As the winter months in Chicago approach, homeowners run into the possible threat of basement flooding and water damage. Snowstorms on the horizon could make way for inches (sometimes even feet) of frozen ground. These patches of ice remain intact until the weather becomes warmer, resulting in the water thawing out and seeping into the structure of your home.
Data from FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program states damage caused by just 1 inch of floodwater in a 1,000 square foot home is estimated to cost roughly $25,000.
Depending on how much damage is done, you could be dealing with costly repairs as well as health and safety risks for you and your family. But what causes the flooding in the first place?
What Causes A Flooded Basement?
Many homeowners run the risk of floodwaters in their basement due to flash flooding issues with pipes, gutters, or windows, or even issues with the structure of the home itself.
Water flows downhill into the lowest areas, making its way through the smallest cracks of your home. The water can also make its way into your basement through windows, crawl spaces, air vents, and overly saturated soil surrounding the home.
Here’s a list of 8 issues to be on the lookout for around your home that could result in basement flooding:
- Burst pipes
- Sudden downpours
- Melting snow
- Broken gutters
- Leaky windows
- Damaged foundation
- Overwhelmed sewer lines
- Removal of large trees near your home
What Are the Dangers Surrounding A Flooded Basement?
There are plenty of dangerous issues a homeowner can run into when facing flood waters in their basement. First, be aware of your surroundings. Second, be cautious when going downstairs to access the damage. The floodwater poses a variety of dangers and long-term health hazards.
Flood water found in your basement contains bacteria, fungi, and sewage that can cause serious illnesses. Make sure to contact a professional plumber before addressing the flood water.
Foundation & Structural Problems
Flood damage in the basement creates tiny fissures that weaken supporting concrete walls. Over time, the house can shift on the deteriorating foundation. Wet materials in a finished basement send moisture upward through the house. This can compromise the structural integrity of overhead framing and drywall.
Risk of Electrocution
The various electrical components of a home are often located in the basement, alongside the main breaker box. First turn off the power before entering a flooded basement. Also, wear protective clothing like plastic gloves and rubber boots.
Rapidly Forming Mold Growth
Mold grows rapidly in a flooded basement and releases unhealthy airborne spores, causing serious respiratory issues. Read our blog to learn how to get rid of bathroom mold.
How to Prevent Basement Flooding with CJ Plumbing & Heating
Due to it being so close to the foundation, a flooded basement can pose a serious risk to your building’s overall structural integrity, as well as cause health issues for you and your loved ones.
We strongly advise that you outsource the flood damage cleanup in your basement to a reputable water damage restoration company. They can also inspect your home for hidden leaks before the damage is done.
Since 1991, we here at CJ Plumbing & Heating, provide award-winning plumbing services to locals throughout Chicagoland, including water leak detection and flood damage cleanup. Serving Evanston, Lincolnwood, Northfield, Schaumburg, Skokie, Waukegan, and more.