Floodproofing Your Home
Water can enter your house a number of ways:
- Flooding or a major rainstorm
- Sewer back-up
- Groundwater seepage or spring melting
Moisture might be present, even though water might not be visible water in the basement. Here are some tips for preventing moisture and water in your basement.
Flood Proofing Maintenance
Here are some steps that will help prevent moisture and water from entering your basement:
- Clothes dryers and bathrooms should be properly vented.
- Don't place humidifiers in moist environments like a basement.
- If your basement is moist, don't open basement windows in the summer.
- Make sure basement drains are clear of roots, grease, etc.
- Have your sanitary service pipe lateral cleaned out regularly.
- Your sanitary service lateral carries wastewater from toilets, sinks, showers and disposals from the house to the sanitary sewer in the street. A slow drain might indicate more frequent cleanings are needed.
- Keep gutters and downspouts clean, extending at least four feet from the outside wall of the house.
- Check for cracks in the foundation, chimney, and fireplace.
Preventive and Corrective Measures
Here are some simple and inexpensive measures you can take:
- Build the ground up around the foundation so it slopes away from the building.
- Put appliances and furniture in the basement up on blocks.
- Place 1/2" of coarse gravel in window wells, sloping away from the house. The sides of the window wells should extend above ground level. Cover the window wells.
- If the heating ducts are under the basement floor, make sure they are insulated and watertight.
- Consider an easy-to-install float plug in the drain, no permit required. If the floor drain backs up, the float plug will rise and plug the drain. If more than 4" of water is present, float plugs can cause problems, and in this case, the float plug would need to be removed to allow the water to drain.
- Have a licensed plumber install a backflow valve to keep water from backing up into your basement through the drain.
- Install a vapor barrier on the basement walls (a permit may be required).
- Install a false floor over the basement floor, allowing the water to flow to a drain or sump pump.
- Install a drainage system and a sump pump, which must drain to a surface on the property (permit required).
See this FEMA's Installing Sewer Backflow Valves site on how this can help protect your property from flooding.
Disclaimer: The items listed on this page are merely summaries of the possible measures that can be used for floodproofing your home. For more information and specific how-to steps, consult with experts and check the websites listed.
Last updated Feb 11, 2019