Ask the Restoration Services Expert – Jay Won
Spring Time – Spring Storms
Spring is on its way and for anyone who’s been in this area for any length of time knows that this area can get some unusual weather when spring arrives and it’s usually in the form of spring storms.
During heavy rains, flooding in basements can be contributed to a few factors but not conclusive to some of the following:
- Inadequate drainage of water away from the foundation of the house.
- Sump pump malfunction.
- Cracks in the foundation or cement pad that will cause seepage. Commonly, seepage is caused when there is a build-up of hydrostatic pressure surrounding the foundation, which forces water through any accessible cracks.
- Heavy rains causing excessive levels to rise within the storm sewer system causing an overflow into the sewer system resulting in water coming up through floor drains, shower drains and toilets located in the basement.
- If it’s a wind driven rain, water could get in through the bottoms of doors and insufficiently sealed windows.
There are some situations that are totally out of the homeowner’s control because after all, we are talking about Mother Nature; however, to help minimize the chances of your basement, or any other part of your house getting water damage during heavy rains, the following pro-active steps can be taken:
- It should be noted that although a lot of these can be done by the homeowner’s themselves, I cannot stress enough to make safety your top priority. If for whatever reason you are limited to do any of the following but feel it important enough to get it done, please ask a friend, a neighbour, a family member or even a professional to assist you. Do not take unnecessary risks if you don’t have to!
- Always be mindful of the weather forecast. It’s our best warning system to let us know when something bad is coming our way and prepare for it.
- Check to make sure your gutters are clear of debris and that your downspouts are of adequate length to ensure that water coming off the roof will be discharged as far away as possible from the foundation walls. If you have the type of downspouts that fold up so that you don’t run over them with the lawnmower (not that I know anything about that), be sure to drop these if the forecast is calling for persistent or heavy precipitation.
- At the same time that you’re checking the gutters for debris, it’s probably a good idea to do an overall inspection of the shingles to ensure that they’re not damaged or missing.
- If on the outside of your house there are basement window wells, be sure to clean these out if leaves and debris have accumulated in them.
- If your home’s weeping tile uses a sump pump system to pump the excess ground water out, you will want to inspect the pump and make sure it’s in working order. What I’ve seen some homeowners do is purchase an additional pump to have on standby should the original one stop working when you need it the most. The other thing you will want to make sure of is that there are no obstructions restricting the movement of the sump pump float. If the float gets stuck, water will overflow the sump hole. One other thing that you will want to check in regards to the sump pump system is, “where is the water being pumped out to”? Here again, like the downspouts, you want to make sure that the water is being discharged as far away from the foundation as possible.
- In some cases, if a home has a separate basement entrance, there could be a drain just outside the door. Be sure this area and in particular the drain if it’s there, is clear of all debris.
Whatever the case may be and for whatever reason the water is getting in, if it gets beyond your control you need to contact your insurance company immediately and notify them of your loss and confirm your coverage. If coverage is confirmed, the next call you need to make is to Action Restoration Ltd. as we are an industry leading, full service restoration contractor. At Action Restoration Ltd., we are committed to helping our clients get through the worse of it and back to normal as quickly as possible.