Common Causes of Basement Flooding

Since basements are built partially if not fully below ground, they're prone to flooding. For that reason, a basement flood may occur not only during the rainy season and the spring thaw but at any time of year, even when the conditions are dry.

A flooded basement can be a nightmare. Being aware of the most common causes of basement flooding and taking preventative measures is the best way to keep that nightmare from becoming a reality. There are several causes of basement flooding ranging from weather to burst pipes and drainage issues.


Poor Basement Sealing

When a home is being built, the basement tiles and foundation need to be sealed properly. If this is not done correctly or deteriorates over time, water will begin to seep into the basement from the ground. If your basement floods during all or most rainstorms, this may be the cause.


Weeping Tile Failure

Every home should have a drainage system built around the structure to help ensure that water moves away from and doesn't seep into the home. If this system, also known as weeping tiles, has been installed incorrectly or fails, the basement may experience flooding, especially during heavy rains. To determine if this is the root cause of your flooded basement, it's necessary to have it inspected by a specialist.


Improperly Installed Downspouts

The purpose of the downspout is to direct water away from the home and its foundation. Downspouts should be at least 1.5 to 2 metres (5 to 6 feet) away from the basement wall and drain away from the home, usually towards the street or backyard. If your downspouts are broken or missing, water will pool next to the house and can seep slowly into the basement or pour in through cracks in the foundation.


Gutter Debris

Gutters or eavestroughs are also essential to moving water away from the home to keep the basement dry. Gutters clogged with leaves, twigs, seed pods and other debris stop water from moving off the roof, through the downspout and away from the home. Overflowing gutters will force water down the sides of the home where it can pool and seep into the basement.


Faulty Pipes, Hot Water Tank and Sump Pump

Your basement contains three potential sources for flooding: pipes, a hot water tank and sump pump. If anyone of these is damaged or breaks, a basement can flood. Pipes can fail due to age, poor workmanship or temperatures that cause them to freeze and eventually crack and burst. Both hot water tanks and sump pumps should be inspected annually for faulty equipment.

Other potential causes for basement flooding include a sewage backup and grading around your property. All homes need to have the grading slope away from the structure to reduce the risk for basement flooding.

The flood restoration experts at ServiceMaster Restore have over 70 years of experience dealing with each of these basement flooding causes. We'll answer your call 24/7/365 if your basement floods and take care of the restoration process that includes water extraction, drying and mould remediation as needed. Our trusted flood specialists work safely and quickly so you can focus on getting back to normal.