what to do when your basement floods

How to Prevent Flooding and Water Damage in Your Basement

How to Prevent Flooding and Water Damage in Your Basement


Your basement may be used just for storage. Or, as extra living space for a man cave or a playroom for the kids. But the last thing you expect it to be is a spontaneous indoor swimming pool.

Waterproofing your basement is essential to protecting your home against flooding during St. Louis’ rainy season, which over the past few years, has been every season. According to the American Society of Home Inspectors, 60 percent of basements are wet at any given time, and while issues like humid environments and septic system back-ups are serious threats, in St. Louis, rain-related flooding is the biggest culprit.


Stop Water Damage in Your Basement Before It Starts

To defend your basement against water damage, mold and mildew, you need to keep an eye on your surroundings and throw in a little elbow grease before the clouds start rolling back in. 

Double check your sump pump.

A sump pump is the ultimate safeguard against basement flooding. But when the power goes out during a vicious thunderstorm, it’ll stop running just like every other appliance in your home. Invest in a generator or a battery backup system to keep the water flowing out of your home and away from your foundation walls. In many cases, an insurance company may not cover the cost of water damage if you’ve failed to maintain your pump.

“Fill in foundation cracks.

Most homeowners will begin to notice cracks in their basement foundation walls within 10 to 15 years of its build. And once the cracks start popping up, moisture can begin to pour in. Sealing small, hairline cracks with epoxy or polyurethane foam is a simple DIY project, but anything larger needs to be addressed by a professional St. Louis waterproofing and foundation repair company.

Watch your basement windows.

Basement window and egress window wells can quickly fill with rainwater, leading to leaks that damage walls and allow mold to form. Be sure to clear debris from your window wells and then install a clear acrylic cover that lets in the light but keeps out any water.

Maintain your gutters.

No one wants the dirty job of clearing debris from gutters and downspouts, but when clogs don’t stand in its way, water can flow freely instead of pooling next to your walls. Take protection to another level by extending your downspouts even further from your home’s foundation with corrugated plastic pipe—six to 10 feet is optimal.    

Adjust your landscaping.

If your yard slopes toward your home, it’s giving rainwater the perfect path toward destruction. Most experts say the  ideal slope extending from a house foundation should be six inches for the first 10 feet, or a five percent slope. This step-by-step guide can help you determine your current land grading, and if needed, how to regrade around your foundation. In some cases, you may need to retain a landscape expert to regrade the entire yard or install a French drain, which is a pipe and gravel system that lets water drain naturally.

Keep your dehumidifier running.

The summer humidity in St. Louis is brutal, causing condensation to form on your basement walls, and in turn, for mold to begin appearing. With basement humidity levels hitting between 80 to 98 percent in the summer months, you can bring them back down to the suggested 50 percent by running your dehumidifier non-stop throughout the year.

Help From a St. Louis Water Damage Restoration Company

Even with all the precautions you take, you may still come home to a damp—or worse, flooded—basement after an intense storm or days of non-stop rain. In the case of basement flooding, Pride Cleaning & Restoration in St. Louis can come to the rescue. With 24-hour emergency services and our team of water removal and mold removal experts, we can dry and restore your basement quickly and help prevent additional damage from mold and mildew.

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