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How to Prevent Basement Floods: The 3 Gs

by / Monday, 30 April 2012 / Published in Home Maintenance

April showers bring May flowers, or so the saying goes. Although we have had a rather mild winter in the Cincinnati area, the warm, fair days are mixed with a good share of storms, rain, tornadoes, and even hail. It’s impossible to completely prepare for all types of weather. However, when it comes to rain, you can do a lot to prevent serious damage to your house.

During a heavy rain, a homeowners first concern is frequently basement flooding. A flood can mean damage to paint, drywall, furniture, carpet–the list goes on. To prevent disaster in your home, remember the three Gs: Gutters, Grade, and Greens.

  • Gutters: It is very important to keep your gutters clean, especially in the spring and fall when leaves and other objects tend to clog them up. Remember to clean your gutters at least twice a year. If you live in a heavily wooded area, you may need to clean them more often. You may also want to buy extenders for the spouts so that the water will drain further away from the house. It is ideal to have the water drain at least 4-6 feet from the house.
  • Grade: Make sure the soil around your house is at a proper gradient, with the soil sloping away from your home. The point is that you want rain and other water to drain away from your home, not towards it. If you make sure the soil slopes downwards at least 6 inches over a length of four feet from the wall, no significant amount of rain should be able to drain towards the house.
  • Greens: Greens as in trees, that is. Certain species of trees, such as the silver maple, have an extensive root system. Such trees are beautiful to behold. However, you don’t want one too close to your house. The roots could grow in, break up the walls of your foundation, and cause further leakage. Make sure trees of this size are at least 10-15 feet away from your home.


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