Seattle residents are no strangers to torrential downpours and rising water levels. Your home could be in danger of flooding every time it rains, especially if you have a basement. Indoor plumbing can also put your home at risk. Protect your property and possessions by learning what causes floods and following practical tips to prevent basement flooding.
Common Causes of Flooding
Consider the many reasons a basement can flood:
- Surface water inflow during a flash flood
- Rising groundwater levels following heavy rain
- Rapid snowmelt in the spring
- Frozen and burst pipes
- Clogged toilets or backed-up sewer systems
- Leaky pipes
- Water heater failure
How to Fix Basement Flooding
If your home has been prone to flooding in the past, take these precautions to prevent a recurrence:
- Address poor soil grading: If your lawn slopes toward the house rather than away from it, you have an increased risk of surface water inflow and basement flooding. Correcting this may be as simple as piling up the soil a few inches away from the siding. You may also consider installing a French drain or planting a rain garden.
- Promote proper roof drainage: Start by cleaning your gutters every spring and fall to remove debris that could cause a clog. Then, install extended downspouts that empty water at least five feet away from the foundation. Consider installing rain barrels to reduce runoff and capture water for irrigation.
- Install a sump pump: Sump pump installation is the single best way to prevent basement dampness and mold. This precaution prevents groundwater flooding by pumping out water as it begins rising toward the basement floor. Be sure to install a backup battery system for reliable operation during a power outage.
- Insulate exposed pipes: Seattle winters are relatively mild, but that only raises the risk of frozen and burst pipes during a cold snap. To prevent this, insulate any exposed pipes that run along exterior walls or through unconditioned areas of your home, including the garage or unfinished basement.
- Don’t plant trees near sewer lines: Tree roots are a common cause of blocked or collapsed sewer lines. Before planting a new tree in your yard, make sure a sewer pipe isn’t buried nearby. Otherwise, the risk of sewer backups could increase as the tree grows.
- Maintain your plumbing: Slow pipe leaks and deteriorating water heaters can go undetected for months or longer. To ensure damage isn’t occurring where you can’t see it, hire a plumber to maintain your pipes and drains once a year. You’ll catch and correct minor problems early and help prevent water damage.
If it’s time for your next plumbing maintenance visit, choose Puget Sound Plumbing and Heating to help keep your pipes, drains, and fixtures in good condition. We also provide emergency plumbing services if you discover a burst pipe, leaking water heater, or backed-up sewer system. Contact us online or call (206) 350-0079 today to schedule plumbing services in Seattle, WA.