cedar rapids water damage

Common causes and responses to basement flooding

Any home can fall victim to basement flooding whether it’s old or new. It is important to know how to respond if your basement floods and understand the cause to prevent it from happening again.  Basements are prone to flooding because of various reasons such as location and structural features.

Basements often flood from rainstorms because the ground becomes too saturated with water and forces its way through basement walls by cracks in the floors, walls, or at joints where basement walls meet.  Also, over time your home settles and shifts forming cracks and gaps making your home vulnerable to leaks. Make sure there isn’t excessive amount of water around your home that could make its way into your basement. Some wall of waterproofing your basement walls can be expensive and requires excavation and a coating of the walls. This could range in to several thousands of dollars. Water could also leak into your home from backup from a sewer system. This could cause serious flooding and also be a health hazard if rainwater mixes with sewage water. To prevent this you could install a sump pump. A sump pump is a device that routes unwanted water away from your home through the homes main water drainage systems. It works by taking the standing water in your basement and filling up the sump pump pit. When the water reaches a certain level the sump pump kicks on pumping water into the drainage systems directly outdoors away from the foundation of the your home.  Sump pumps are effective devices, but could cost several hundred dollars to install.  A less expensive way to waterproof your home is natural drainage system.  You can do this by constructing an underground drainage system using perforated ridged plastic tubes. Map out a trench about a foot deep going preferably towards a storm sewer. Make sure the trench is on a downward slope so the water can run freely. Lay an inch or two of gravel in the trench then place the piping perforated side face down. Then cover the piping with more gravel so the dirt can’t clog the holes. Finally top off the trench with a few inches of dirt and sod.

Here are some steps to follow if you fall victim to a flooded basement.  If the flooding isn’t too bad and you can manage it yourself, first put on rubber gloves and begin soaking up water with towels. The water could contain bacteria from sewage so you want to make sure you throw the towels away after using them. Let the basement air out for a couple days. Using fans can help speed up the process. Next, you’re going to want to disinfect walls and floors to insure no mold or fungus grow. You can do this by using a mixture of bleach and water or any other strong disinfectant products. If you have wood trim or flooring treat it with disinfectant such as creosote. If small area of flooring or trim seem to be rotting you can fill the areas with commercial wood filler from a home improvement store, but if rotting is too extensive the wood should be replaced.  Finally make sure any leaking or broken pipes are fixed. Check washing machine hose and replace any outside faucets that could cause water damage.

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cedar rapids water damage