I was out of town during Hurricane Sandy so one of my neighbors checked on my house after the storm had passed. Unfortunately, she discovered that the drain outside my basement door had gotten plugged up and water had gotten into the house, soaking a large portion of carpeting. Fortunately (?) I had had water-related problems in the basement before so I had the number of a good company to call to go in and clean up the water before it did any more damage, especially growing mold.
That service wasn’t cheap, though. So after I came home, I looked into various solutions to prevent the same thing from happening again and I found two inexpensive products that have made a huge difference.
Note: I’m not sure the products I link to are the same brand that I bought, but they’re the same basic style.
Simply attach the bladder, which has a small hole in it, to a garden hose, put it in the drainpipe and turn on the water. The water pressure causes the rubber to expand so it creates a complete seal and then the water is forced through the small hole like a laser to break up any debris that might be causing a blockage.
I let the water flow for about 5 minutes and that seems to do the trick.
Note: You can get these bladders in different sizes for different diameters of pipe. I use a thinner one for my bathroom sink and shower drains when they start running slow and they work great there as well.
I already had a grate over the drain but it lay flush with the ground so there was nothing to prevent it from being covered with leaves. This grate has been, well, great because it would take a pretty big onslaught of debris to completely cover it. It does have a downside; because it sticks up, you could trip over it. But I’m about as big a klutz as you could ever find and so far I haven’t. (Of course, as a big believer in jinx theory, I have no doubt it will happen soom…) 🙂
I want to emphasize that you can’t count on just the grate to do the job because a lot of smaller things like seeds and mud can still get through it. So it’s important that you do the regular cleaning out with the bladder, which I discovered during one particularly heavy rainstorm, when I (fortunately) discovered it starting to back up again. I realized I hadn’t used the bladder in several months, so it’s probably a good thing to put on your calendar to do every month or two.
Do you have any other products you use or tricks to help prevent your basement from flooding? If so, please share them in the comments below.