Flooding is a major concern for homeowners across the country, even for those who do not live near major bodies of water. The Chicagoland area sees its fair share of lake-effect wind and rain, and with torrential downpours comes the threat of flash flooding. If you are unsure as to whether your home is prepared for such rain, here are a few tips that can help you rest your mind at ease.
Waterproof Your Basement
Your basement is the place in your home that presents the most risk when it comes to flooding. Even though the walls may be made of concrete, this is a porous material that can split and crack over time. One of the best ways to make sure your home can handle flooding involves having a professional contractor waterproof your basement. Through various techniques, it’s possible to drastically minimize the risk of flooding and keep your basement dry.
Another important consideration is your home’s foundation, which is the number one entry point for rainwater. Inspect your foundation closely and be sure to make note of any cracks or places where the foundation may not be sealed properly. If cracks exist, these should be very carefully sealed. Otherwise, you run the risk of rainwater entering into your home, your crawlspace, and your basement, if one exists.
Install a Primary & Backup Sump Pump
A sump pump is a device that is designed to pump moisture out of your basement or crawlspace and deposit it somewhere on your property where it can drain away from your home’s foundation. These pumps typically sit inside a pit in the lowest part of your basement or crawlspace. As water starts to rise, a sensor or float arm actuator attached to the pump will automatically turn it on. Then, the pump removes the water from the pit, sends it through a series of pipes, and deposits it out on your property.
A sump pump can be quite the investment, particularly if your home is not already fitted for one. However, it is an investment that is well worth the money, particularly when you consider the potential savings on your home insurance premiums. You can save even more and further reduce your risk when you opt to install a backup (or secondary) sump pump that kicks should the first one fail.
Check Your Gutter System
Your gutters play an important role in preventing flooding in your home. Gutters wrap around the entirety of your home’s exterior just below the roof. Their purpose involves collecting rainwater as it comes off the roof and diverting it into downspouts. These downspouts direct the rainwater away from your home’s foundation, thus reducing the risk of flooding significantly. Gutters protect your home’s foundation as well since constant moisture can weaken the concrete.
The rainy season is upon us, so now is the time to ensure your home is ready for springtime flooding. By inspecting your foundation and basement walls, waterproofing where necessary, installing a sump pump, and ensuring your gutter system is in good repair, you can reduce the risk of water damage in your home substantially.