If you’ve ever heard of someone’s home being destroyed by a flood, you know how devastating it can be. Floods are extremely destructive and unpredictable, and to make matters worse, many homeowners don’t take the proper precautions, leaving them vulnerable to flooding. Even if you’ve been responsible and you’ve purchased flood insurance and had your basement waterproofed by a contractor, you’re still not in the clear. There are a number of basement flood dangers that could be lurking in your own home.
Most basements, including finished ones, have some exposed pipes. If these pipes are leaky, it could be a flooded basement waiting to happen. Luckily, though, since the pipes are exposed, fixing them won’t be too hard a job. First you need to determine what kind of leak you have.
1) If there’s cold water dripping from a pipe, then the cause is most likely not a leak at all, but condensation. Using foam insulation around the pipe should fix the problem.
2) If the leak is coming from a pipe joint, then it’s important that you turn off your home’s water supply before starting repairs. Next, open a nearby downstream faucet to flush all water from the leaky pipe. Finally, you’ll want to use epoxy to secure the joints, making sure to let the epoxy cure before turning your water back on.
3) To temporarily fix joint leaks, you can cover the leak with duct tape or a pipe clamp until you are able to perform a more permanent repair.
Hot Water Heaters
Your hot water heater may be an essential part of your morning shower, but it can also cause a lot of damage in your basement if it is not properly maintained. To prevent malfunction (and the accompanying basement flood), be sure to do the following:
1) Regularly check pipe connections, water lines, and valves. Also, be sure to check for signs of rust on the underside of the tank. Rust can indicate a thinning tank bottom, meaning it could fail suddenly.
2) Check your water heater’s temperature/pressure valve at least once a year. To do this, simply pull up or down on the test handle. If hot water flows out of the overflow pipe, it is working properly.
3) Paint the floor underneath of the water heater with a sealant to prevent damage to the underside of the tank. You can also prevent damage by using a pan with a drain to collect any condensation.
Having a floor drain in your basement is a great way to avoid flood damage, but your drain is useless if it’s clogged. Use the following tips to unclog basement floor drain:
1) Remove all standing water from the train, locate the clean-out access port in your plumbing system, and use a crescent wrench to remove the plug closing the port.
2) Slowly feed a snake into the access port. Then retract it to unclog the drain.
3) Finally, pour a small amount of water down the drain to make sure that it is actually unclogged. If not, try the snake again.
Ameri-Dry Basement Waterproofing
With over 30 years of basement waterproofing experience, Ameri-Dry offers patented, permanently dry systems that are backed by a full lifetime warranty. For more information about Ameri-Dry and Ameri-Dry Guy, visit www.keepamericadry.com.
Nathan Johnson says
My wife and I recently moved into our house and one of the first projects we are doing is finishing the basement. Because of the area we live, I know that we need to get the basement waterproofed. However, it is good to know that there is flooding potential from interior things. I will have to keep an eye on these things as we tackle this project. Thanks for sharing!
Johnny McCarron says
I really like that you talked about leaky pipes. That, to me, is often the culprit of flooding. The said thing is that we don’t really notice leaky pipes until it is too late. However, it is important to know what you need to do to repair such leaks. Do you have any other tips, particularly about waterproofing your basement?
Sarah Smith says
My parent house flooded and now it has me worried about my house. It’s good to know that if the leak is coming from a pipe joint then you should turn off the water before you start repairs. Another thing to consider is to get your basement waterproofed and your pipes inspected so that you can catch any leaks early on.
Derek Dewitt says
My wife and I are finishing our basement at the moment, so thanks for sharing this. I like your point about ensuring your floor drains aren’t clogged. We’ll be sure to check this so we don’t run into any flooding issues.