What to Do After a Heavy Rain Causes Your Basement to Leak

On any rainy day, your home is meant to keep you safe, dry, and comfortable. But every so often, a heavy rain can cause a basement to leak. A homeowner may then discover their basement in a much different state than before the rain: damp, wet, or even flooded!

Each year, thousands of homes experience a wet basement situation. Some flooding situations can’t be avoided, such as from a tidal storm surge or an overflowing river. But generally, your home should be able to keep out the water produced by heavy rain. If it is not doing that, then there is a problem that needs fixing. 

So, what should you do after a wet basement incident? There are steps you’ll immediately want to take to ensure the safety of you and your loved ones. 

  • If you can do so safely, turn off the power or call an electrician to do so. 
  • Remove the water from your basement with a wet-vac, floor sucker pump, or call a disaster restoration expert in extreme conditions. 
  • Move damp items out to either be dried or disposed. 
  • Account for all damaged items for insurance purposes if you have coverage. 
  • Remove remaining moisture with a dehumidifier. 

But there’s bound to be heavy rain again, and that means your basement will leak again. The source or sources of your wet basement problem will need to be addressed so that a repeat scenario does not occur. 

What Could Be Causing My Wet Basement Problem? 

There are several factors that can cause groundwater and moisture to enter your basement. Check each of the following to ensure that they are not contributing to water resting against your foundation. 

Inspect and Clean Your Gutters and Downspouts 

Gutters and downspouts can become clogged with leaves and debris. Once clogged, water may overflow from those gutters and fall to the soil next to your foundation instead. 

Test your gutters and downspouts by checking them during the next rain or using a hose to spray water down your downspouts. Check the downspouts to see how well the water flows out. 

It is recommended that you have your downspout extended. The best distance for the end of the downspout extension would be eight feet away from your home – about how far the soil was dug out when your home was built. This may be affected by the type of soil that surrounds your home as well. 

Check the Grading Around Your Home 

If the grading is poor and sloping towards your home, water will have gravity to guide it towards your foundation. On the other hand, by making sure your grading is sloped away from your home, rainwater will be encouraged to run down away from your home’s foundation. 

Channel '58 drainage channel being installed
Installed beside the footer at a pitched angle, the Channel ’58 drainage channel moves more water, faster!

How Do I Protect My Basement Against Heavy Rain?

As water builds up against your foundation, it creates what’s known as hydrostatic pressure. This can push the water through the cold joints of your foundation, such as between the foundation wall and floor slab. Without the pressure, that water will have significantly less ability to infiltrate into your basement. 

But to reduce that hydrostatic pressure during heavy rain, you’ll need an interior basement waterproofing system. Here are the components that you will often find in an interior basement waterproofing solution… 

  • A drainage channel 
  • Sump pit 
  • Sump pump 
  • Redundant, battery backup pump 
  • Discharge drainage pipe 

But no two interior basement waterproofing systems are made equal. Without enough horsepower, a sump pump might not be able to move enough water. Different drainage channels perform differently, and where they are installed can also impact their effectiveness. 

Let’s have a look at how some systems are designed versus what ’58 Foundations & Waterproofing has developed with its 64+ years of industry knowledge and expertise… 

What Do Most Companies Use for Their Waterproofing System? 

There are a variety of drainage channels out there that basement waterproofing contractors may rely on. Store-bought drainage channels tend to be corrugated or round drainage channels with small perforations at set intervals. Some basement waterproofing companies may use a designed drainage channel to help better encourage the movement of water. 

But these drainage channels are often situated  flat and level on top of the footer. This leads to water collecting within the drainage channel. The water follows the drainage channel to the sump pit as it seeks the path of least resistance. In heavy rain, though, this non-pitched channel can become overwhelmed and force the excess water onto your basement floor. 

During heavy rain, efficiency and volume is key to a drainage channel doing its job. From sitting flat to being limited in size, these on-the-footer drainage channels are not effective at moving large volumes of water. 

Move More Water Faster With ’58!

Our ’58 basement waterproofing system, called Channel ‘58, offers several features that make it superior to other typical drainage channel options: 

  • Beside-the-footer installation allows our Channel ’58 drainage channels to be pitched, encouraging water to run through the drainage channels faster towards the sump pit and sump pump. 
  • Typical drainage channels only have around a 1 gallon per foot capacity. Channel ’58 offers up to three times more drainage capacity with a 3 gallons per foot capacity! 
  • Our Workhorse Sump Pump offers more power than sump pumps in other waterproofing solutions. While others use a standard of ¼ hp, our Workhorse Sump Pump provides ¾ hp, providing three times the power of most competitors. This is another important factor in being able to keep up with a heavy rain. What’s more, we offer our Workhorse OT+, which provides an essential battery backup in the case of power outages or mechanical failure! 

How Much Water in a Basement is Bad?  

Mold, wood rot, and insect pests infest damp floorboards and floor joists
A damp lower level can mean mold, wood rot, and insect pests moving into your home.

If your basement gets flooded with an inch or more of water, that’s clearly a bad situation. Anything in contact with the floor and water can now be ruined. Baseboards, drywall, wood framing, carpeting, furniture, and anything else can be damaged by water.

But even with a small amount of water or just lingering dampness in your basement, it can lead to moisture-related problems. Here are just some of the wet basement problems that may occur… 

Whether you’ve been having a little or a lot of water invading your basement, a wet basement can attract problems. By having your basement protected by ’58 Foundations & Waterproofing, you can keep those heavy rains where they belong: outside. 

Make Those Wet Basement Problems Go Away—Call ’58! 

’58 Foundations & Waterproofing is no stranger to wet basements and cracked foundations. With over 64 years of experience in basement waterproofing and foundation repair, our experts can protect your home against heavy rain and the many problems caused by a basement leak. From high-capacity drainage channels to powerful sump pumps with battery backups, ’58 Foundations & Waterproofing will provide a comprehensive basement waterproofing solution that covers all the bases.

We have local offices throughout the Eastern Seaboard! Whether you live near Knoxville, TN, Baltimore, MD, or Atlanta, GA, there’s a team of ’58 experts ready to help you!

So, when there’s heavy rain and your basement starts to leak, you can always call on the experts at ’58 Foundations & Waterproofing! Contact us today to schedule a free inspection and to receive a detailed cost estimate from one of our experts. When water starts pressing on your foundation, lean on ’58 to stay safe and dry!