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Tips to Prevent Basement Flooding in Your Home

Tips to Prevent Basement Flooding in Your HomeIf your house has a basement, chances are that basement flooding may already be a familiar issue. Insurance statistics show that the majority of homes with basements will experience some sort of water damage down there, major or minor.

It’s a natural result of the fact that water flows downward and the basement is typically the lowest point in the house. However, this inconvenience and damage need not be an inevitability.

By eliminating the usual suspects in basement flooding, you can greatly reduce the odds that your house will be the next case.

  • Keep gutters clear. Clogged, overflowing gutters during a heavy rain dump literally hundreds of gallons of water on the ground directly below. This pounding cascade penetrates deep into the perimeter of the foundation, often penetrating cracks and joints in the basement wall.
  • Extend downspouts. The rectangular spouts that convey gutter discharge away from the house should ideally be at least three to four feet long. This ensures that roof runoff is released far enough from the house so it doesn’t pool next to the foundation and seep into the basement.
  • Guard against ground water with a sump pump. If your home is in a geographic area with natural ground water pushing upward beneath the house, this high water level may penetrate the basement. Installed in a basin excavated in the basement floor, a sump pump actuates automatically and removes infiltrating water before it accumulates enough to cause damage.
  • Be alert to plumbing leaks. Basement flooding often originates from an indoor source such as a ruptured pipe. Water supply lines are typically routed through the basement and can flood the area with hundreds of gallons of water if a breakage occurs. No leakage from supply pipes, no matter how minor, should be dismissed as “normal.” Even small pinhole leaks or moisture around pipe joints can be a red flag of hidden deterioration inside the pipe which could trigger a catastrophic rupture at any time.

For more about eliminating the common causes of basement flooding, contact the experts at Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning.


Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Diego and San Marcos, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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Improve Your Attic or Basement with These Tips

Improve Your Attic or Basement with These TipsFor maximizing home energy savings and comfort in summer, turn your attention to the basement and attic. These areas are common sources of energy loss and any improvements made will help you save money. Here are some tips.

Moisture Control

Basements and attics often suffer from high humidity. Any area of the home that remains damp will increase humidity throughout the rest of the home. This decreases comfort and makes your home feel warmer, which means your air conditioning costs will likely go up.

It also creates an opportunity for mold growth, and the problem won’t be confined only to these spaces. Air quality will suffer throughout the home as mold spores are easily airborne.

Check for roof leaks, damp areas and moldy insulation in your attic. Have the ventilation system checked to ensure there is appropriate airflow. This helps exhaust moisture and prevents heat buildup.

In the basement, fix all leaky plumbing pipes, but also check the walls for cracks, gaps or a damp, clammy feeling. You might need to have your basement moisture-sealed by a professional.

Sealing Air Leaks

Air leaks are a big source of energy loss in summer because they allow hot outdoor air into your home. The basement and attic are common areas for air leaks because of chimneys, entrance points for electricity and plumbing, and other structural breaches. Seal small leaks with caulk and seal larger air leaks with expandable foam or similar appropriate material.

Sealing Ducts

Ductwork is often routed through basements and unconditioned spaces such as attics. Leaky ductwork in either area can cause energy loss, but this is extreme in unconditioned spaces where hot air can enter ducts through gaps. Seal these with metal-backed tape.


Attic insulation keeps the summer heat from radiating down through the ceiling. Have a contractor inspect your insulation to make sure it is in good condition, hasn’t shifted and that there is enough of it. Insufficient insulation is a top source of energy loss.

For additional expert tips or for help with energy-saving home improvement, please contact us at Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Diego and San Marcos, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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