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updated: 7/28/2017 2:01 PM

How to prevent basement flooding

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  • Experts say a reliable sump pump with a battery backup can cost more than $1,000 but can save you in the long run.

    Experts say a reliable sump pump with a battery backup can cost more than $1,000 but can save you in the long run.
    courtesy of Perma-Seal

  • Filling cracks in the foundation can be a permanent solution to your flooding woes.

    Filling cracks in the foundation can be a permanent solution to your flooding woes.
    courtesy of Perma-Seal

 
 

All basements should be dry, even after 8 inches of rain.

That's doable with a reliable sump pump and backup system, or after a relatively inexpensive fix for cracked foundations, says Roy Spencer, founder and president of Downers Grove-based Perma-Seal.

"My feeling is that all basements should be dry all the time, no matter how much it rains. But in order to do that, you have to do certain things," Spencer said. "The sump pump is critical, so it needs to be reliable and it needs to be powerful enough. A reliable sump pump is critical. It's the heart and soul of any waterproofing system."

If you're getting seepage, small puddles caused by water running in through cracks in the foundation, Spencer says that is also an "easy fix" that could cost between $400 and $800, depending on the size of the crack to be sealed and how much work has to be done to find it.

For instance, unfinished basements, he said, are typically easier to repair than finished basements with walls and carpeted floors.

Ultimately, Spencer said it's important to know what caused your flooding.

"It's important that our flooding victims know the cause of the flood. It could be a combination of things. Your sump pump might have failed and the city sewer backed up and your window well flooded," he said. "You may have all those things, but those are all things that can be addressed and fixed. The only thing that can't be avoided is if you live next to a flooding river, then I think you should focus your efforts on moving."

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