Wet Basements

Published on June 14th, 2016 | by Henri


Basement floods after heavy rain

Q.    Our finished basement got water in it for the first time in 13 years with the heavy rain in March.  It was just enough water to wet the entire floor and ruin the carpet and pad. We threw all of the carpeting out and are down to cement floor. People I work with suggested tiling the floor and just using throw carpets that can be rolled up the next time we get 14″ of rain. Is this a good solution to this problem? Installing a sump pump seems like a waste of money if we are only going to get water when it rains 14″ in one week. Thanks for your help.

A.    Your coworkers offered a good solution, but you should investigate why the basement flooded in the first place. Here are ways to tell what may have caused the flooding:

  1. If the rain was coming down heavily and water came in shortly after it started coming down, it may be because there is a grade problem or some appendages, such as patios, porches, stoops, walks or driveway are directing the eater toward the house. If this is the case, check out all possibilities and correct them. It could be that the soil is able to absorb most of the water from these defective sources until a huge amount of water overwhelms it.
  2. If water began coming in hours after the downpour, or it rained steadily over several days, there may be an underground spring that swelled from the constant rain, or it may be that the water table rose high enough that hydraulic pressure found weak spots in the foundation.  If this is the case, and considering that these heavy downpours are becoming more frequent, a sump pump is not a bad idea, as long as the disposal of the water is correctly planned.

If you decide to install a pump, get a submersible one with a high discharge capacity. Zoeller makes very good pumps.

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