Spring is a pleasant time of year: grass is sprouting, flowers are blooming, and trees are turning green again. Unfortunately, this can only happen when it rains. Given the severe winter weather conditions homeowners across the country experienced in recent months, it’s entirely possible that we’re going to receive too much rain at once. An excess of rainwater can cause a multitude of problems, the most devastating (and expensive) of which is flooding. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can prevent your backyard and basement from accumulating too much spring rainwater — and what to do should your methods fail.
When it rains, it isn’t uncommon for yards to get a little muddy. To ensure they never get beyond that point, you’re going to want to focus on practical landscaping. Grading your yard will channel all incoming water away from your house and property; by using extra dirt to slope the high and low points of your home accordingly, the odds of having water enter your basement or create a swamp in your yard will be lessened. At the same time, you’ll want to plant native plant species to help prevent soil erosion, and add mulch to areas graded away from your home — this will keep the soil in place while the rainwater is absorbed.
Approximately 98% of home basements will experience some type of water damage, but the difference between dampness and six inches of water is major. To avoid the thousands of dollars of repair that flooded basements require, you can stay up-to-date on home maintenance, specifically those tasks involving your roof, downspouts, and gutters. Make sure that they aren’t clogged, don’ leak, and carry water far enough away from your home; you should be cleaning them out at least twice a year, and more if you live in a particularly wet area. Downspout extension will guarantee that water stays far away from your foundation.
Floods And Overflows: What To Do
Unfortunately, even the best-laid plans can go awry. If you’re one of the 20% of Americans that rely on septic systems to dispose of your wastewater, you’re facing even bigger troubles; not only may your drain field flood and fill your backyard with raw sewage, but it could back all the up into your pipes and flood your home as well.
When your septic system gets flooded, pumping it is not an option — it might cause further damage and force your tank to need to be excavated; regardless of which size excavator is needed for the job (compact, mid-size, or large), your yard will be utterly destroyed by the efforts, and you’ll be facing a serious bill. Instead, you should avoid using water in the home as much as possible and contact a specialist to inspect your system to check for damage.
Basement floods require similar attention. By no means should you enter the water or try to fix the problem yourself; if the water is touching a source of electricity, you could get shocked or electrocuted. Turn off your home’s power and then contact a professional to dry the room out.
Don’t take any risks this spring; do your best to care for your property and guard it against the sometimes torrential downpours that occur and you’ll (hopefully!) never have to deal with the consequences of a flooded septic tank or basement.