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How to Stop and Prevent a Flooded Basement

what to do about basement plumbing flooding

If you have ever had basement flooding, you know the sinking feeling of seeing water pour into your basement. A basement flood can render your possessions useless and create a significant health and safety concern beyond that.

A flooded basement can be caused by any number of problems with your basement plumbing. Even the most confident homeowner can feel powerless and panicked when their basement floor is inundated. Use these helpful suggestions to ensure that you know what to do if your basement floods.

What Causes Basement Flooding?

If basement flooding occurs, it most likely means that either your basement plumbing has failed or there's been an issue with your basement flooring sealing system. Either way, a wet basement is a serious problem. The following is a quick outline of the top reasons why basement flooding takes place and what you can do about it:

Broken Water Pipes

Some homeowners may overlook broken basement water supply lines as a reason for basement flooding. However, failing to fix these types of issues quickly only leads to bigger problems down the line. If you have a broken water pipe in your home, turn your main water valve off and contact a local plumber as soon as possible to avoid further basement flooding issues from occurring.

Cracked or Clogged Eavestroughs

Another common reason basement flooding occurs is due to clogged or cracked eavestroughs. Most roofing professionals agree that homeowners should check their gutters at least twice a year for debris buildup. If you notice water overflowing in your basement, there's a good chance the issue lies in the gutters on your home.

Sump Pump Failure

Unfortunately, basement flooding can also occur if your sump pump malfunctions. Since sump pumps are typically used when basement plumbing has failed, they're most often what homeowners consult with plumbers about fixing when basement flooding takes place. The best course of action? Unplug your sump pump and wait 10 seconds before plugging back in. This can reset the system. If this doesn't work, call up your local plumber right away and have them repair the failing sump pump.

Improper Basement Flooring Sealing

If basement flooding takes place after a heavy rainfall, it's likely that basement water came from the inside of your home instead of outside. This means you need to check out your basement flooring sealing system quickly and carefully for damage. One sign of basement flooring sealing issues is visible cracks on the walls and floors; another is high humidity in certain spots around your basement.

Improperly Installed Downspouts

When it comes to basement flooding, one common cause includes improperly installed downspouts on homes with overflowing gutters (eavestroughs). When water drains from the roof after heavy rains, the eavestroughs should direct this water away from the house as much as possible. However, if basement flooding takes place, there's likely an issue with the downspouts that are supposed to drain water away from your basement.

Drainage Tile Failure

Finally, basement flooding may also be a result of drainage tile failure - this is common in homes where basement flooring sealing hasn't been completed successfully. If basement water leakage consistently takes place during heavy rainfall periods, it might be time to have your basement waterproofing system inspected by a professional basement contractor or plumber.

Who Should I Call When My Basement Floods?

"I have water in my basement. Who should I call first?"

  1. Emergency plumbing company
  2. Insurance company
  3. Water restoration company

That's not an uncommon question to hear this time of year. When basement flooding is suspected or occurs, the answer depends on several factors including whether you are experiencing any damage due to the basement flood, how severe the basement flooding is, if there are known basement leak issues or potential areas for water infiltration into your home, what caused your basement flood (storm water runoff versus sewage backup), and who owns the home.

Regardless of these factors, basement flooding should be addressed as soon as possible. Begin by contacting a local emergency plumber to address any continuing water flow. A plumbing contractor can help identify the source of the water causing flooding. This may include the replacement of a sump pump that failed after a heavy rain or a burst pipe.

Your next call should be to your insurance company and file a claim. If you have any questions about your flood insurance coverage or need recommendations for repair or restoration companies, your insurance agent should be able to assist you.

 A call to a local disaster restoration service for flooded basement cleanup should also be made. Water damage only gets worse the longer you wait, so make sure the company you choose can perform the work quickly and guarantee satisfaction.

Other Steps to Take After Finding Water In Your Basement

Take plenty of photos. Documenting the flood damage may help your insurance company process your claim. Photos may also assist you when you're ready to compile a list of damaged property for reimbursement later on.

 If it is safe to enter the area, begin moving wet belongings out to dry, taking care not to spread the moisture to other parts of the house in the process. Set up fans to keep air circulating, open basement windows and turn on your dehumidifier, if you have one.

How Can I Prevent Water in My Basement?

Preventing water in basement is not an easy task. With climate changes, basement leakage issues are on the rise than ever before. However, one can prevent basement leakage with proper planning and prevention techniques. Here are some tips to help you prevent basement leakage:


The most important step in preventing basement leakage is waterproofing . Ensure that your basement walls are water tight so that water does not seep through them. If you have cracks in the basement walls, repair them right away.

Gutters & Landscaping

Do not allow leaves or other debris pile up near or around your house. Clear roof gutters so that there isn't any blockage for rainwater drainage system which could lead to basement flooding.

Maintain Basement Plumbing Systems

Check sump pumps regularly and ensure that they are free of any blockage. Also, have your water heater checked annually to ensure your hot water tank is not set up for failure.

Pipe Inspections

If you live in a basement apartment, ensure that the water supply and sewage lines running through your basement does not leak. Leaking pipes can lead to basement leakage which could cause extensive damage.


Install basement dehumidifiers at regular intervals so that dampness in basement is prevented. Ensure that proper ventilation is provided for your basement. A musty, damp basement with little or no ventilation could lead to mold growth and dry rot, both of which destroy the structural integrity of the basement walls and flooring.

Ventilation also prevents humidity build up and helps remove moist air outside. Together this decreases the potential for moisture problems inside your basement

Call ARS/Rescue Rooter for Flooded Basement Solutions

There's a lot you can do to prevent basement flooding causes, and the first step is calling the national plumbing services from ARS/Rescue Rooter. Our team of expert plumbers have seen wet basements before, and can help address any flooding problems tied to your home's basement plumbing systems, including:

Call us at 866-399-2885 or find your nearest ARS/Rescue Rooter location online for service today!

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