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How to Avoid Basement Flooding in the Spring

spring flooding

Willow against a spring landscape

You’ve probably heard that “April showers bring May flowers,” but those same showers can also sometimes bring another very unwelcome surprise: flooding. Whether it’s because your outdoor grading was done poorly, it’s a problem with something inside the house, or there’s just too much water in your forecast, it’s frustrating to have flooding. Here are a few ways that you can avoid flooding, and when it does happen, get it cleaned quickly.

Check Your Landscaping

One of the most common reasons that people have a flood in their basement is related to the grade of their yard outside. Even if your yard grading has previously been fine, sometimes winter weather, rain, runoff, or even shifts in the dirt around the house can change it over time. That means even though it never flooded before, you could be at risk this year. As the snow melts, be sure to examine your yard for any changes and make sure that the dirt slopes away from your home to avoid flooding risks.

Examine Your Gutters

Another reason that flooding could be a problem is if the gutters around your home are clogged or damaged and water is not being properly channeled away from the house into the yard. When that happens the water could be falling close to your home’s foundation and you could be at risk of floods in your basement or crawl space.

Look at Your Foundation

Another way that water can find its way into your home is through cracks in the foundation. Take a few minutes once the snow is melted to make sure that your foundation is still in good shape. You can examine it from the outside, and use an epoxy to fill in cracks or call a contractor to help for more serious cracks.

Fixing Basement Flooding

Remember that it doesn’t take much excess water to turn into a flood in the basement, and whether your basement is finished or not, even a small amount of water on the floor could cause significant damage. A couple of inches could destroy your carpets, damage furniture, disintegrate boxes, and lead to the growth of mold and mildew.

Sometimes just a little bit of water can be cleaned, and if the area is unfinished and the water hasn’t been there long enough to lead to mold, you may be able to remove the standing water and blow some fans in the area to help it dry up. In other cases you may need to help of a professional water restoration contractor to come in and pull up carpet, examine for mold, repair furniture, and renovate the area to make it livable again.

If your basement is prone to damage, the restoration contractor can also help you find out if adding things like special drains or other flood prevention measures would be helpful.