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Why Your Basement May Flood in the Winter

Why Your Basement May Flood in the Winter
Why Your Basement May Flood in the Winter

Winter is coming—at least, that’s what the kids have been saying, but we don’t think they’re referring to potential basement floods. Living in the Midwest, you know all too well how brutal winters can be. We can’t do anything about the weather, but we can help you avoid a basement flood. However, you need to understand why your basement may flood in the winter—without a why, you can’t accurately consider the how and what. If you’d like to learn more, we encourage you to read on. After all, winter is coming.

Melting Snow and Ice

Even when we have one of those wonderful Illinois winters where the temperature outside is subzero, your basement is quite a bit warmer. This may not seem like a problem—let us explain. When snow and ice accumulate around your foundation, the warmer temperature of your basement melts them. As these elements melt, they seep through the soil and attack your foundation. Eventually, there’s nowhere else for the elements to go, so they put a lot of pressure on your foundation, which results in cracks and potentially a flood.

Check out more about How to Fix Window Well Problems?

Burst Pipes

If you have any leaks near the joints of your plumbing pipes, the dripping water can freeze. This can weaken or crack the pipe, leading to a pipe burst. If a plumbing or sewer line floods your basement, you could be looking at thousands of dollars in water damage repairs, mold remediation, and plumbing costs.

Hydrostatic Pressure

While hydrostatic pressure itself doesn’t directly cause floods, it can lead to water seepage and bowing walls. When water builds up outside your basement walls, and you don’t have a proper drainage system, the pressure can begin to push. This can cause water to seep through cracks in your concrete and increase the temperature or humidity in your basement. If the pressure becomes too much for your wall to handle, it can bow inward. In a worst-case scenario, a flood combined with an already compromised basement wall can lead to disaster.

Faulty Sump Pump

If your sump pump isn’t working correctly, water could back up inside the sump pit and lead to flooding. This can also happen if the discharge lines that carry the ejected water out of your home fail or the drain tile that brings water to your sump pit clogs up.

Poorly Sealed Window Wells

A lot of basements have window wells, and understandably so, as they have several benefits. If you don’t maintain your window wells, you could have an ice rink in your basement. In addition to having a professional inspect the seals on your window wells, you should also have window well covers to prevent snow from building up in the well.

Foundation Cracks

Almost every home’s foundation has cracks on the outside and in the basement—that doesn’t mean it’s okay. Foundation cracks are precursors to basement floods, and even small cracks should raise concerns. Why? Because Midwest winters are unlike anything else. The outside temperature could be negative 20 one day, and then we’ll be in the 40s a couple days later. With the fluctuations in temperature, the snow and ice will expand and contract, resulting in more cracks.

There are several other reasons why your basement may flood in the winter, but the three above are certainly the most common. As you can see, you should have a professional check out your basement and foundation before the temperatures start drastically changing. If you’re searching for a professional service that can assist you with your basement issues, look no further than The Real Seal. Our team members are from the Chicagoland area, so we know all too well what Midwest weather is like. Some of our services include basement sealing to prevent floods, window well drain installation, and basement crack repair. Give us a call today to set up your appointment.


Austin Werner

Austin Werner is the Owner of The Real Seal LLC, a basement waterproofing and foundation repair company. Austin believes that having a highly trained and happy team is the key to success. This is reflected through hundreds of 5 star customer reviews his company has received online.

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