Water Backup Prevention

Water backup occurs when the water around the foundation of your home exceeds the capacity of removal systems to drain it. It can occur from surface water seeping into foundation walls or sewer systems overflowing up through drains in the basement.

Prevention Steps

  • Maintain gutters and downspouts, keeping them free of debris and leaves and repairing them if they are sagging
  • Inspect your gutters’ capacity – after fifteen minutes of heavy rain, if water overflows the gutters, install additional downspouts
  • Extend downspouts at least ten feet away from the house
  • Adjust landscaping and irrigation so that water flows away from the foundation
  • Drain subsurface groundwater and storm water with a sump pump system that has battery backup and replacement warnings
  • Run your sump pump every few months and clean it annually before the rainy season
  • Prevent backflow of sanitary sewer water by installing backflow valves and standpipes at all basement drain locations, including sinks and toilets
  • Prepare your basement “just in case” by raising your washer, dryer, water heater, oil tank, furnace, all electrical wiring and personal items above typical water backup levels

Recovering From A Backup

  • Remove standing water to prevent structural damage
  • Dry all wet carpets, rugs and personal belongings to prevent mold growth
  • Sanitize all areas and materials in contact with sewer water
  • Consult with a licensed building professional who can determine the extent of repairs if necessary

Hiring a general contractor or the wrong type of remediation contractor can lead to even more damage and the possibility of mold. Always insist on a certified water restoration contractor and remember, you can hire any contractor of your choosing if you file a claim with your insurance.

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About the author: Joe Fiorilli