How to Prevent Flooded Basements and Sump Pump Overflow

Your home’s basement is the area that is the most susceptible to flooding. Basement flooding is an issue that can arise regardless of the time of year. This flooding can be caused by issues that include:       

  • Water heater malfunctions        
  • Washing machine malfunctions        
  • Water seepage through foundation cracks    
  • Sump pump overflows and failure 

A sump pump is the most effective way to prevent basement flooding issues at your home. These pumps collect the excess water from the ground around your property. From there, they pump it out once their basins are full. It is crucial to ensure that your sump pump is running during the rainy and wet times of the year.

Our team at ServiceMaster Fire & Water Damage Restoration wants to provide you with some further tips about how to prevent flooded basements and sump pump overflow. Continue reading to find out more about this important topic that can help you to protect your property from the damage that basement flooding can cause.

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Basement Flood Prevention Tips

There are some key tips that you can follow to prevent basement flooding that is the result of outside sources. These tips include:

  • Carefully Inspect Your Foundation – A careful inspection of both the inside and outside of your foundation should be conducted to identify any cracks/openings that could allow water to enter your basement. If you find any small cracks, you can seal them with caulk but major cracking should be addressed by a professional contractor.
  • Check the Condition of Your Drainage Tiles – If you have drainage tiles in your yard, it is important to inspect their condition and replace any that are broken. You should also consider installing drainage tiles in your yard if you do not currently have them. It is another step you can take to prevent basement flooding that comes from outside of your property.     
  • Check Your Home’s Grading – The ground around your home should slope away from it to keep rainwater from building up around its foundation. If this is not the case, then it is important to get it re-graded.             
  • Use Window Well Covers on Your Basement’s Windows – Window well covers that are placed below grade will help to prevent rainwater. They can also keep out unwanted animals and debris.       
  • Ensure That Your Gutters Are Free of Debris – Keeping your gutters clean and free of debris will help to ensure that they are working their best. It prevents them from overflowing so that they can do their job of redirecting water from your home. 

Check Your Downspouts – You need to make sure that your gutter’s downspouts are pointed away from the foundation of your home. You also need to ensure that they are carrying water a minimum of three feet from your home.

How to Prevent Your Sump Pump From Overflowing?

There are many reasons why a sump pump can malfunction. When this occurs, you can end up with a flooded basement and serious property damage. For this reason, it is important to understand how to prevent these sump pump issues. The following list is important to follow when it comes to how to prevent flooded basements and sump pump overflow.

  1. Ensure Your Check Valve Is Working Properly – Your sump pump’s check valve is a key feature that prevents water that has been pumped out from coming back into the pump. You want to make sure its arrow is pointing away from the pump.
  2. Inspect the Pump’s Basis for Debris – It is common for various types of debris to end up falling into your sump pump’s basin. It is important to keep the basis free of debris because it can damage the float mechanism that controls draining.   
  3. Keep the Weep Hole Clean – Some sump pumps have a weep hole located between the pump and the check valve. You want to occasionally clean it using a toothpick or a similar type of object. Take care that it does not break off in the weep hole.

4. Keep the Impeller Clean – The sump pump’s impeller acts as a filter for debris that is contained in the water inside the pump. It should be checked and cleaned routinely to keep the pump running its best. A clogged impeller will make a strange noise and can lead to the pump ceasing to run.

What Can Cause a Sump Pump to Overflow?

There are several common causes of sump pump overflow. An electrical outage during a storm is the most common cause and can lead to flooding as the pump stops working. Another common cause of sump pump overflow is simply neglecting to keep it maintained. It is important to have your sump pump tested at least once per year to ensure it is working at peak efficiency.

Proper Sump Pump Maintenance

Keeping your sump pump maintained properly is the best way to prevent basement flooding. This maintenance should include regularly checking the pump’s motor by lifting the cover. From there, you want to pull up the float to make sure that the motor starts running. 

You also want to ensure that your discharge lines extend away from your home enough to ensure that draining water does not contact your foundation. You can also consider having a backup power source such as an emergency generator for your sump pump in the case of power loss during a major storm.

How Do I Stop My Sump Pump From Overflowing?

The following checklist includes steps to take if your sump pump is overflowing.

  • Try resetting your pump by unplugging it, waiting a few minutes, and plugging back in
  • Run warm water through your sump pump system if the discharge line is frozen     
  • If you have lost power to your home, you want to make sure your pump kicked back on when it returned
  • Check to see if the overflow is due to a clog in your sump pump basin

What Should You Do If Your Basement Is Flooding?

If you are experiencing basement flooding, it is important to act quickly to ensure that the overall property damage is minimized. Our team at ServiceMaster Fire & Water Damage Restoration is ready to offer you a quick response to your basement flooding issues. Give us a call today or leave us a message to find out how we can help.