If you are in a dry climate and your basement is above the water table, then basement flooding may not be as much of an issue. But in most areas of the U.S., you will not be so lucky. Most areas experience heavy rains for parts of the year, and homeowners in these areas are at serious risk of getting excessive water in their basements. This is enough to kill anyone's dream of developing their lower level, UNLESS you take some steps ahead of time to waterproof your basement.
Here are 3 basic tips that you can do on your own to reduce the likelihood of basement flooding:
Install a Sump Pump: If your home is not already equipped with a sump pump and your basement is below the water table, you are in serious danger of ending up with a wet basement the first time the heavy rains hit. Make sure to get a sump pump in there as soon as possible, so that all the excess water from heavy rainstorms will be pumped out.
Install a Battery Powered Backup Sump Pump: Many home owners fail to realize that, even if they have one sump pump in the basement, their house is still very susceptible to basement flooding. This is because many sump pumps fail because of either wearing out from excessive use or a power outage. When that happens, the water will start filling up in your basement. If you happen to be out of town when this happens, you could be in for some serious problems. To prevent this nightmare scenario, install a backup sump pump that is battery powered. This way, you can rest easy knowing that you have a backup in case your first sump pump fails.
Waterproof Your Basement: Aside from the two sump pumps, the most comprehensive way to prevent basement flooding is for your lower level to be waterproofed. This means checking over your basement and finding any and all weak spots that may be contributing to moisture downstairs. After you identify these problem areas, either seal them off or take measures to divert the flow of water from your lower level.
For those who are "handy", basement sealing and waterproofing may be an easy job. However, if you're not confident that you can do these tasks yourself, it may be best to get in touch with a professional contractor that can do the job for you. Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, make sure to take action on this and not put it off. After the first heavy rainstorm, you'll be very glad you waterproofed your basement in advance.