance of heavy rainfall or similar scenarios if not mitigated properly. This makes being proactive in protecting your home an absolute must if you want to avoid groundwater flooding in your basement.
What is Groundwater Flooding?
Groundwater flooding is a serious issue that can lead to substantial disruption and damage to homes. It typically arises from prolonged periods of rainy weather, surges in river levels, or coastal tides driving the water underground causing it to break through the surface.
Basement flooding caused by groundwater can also occur when an area receives a lot of rainfall or snowmelt in a short time period. This influx of water can overwhelm sewers and other drainage systems, causing them to back up into homes. Additionally, if there are cracks or gaps in a home’s foundation, this excess water can seep through these openings and into the basement, leading to further damage.
Since groundwater flooding carries with it two to four times more damage to buildings than surface flooding, as well as a longer duration of the event, taking effective action against such floods is essential. Although less hazardous to human health due to the lower depths of water associated with underwater sources, groundwater flooding still has considerable potential to cause destruction. Groundwater flooding may present itself in any of the following ways:
- Increasing water flows can signal potential groundwater flooding, especially if the water rises into the property via the basement, service ducts, or other structures below the surface of the home. As this progresses, it may eventually destabilize the terrain and affect slope stability.
- Flooding from groundwater often occurs with a lag after an episode of heavy rain. When this water enters your home, be aware that it could be contaminated by brownfields or sewage, so it is best to contact a professional to avoid biohazard risks.
- Groundwater flooding can have a long-term impact relative to surface water flooding, with effects lasting anywhere from weeks to months. This could cause significant property damage if not treated quickly and properly by a trained professional.
Fortunately, there are simple steps that homeowners can take to reduce their risk of basement flooding due to groundwater. Implementing these tips can help you avoid a costly flood down the line.
- Keep your basement dry by regularly cleaning out your gutters and downspouts so they don’t get clogged with organic matter or other materials. Simple regular maintenance can help keep basements dry and reduce the risk of flooding.
- Regular home inspections by a professional contractor can be one of your best defenses against unexpected basement flooding. Detecting potential issues early on helps you stay ahead of any costly damage to your property and peace of mind.
- You should also take proactive steps to shield your home from basement flooding–install waterproofing products like sump pumps or French drains around the foundation for maximum protection.
- Seal cracks with a proper sealant and add window well covers to keep water out of the basement.
Flooded basements caused by groundwater infiltration pose a serious risk for homeowners, but fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of experiencing this type of flooding in the future. Regularly cleaning out your gutters and downspouts; having your home inspected by a professional contractor; and installing waterproofing products around your foundation will all help reduce the chances that you will experience a basement flood due to groundwater infiltration in your home. With proper maintenance and planning, you’ll be able to protect your home from costly damage caused by flooding due to excessive rain or snowmelt.
In the event that you’re already experiencing the damaging effects of groundwater flooding, a professional water damage restoration team can help. By recruiting the help of a professional, you can ensure that you’re treating the issue efficiently and with respect to safety guidelines that keep you and your loved ones protected.