Why is my basement flooding?

by | Apr 6, 2018 | Water Damage

Excessive, constant and heavy rains often cause puddling in yards, driveways and localized street flooding in some neighborhoods.  It can also cause unexpected water damage to your basement resulting in damage to walls, flooring, furniture and might lead to MOLD growth.  Here are some preventative tips and actions you can take now so you aren’t left with the question, why is my basement flooding?

The most common causes of flooded basements are surface water intrusion, back up caused from storm sewer water, and sump pump failures.

Surface Water Intrusion usually results when water runs down the foundation walls causing water damage in one location or along the exterior foundation of the basement.  No holes or openings are detected in the area.  (Note:  most homeowners insurance policies do not cover water damage caused by surface or ground water intrusion.  Take a look at your policy and check with your agent to verify coverage.)  You can sometimes detect where the problem lies, but walking along the exterior of your home and looking for these signs:

Clogged gutters or downspouts

Leaves, pine straw and an occasional child’s toy can clog gutters and downspouts.  A good rule of thumb is to check and clean them at least twice a year but be sure to check the flow along all the complete run of the gutters, not just where the downspouts are located.  If for some reason the gutter sags or slightly detaches, not only will this cause water to spill over the sides but can also cause some rot issues along the roof line.  It is also recommended that downspouts extend out 10 feet from the house to ensure the water drains away from the home.  You may want to invest in an extension to your existing downspout.


Check to make sure that the ground around your home slopes away from the house.  If you find any depressions in the ground near the foundation, fill them in with a clay-type soil to help inhibit water from pooling too close to the foundation.  Avoid placing lawn irrigation next to the house as well.

Storm/Sewer water back up

During heavy rains (like we saw recently with Hurricane Matthew), sewer systems can become overwhelmed with water causing a backup not only in the system itself but also into homes.  Individual lines can be clogged with tree roots, grease and other wastes.  This type of back up needs to be addressed quickly by professionals as it can cause health problems. (Also note, a special endorsement to your homeowners policy may need to be purchased to provide coverage for these types of losses.  Talk to your insurance agent to ensure you have the correct and adequate coverage for your home.)

Sump Pump Failure

Many homes are equipped with sump pumps which help pump the water out of the basements during the heavy rains that can soak the area.  These pumps are great at getting the water out of the basement before it has a chance to cause major damage.  They however are not fail safe.  When the power goes out during severe storms (like Hurricane Matthew) there is no electricity to power the pump causing water to collect.  Battery powered backups are available but can also fail.  The lines and unit itself can also become damaged.  It is recommended that you have them serviced or tested during this time of the year before storm season hits to try and detect any issues before they become a major problem.

PHC Restoration has worked with homeowners with basement flooding for over 45 years.  From water extraction to water mitigation to repairs, we have highly trained water damage restoration technicians on call ready to help you during your emergency.