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Protecting a Basement Against Flooding

By: Emma Eilbeck BA (hons) - Updated: 4 Oct 2010 | comments*Discuss
Basement Flooding Basement Waterproofing

The Importance of Basement Waterproofing

Having spent thousands of pounds on your new basement conversion the last thing you want is for it to get flooded by rainwater, which can turn your basement conversion into a soggy pool of mush. That is why it is important to not cut corners when it comes to basement waterproofing, or you could end up paying even more to put things right in the future. Something else you may want to consider is taking out home insurance which will protect against basement flooding.

If you live in a particular flood risk area then it may be a good idea to take out insurance for your basement conversion to cover against any potential future damage.

Rainwater can cause a huge amount of damage to carpets, flooring and your basement, which is the last thing you want after you have invested so much time and effort into getting it right.

How to Flood Proof your Basement

In order to protect from basement flooding you will need to build a flood wall or some other form of barrier to keep out the rain. If your basement is at the bottom of a slope in your garden you will need to block water from rolling down the bank and into your basement. This will help slow the water down but may not stop it from entering your basement altogether and stop basement flooding.

You should make sure that all of your drains are constantly unblocked and that nothing is caught up in them such as fallen leaves or rubbish. If drains are blocked and flooding hits they will be useless at draining any water away.You should also make sure that inside your basement you have either a sump pump or an interior drain, if the drains outside do get blocked an inside drain will be valuable. Make sure that when you are working on your basement design that you factor and interior drain into your plans.

You will need to make sure that you have a back-up in case anything goes wrong with your pumps, you will need to get a back up to your sump pump. You should also have some emergency power supply for the sump pump in case the electricity is cut off during a thunderstorm this could either be a standby generator or a battery system, but could prove vital to stop basement flooding.

Cracks and holes in your basement can be hidden nightmares when it comes to flooding and cause a basement leak. Any crack in your basement will provide the water with a direct route into your basement and cause a basement leak. It is important that you use basement sealer and seal up all cracks and around the openings and exits into your basement. You should also use basement sealer on your flood wall to make sure it is properly sealed to avoid basement flooding, as one small hole can take weeks of clearing up.

Testing your Flood Proof Basement

One you think all of your basement waterproofing done, it is worth giving it a test to make sure it is all in working order. This doesn’t mean you have to stage your own flood, but you should pour and adequate amount of water around your basement flood wall to see if it holds. You would also be advised to do this before you furnish and decorate the basement, just to be on the safe side. You will also need to test out your drains and make sure they allow water to pass through them. It is better to test out your basement’s flood defence system before it actually needs to be tested out for real.

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