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Basements and Water Do Not Mix!

(Next) Nouvelle Basement

Is the home/building basement about to evolve again? Historically, many basements were dark dingy places, but have since evolved to house home theaters, gyms, playrooms, pools, spas, offices, etc. They have always housed building/home mechanicals, but recent flooding may change that...or at least the way they are built.

A home's mechanicals are vital and expensive. The rising threats of flooding from exposure to rising ocean levels and other revised flood zone mapping - as well as flash flooding - make below-grade areas for housing critical and expensive equipment less practical.  The rain we have seen this summer has probably given at least one person you know an issue with water in the basement. 

Basements have proven to be very useful, valuable additional space. Being below grade they are susceptible to flooding. Advanced drainage systems and building basements like bathtubs/swimming pools can minimize and even eliminate the potential of flooding. But just one exposed point of entry is enough to cause flooding. Will basement flooding doors - the kind you see on submarines - be the next building/home-amenity-du-jour?

A fort-like basement also offers protection from tornadoes.

Here are some things that are more easily achieved to reduce the potential for basement flooding:

  1. Keep gutters clean. They divert water. Install grids to prevent debris build-up.
  2. Install downspout extensions to further divert water runoff away from the house.
  3. Seal your basement. Even small cracks and holes pose a leak threat.
  4. Elevation always helps: re-grade the exterior land to encourage water to flow away from the home.
  5. Remove big plants/trees too close to the house as their roots may crack your basement.
  6. Install a backwater valve that closes off drains to municipal sewer lines.
  7. Install French drains that absorb and divert water.
  8. Install a sump pump with a battery backup.

Prevention is almost ALWAYS cheaper than the cure......I would expect a renewed focus on basement flooding protection by buyers, their agents, appraisers, and insurance companies.

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