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Ark sighting in South Orange, NJ – Flooded basements


yikes, flooded basement

Actually Noah would probably be hard at work on the basement and/or the gutters instead of building an ark if he were around today… There are different solutions to flooded basements, but before we can do the fix we’ve got to find out the reason.
1) One of the primary causes of basement flooding is ‘grading’ – the level of the land around your home.  Nearly every home is designed with land sloping away from the home, which lowers the odds of basement flooding.  After awhile the grade changes for the following reasons:  a) Erosion and subjection to the elements,   b) Poor original grading job,  c) Changes in neighboring grades,  d) Poor landscaping

If the grade is covered with cement, stone, or other paving material, these can all be fixed by a pro.  If the gradient is soil, you can try buying extra soil and building it up near your home and sloping it down as you move away from the home.  A garden or shrubs will usually help prevent soil erosion and protect your new grade as the roots hold onto the soil.  Obviously don’t plant anything with big, powerful roots too close that will push into your foundation.

2) Another cause of flooding is a poor foundation sealing job.   This is a job for a pro.  Effective waterproofing and sealant is a must.

3) Blocked guttering is probably the most common problem and the easiest to solve.   If the southwest corner of your basement is flooded, walk outside and check out the southwest gutters and you may have found the culprit.  Fallen leaves blocking the waterflow or damaged gutters can easily be removed or repaired by a pro or a handy homeowner. 

4) Pumps/Drains – If you don’t hear your sump pump going in a significant rainstorm you know it’s probably got a mechanical problem and needs to be fixed or replaced.  For French Drains, first make sure the spout area is clear.  Silt in the pipe from eroded gravel could be causing a blockage.  The depth or grading of the pipe may have changed.  You’re probably better off calling a pro for either the sump pump or the French drain.  
Stay Dry!