Prevent Basement Flooding Tips


It is a commonly held belief that if one installs a sump pump using an ultimate sump pump comparison chart, he/she will never again have to worry about basement flooding. Much as we’d like to claim that this is true, it is a proven fact that sump pumps, or for that matter any basement draining equipment, works best with a number of precautions.

The reason, put simply, is that sump pumps, and any other equipment that you may use, can only remove water if it is collected in a tube or tub – the sump in this case. However, if you don’t follow prevent basement flooding tips, the walls and flooring become porous and can allow water to seep and then gush in. To avoid such scenarios, we’ve come up with a list of most useful tips:

Position Your Pipes Properly

If you have learned how to use a sump pump, you would probably know the basics of pipe positioning and its importance for draining water. If you are a novice or do not use sump pumps even, you should have drainage pipes that remove at least the water building up above the surface, from the basement.

If you are using a sump pump, you should position the pipes vertically and then horizontally at 90 degrees to each other. This ensures adequate flow of water. Further, the end of the PVC pipe taking the water out should end not within 3 feet of the primary house wall. If either of these conditions is violated, chances are that water will not pass out properly, and whatever water does pass out will be soaked up by the outer wall of the house, leading to recurrent spells of dampness.

Clean The Sump and Sewer Lines

It is well-known that prevent basement flooding tips include clearing the reservoirs and outlets of water – the sump and the sewer, regularly such that the water can pass out quickly. While the simple steps to clean a sump pump would include clearing out a sump, the cleaning of sewer pits and lines is a more complex process, given that a question of hygiene is involved.

Ideally, sewer cleaning should be left to professionals, and even then, should be carried out in the spring season, when chances of rain are minimal. This is because if rain occurs while the sewage lines are open, rising water levels may lead to the sewage mixing with the water, thus contaminating it and causing environmental and hygiene problems for your neighbours and your family.

Cover all Inlets to the Basement

Many basements have ventilation ducts or windows that can allow water to seep in rapidly if the glass on them is not secure enough, or gets broken by the action of debris. To avoid this, one should use window well covers to keep windows that protrude from the ground, but are essentially below the ground level, covered. Coming with acrylic coverings, such covers ensure entry of light while preventing the entry of leaves, dust and water.

If the basement window or windows protrude a large way above the ground, it is ideal to treat them as French doors, covering them with special defences that can be attached and removed at will. When leaving the house for extended periods of time, it is advisable that the covers be fully applied so as to guard against the possibility of rain flooding the basement.

Check For Cracks in the Walls or Foundation

As any good sump pump tips and guides page will tell you, the weakening of the foundations of the house can lead to serious challenges to the stability of the house and the security of your loved ones. In the short run, however, such weaknesses would contribute to the flooding of the basement by allowing water to seep in. As the water seeps in greater quantity, the internal iron structure becomes further weakened, thus linking water seepage and house instability inextricably.

Initially, you should run the check every few months, noting whether there are any fine damp lines running across the length of your walls. If there are, check to see whether the damp has occurred due to local causes or due to structural faults. For small faults, use of building putty or white cement in the cracks should suffice, but to ensure long-term stability, professional help is perhaps the only solution in the long-run (or if the breakage is severe). Once the modifications are complete, apply a coat of water resisting epoxy paint to finish the job.

Install a Generator

Whether you have a sump pump and/or sewer pump installed, or just use electricity to run your basic basement lighting, a generator is a must. In case of pumps, they will provide much needed power to the basement in situations of power failure. In the very worst of situations, where the pumps are for any reason not working or the flooding is too rapid, you can always get hold of a spare pump or large wet vacuum (with long water hose attached) and use it to drain the water quickly.

Contrary to conventional prevent basement flooding tips, the generator can only be located outside, preferably a little away from the wall so it does not suffer in case of dampness of the wall. Modern generators come with heavy metal housings that cannot be penetrated by ordinary rain water. The generator must never be installed inside the basement as this will create a situation where even minor collection of water in the basement would ruin the generator. Alternatively, if the noise is bearable, the generator can also be put in the upper, inhabited sections of the house.


Water damage consistently ranks among the worst types of damage caused to any home or commercial establishment’s basement, with the damage being worst in areas where heavy thundershowers, with wind and rain occurring at high velocities, damage the external protective structures of the home/commercial establishment. While it is impossible for a sump pump, a window well protection, a PVC drain pipe or an outdoor generator to protect the basement against a hurricane or cyclone, it is always possible to ensure, by following the prevent basement flooding tips, that in normal cases of heavy rain, these installments and other precautions can keep the basement dry and inhabitable.



Bill is a DIY plumber, handyman, and homeowner with more than a decade of experience. He has replaced and repaired sump pumps, backup pumps, float switches, check valves, and many other things around his family home. An engineer and tinkerer at heart, he is always looking to see how things work and taking on new home projects that help him grow his skillsets. He is a husband and father of two boys, has a bachelors degree in Computer Engineer and minor in Mathematics and likes to make homebrew beer in his free time.

      Sump Pump Advisor