Basement Flooding

Unfortunately, occasional basement flooding may occur for individual home owners.

Trees as Causes of Flooding

That old tree in your front or backyard may be the cause of your basement flooding. Trees are typically hydrophilic, and the roots from trees located near the sewer line often grow through small cracks in the mortar around the tile joint, ultimately growing to form large masses within the sewer pipe, creating an obstruction. As long as the sewer line is used regularly, the roots usually stop growing at a point which will still permit ordinary usage.

Trouble occurs when a large object is flushed down the sewer and lodges against the roots or when there is an exceptionally heavy amount of rainfall and the roots prevent the water from flowing through the sewer as quickly as needed in order to prevent a backup.


This problem may be corrected by the following possible solutions. Ultimately one needs to consult with their licensed plumber and civil engineer to determine more specifically what options are most likely able to deal with the water problem(s) you are experiencing:
  1. Downspout Drainage
  2. Exterior Grading
  3. Footing Drains
  4. Install a Backwater Valve

Downspout Drainage

If the downspouts connect with the house drain or sewer, basement flooding can occur when the underground connections become broken, causing the water to seep through the foundation in the vicinity of the break. Or if the downspout is emptying into a sewer which is clogged by tree roots or other obstruction, the sewer may back up into the basement. The earliest subdivision and individual homes built prior to Village incorporation of most likely to have such connections.


By code the downspouts should be disconnected, which will let the rain be absorbed into the ground instead of entering the house sewer. If rainwater from downspouts is being discharged onto the ground, be sure to use splash blocks or other means to direct the flow of water well away from the house foundation.
  1. Install Floor Drain Standpipe
  2. Install Overhead Sewer System
  3. Sewer Cleaning
  4. Sewer Pipe Replacement
  5. Tile Replacement

Install a Floor Drain Standpipe

A standpipe installed in the floor drain will raise the overflow level. The standpipe is designed to hold back the water only if it would have flooded several" deep. If the pressure builds to a higher point, it is better to let some of the water flow onto the floor in order to equalize the pressure, rather than taking a chance on having the sewer and floor broken. The standpipe may be left in place at all times if the floor drain is not needed.

Plugging the Floor Drain

It is not a good idea to plug the floor drain when the sewer surcharges and the flow begins to back up through the drain. If the drain is plugged, pressure in the piping under the floor may build up sufficiently to break the tiles and heave the basement floor.