The metro Detroit area experienced unusually heavy rainfalls this past week, but it appears that many area residents are still facing the effects of the rainfall, even days after the rain has stopped. Besides flooded streets, residents and homeowners are now dealing with significant water damage to their basements and rooms below ground-level.
Neighborhoods across the region, from Royal Oak to Downriver, are filled with homeowners who have reported basement flooding, ranging from a few inches of water to a few feet. For residents who use their basements sparingly, a little bit of flooding isn’t a big deal. But for residents who use their basement areas for living purposes — and many Detroit-area residents do — flooding can be a serious problem and can cause significant damage to personal property.
Although residents certainly can’t control the weather, they do have some control over basement flooding, especially if they know that they live in a flood-prone area, or if the surrounding landscape is particularly vulnerable to storm drain overflows.
Although it’s important to remember that the safety of residents is always more important than any water damage to replaceable items, that doesn’t make the situation much easier for homeowners who are dealing with hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars worth of damage. And once a living space encounters water damage, plenty of other health risks appear for residents, ranging from respiratory problems triggered by mold growths to a weakening of the house’s infrastructure.
“There are two ways that water gets in to your basement – either surface water infiltration where it comes from above and leaks in through cracks or overloaded drains, or through wet walls,” says Ken Fraine, P.E at Drainage & Erosion. “Often, water gets through when concrete block walls do not have adequate membranes. It is also important to have positive grading all around the house, and the ensure that all down spout and discharge piping is aimed away from the house. The second issue is rising ground water tables from excess rainfall draining into the ground – you can combat this through an interior drainage system that directs water to a sump and the use of an efficient sump pump. It is important to ensure there is a back up in the case that your primary pump fails that runs on a separate power source.”
Many homeowners choose to waterproof their basement area as a preventative measure, but if you’ve already had to repair water damage in your home or building, it’s not too late to look into waterproofing options.