The Vulnerable Basement
Basements are prone to floods because water may flow down into them. They also may have an increased hydrostatic pressure exerted upon them when the surrounding ground is saturated. Recognizing that elevation is the best form of mitigation, there are a number of additional measures business owners can take to reduce the likelihood and scope of basement flood damage.
- Thoroughly inspect your basement and the surrounding property for evidence of water entry and sources of water flow and leakage.
- Correct potential problems—for example, extend and redirect downspouts, re-grade sloping landscape, and caulk any interior wall cracks.
- Basement walls should be designed to resist hydrostatic pressure.
- Use flood-resistant materials where possible, including floor coverings, wall coverings, and wall insulation. Most flood-resistant materials can withstand direct contact with water for at least 72 hours without being significantly damaged.
- Do not store valuable equipment, documents, or inventory in any crawlspace or basement where flooding is possible.