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IMPORTANT! - Water in the basement can be very dangerous.
Do not go into a basement with standing water. Electricity + Water = Danger.
There are many ways water can enter your basement. Often reducing or eliminating the water is within the grasp of most homeowners. The following content will guide you in assessing where the water may be entering your basement and what you can do to minimize this risk.
The best time to troubleshoot basement water problems is when it is raining. Grab your umbrella or rain jacket and walk around the outside of your house to take note where water is pooling and which direction water is running. You most likely will find the location of the water entering your basement to be directly related to misguided water on the perimeter of your house.
A backup from the floor drain or an overflowing plumbing fixture is always a sign that the sanitary lateral is partially or fully blocked. The blockage may be a physical blockage such as roots, grease, tangled items such as wet wipes, or the worst case, a pipe collapse. The “blockage” may also be water backing up from the public sewer that is not letting your water run out. There are a few key questions to help figure it out:
If your neighbors are not having backups, your lateral is likely blocked. The backup is more likely to happen when it is raining because groundwater leaks into the lateral filling it faster than water can run out. Stop using all water, if you have connected foundation drains. However, even if you stop using all water, the water backup can continue to get worse until the rain stops. Contact a plumber.
MMSD has financial incentives available to homeowners to replace their sewer lateral. Visit the Pipe Check Program to learn more!
Generally, water will be observed on or around the window sill or door sill. Potential Reason(s):
NOTE: A door or window should not be expected to hold back pooling water. Once underlying issues such as grading, gutters, and downspouts are corrected, replace or repair damaged doors, windows, and caulking to prevent rainfall from seeping in.
If you have clear water that pools in the basement that doesn’t appear to be coming from the walls or a plumbing fitting, look overhead for water dripping or running from a leaking plumbing fixture from the upper level. Look for water running down the sanitary stack, chimney, or electrical service conduit (during a rainfall) from a leaking roof penetration.
Thank you for helping protect our waterways!