Basement Flooding – A Spring Occurence

Basement Flooding – A Spring Occurence

You may think that since the threat of snow is in the rearview mirror that there is little danger of your basement flooding.  That is simply not the case.  There are still possible circumstances that can result in a flooded basement.  For instance, the ground can still be frozen even after the snow is gone making it so that the ground is unable to absorb April showers or the ground may be so saturated with rain that it is not absorbing the water.  In these circumstances, water will tend to go into your basement through your foundation.

Basement Flooding Causes

You might not be able to control how quickly the ground thaws or how much rain comes, but there are steps that can be taken to deal with several types of flooding causes.

One issue that may result in flooding is malfunctions with the sewer system around your home.  Ordinarily, the sewer pipes are meant to remove wastewater from sinks, toilets, drains, etc.  When there is a large runoff of water from spring showers, it can overload the sewer system causing the wastewater to back up into your home and cause flooding.

Your lawn and landscaping can also cause basement flooding.  Water will naturally flow down a slope, and if your lawn and landscape slopes towards your home, the water will pool around your foundation.  Weeping tiles can help to prevent flooding, but they can be overrun from large amounts of water, as well.

The location of your gutters and downspouts could also contribute to basement flooding.  Gutters that are plugged with debris may not carry the rainwater down into the downspouts but could cause the water to overflow down the exterior walls of your home down to the foundation.  Downspouts that are not at least 6 feet away from your home could also contribute to basement flooding.

Finally, another problem may be a poorly working or broken sump pump.  Sump pumps are often taken for granted until they stop working.  They can stop working due to age, motor issues, not being maintained properly, filter clogs and more.


Okay, so now you know some of the common problems that can cause flooding in your basement.  Here are some solutions to help prevent flooding and know where to look when flooding may occur.  It can be helpful to start at the top and work your way down outside and in.

  • Are your gutters clean?  Are your downspouts clear and in the right place?  Are there any cracks in them?  Clean, repair and replace can be the best solution to preventing these from contributing to a flooded basement.
  • Does the ground around your home settle and slope toward it?  Fill it in with dirt and grade it so that the slope goes away from the home.
  • Sewer system problems are something that might not be easy for a homeowner to deal with on their own.  It may be necessary to use a camera when snaking the drains to see if there are any problems with weeping tiles or the system itself.
  • Finally, maintain your sump pump properly.  It is necessary to check the sump pump, sump pump pit, and the discharge pipe.  These can be full of debris from previous years and need to be cleaned out.  The discharge pipe also must be far enough away from your home that it does not let the water back in.  Check the pump yearly by testing it out.  One note to the wise, be sure to disconnect power to the sump pump when performing maintenance on it.  Think about installing a battery backup on your pump in case of power outages in your areas.  Some have built in alarms or notifications systems.