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Water shooting out all over the place onto the floor

Flooded Basement: Causes and Cleanup

A flooded basement is that messy situation every homeowner wants to avoid. It can be one of the most costly disasters your home could face. We’ve rounded up and outlined several of the common causes for flooded basements and what to do if it happens in your home.

Flooded Basement Common Causes

While the number of causes for a flooded basement seem innumerable, we rounded up the top four we commonly see.

Mother Nature

Thunderstorms can bring excessive amounts of rain in an hour or two, leaving you with a soggy mess in the basement. On the other hand, steady but more than usual amounts of rain over several days will oversaturate the ground, leaving the water searching for a new place to collect. Unfortunately, that can be your basement or whatever the lowest point in your home is.

Improperly graded landscaping

Take a moment and think about how your yard lies. Yes, we know it lies on the ground as it is the ground, but can you see the sloping and grading? Imagine rain gently falling on your well manicured lawn. Now think of what way that rain will flow with the grading of your yard. Will it move toward your foundation or away, toward the sewer system? Ideally, it should meander its way to the sewer. If the landscaping wasn’t properly graded, water from roof gutters may also flow toward the foundation and potentially cause issues in the basement.

Sewer backups

Those who live in cities and towns rely on central sewer lines to stay clear of clogs and debris to hopefully prevent flooded basements. However, natural floods can carry debris into sewer systems and cause otherwise clear lines to back up into homes. Roots from shrubs and trees can grow through small cracks in pipes and eventually cause big problems to sewers.

Sump pump failures

The sump pump in the basement is a trusty old friend – until it lets you down at the most inopportune time. Pumps often fail because of a switching issue. This usually happens after the pump has shifted in the basin and the float becomes stuck against the side. Another common source of failure is power outages. Unless the pump is attached to a backup power source from the main home or a generator, when the power goes out, it will take a break for a while.

Frozen or clogged discharge lines will also essentially cause a sump pump failure. If the water doesn’t have anywhere to go, even though the pump is working, it will go wherever it can. Unfortunately, in this case, that’s likely your now flooded basement.

Leaking appliances

Water heaters

Water heaters are one of the top two guilty appliances we see for flooded basements. The endless supply of hot water for your morning showers is also a major drawback when something goes wrong. As water leaks from the heater unopposed, it will not only increase the monthly water bill but will also ultimately cause failure of the tank itself.

Washing machine hoses

That’s a lot of water that moves through the washing machine during the weekend marathon laundry sessions. And all of the water is moving through several hoses, including the intake hose. Leaks from the intake can occur, eventually causing the hose to burst and potentially flood the basement or whatever part of the home the washing machine is in. For this reason, washing machines are one of the top insurance claim causes for homeowners. Fortunately, there are washing machine valve shutoff kits available and they are relatively easy to install.

Cutoff valve location

When you find the basement is flooded, the first thing you want to do is find the cutoff valve and shut it off. Where it is located will depend on whether you have a well or private pump supplying the water to your home. If the pump is outside, it may have the valve attached to it or the valve may be by the pressure tank. These tanks are generally found in the garage, closet, near a water softener (if you have one), water heater, or in the basement. The cutoff valve will commonly be a gate valve type (circular handle) or ball valve type (lever handle).

What To Do With A Flooded Basement

The first reaction may be to let out a few loud yells, which we understand. Standing water shouldn’t be inside your home unless it’s in a container such as a bathtub, and the basement isn’t one. However, there are a few things to keep in mind while you put together a cleanup plan and call the professionals like Water Extraction Experts to expedite the plan.

The deeper the water, the more hazards that may be lurking under the waterline. For this reason, we strongly recommend using the buddy system before inspecting the flood. Don’t attempt to salvage electric or gas appliances. Electrical and mechanical equipment that has flooded will need to be replaced, including outlets, fixtures, switches, and motors.

What Is An Emergency

Water Extraction Experts Can Remove the Water and Restore Your Basement It doesn’t matter if you woke up in the morning to a flooded basement or found it during a lazy weekend, the water has to go and quickly. Water Extraction Experts offers around-the-clock service for all water emergency needs to homeowners. Our trained and professional team uses the latest technology and techniques during the water damage remediation process and creates a custom solution for your home.

We service the following locations:

Colorado cities of Fort Collins, Loveland and Greeley, call us at 970-581-4498.

Wyoming cities of Laramie and Cheyenne, call us at 970-581-4498.

Albuquerque, New Mexico, call us at 505-250-6500.