House Flood Causes

Aside from flash floods, heavy rainfall and tsunamis, there are several other reasons why houses get flooded. Structural issues in the home or its surroundings such as blocked sewer access, overflowing septic tanks or poor soil drainage cause most incidents. Basements and crawlspaces are the most common areas where house flooding takes place.

Faulty Foundations

Learn what causes house flooding for easier prevention and treatment.

Homes built near coastal regions are at risk for foundation drainage issues. The home's foundation should be on sturdy, concrete pile (solid cement beams driven into the ground) with careful considerations based on the 100-year base flood elevation. The 100-year base flood elevation is computed based on the likelihood that your area will be deluged by flood waters. The house's structure must allow floodwater to flow freely under and beside the home to avoid structural damage when a flash flood occurs. Other areas may also experience water-saturated grounds especially after heavy, continuous rainfall.

Plugged Drainage Systems

Poor drainage systems or aged drainage lines are a leading cause of house flooding. Drainage problems may arise out of leaking rain gutter downspouts, blocked passage to the sewer line or even poor lawn drainage such as poorly done trenches or channel drains. You should regularly clean up passages and check for blockages, leaks and cracks before heavy rains. It's best to check drainage systems during summer.

Plumbing Problems

Another common cause of house flooding are plumbing issues such as a full septic tank, leaking bathroom pipes or burst water sources. Plumbing issues can easily escalate into house flooding incidents especially if the water pipes damaged are big. Leaking water from bathrooms can seep down to your floor and cause damage especially if it's wood. Run regular checks on your plumbing lines to ensure you won't have surprise leaks in your house.

Natural Causes

Aside from flash floods, nature can still flood your home, albeit more subtly. Overflowing springs, creeks and other smaller bodies of water can seep into your yard and reach your home's foundation. Ground water seepage, often due to a very saturated soil around your home, can suddenly flood your house. Inspect your lawn for changes in moisture and texture, as well as any changes in plant smell since saturated soil tends to make organic material rot faster.

About the Author

Based in Winton, New Zealand, Heilyn Cabrera has been writing travel-related articles since 2002. Since 2010 she has worked for an online journal as a Channel Steward for the African, Asian and Middle Eastern History Channel. Heilyn holds a Master of Arts in journalism from Memorial University, Mount St. Vincent's.