I just purchased a house this weekend, and moved in yesterday. I live in MD (USA), and there just happened to be a torrential downpour yesterday after we moved in. I went downstairs to check my sump pumps, and then checked the door leading to by basement as I was instructed to. My sumps were fine, but the water level at the back door had climbed to just below the bottom of the door! Five more minutes, and I would have had water issues the first day in the house!
Just to give you an example of what I am talking about, the steps to the basement look like this. This isn't my basement, but it's pretty identical.
The drain at the bottom had been clogged, and I had to go outside to unclog the drain. Luckily, the water drained almost instantly, and the crisis was averted. Still, it made me extremely nervous and I want to do all I can to prevent this in the future.
So, what can I do to prevent this from happening again?
Obviously, maintenance will help, but making sure it is clean every time it rains requires that I be home. Trimming the foliage around the steps will also help, but I'm looking for a more permanent, less maintenance solution.
I thought of a few options that might work..
- Putting a metal grating at the bottom of the steps covered in screen material to increase the surface area of the drain and make it virtually impossible that the entire thing gets clogged.
- Put an awning over the steps / extending the roof to prevent water from falling directly into the stairway.
- Raising the door / higher step going into the basement (worst of the bunch, in my opinion)
- Putting a dome over the drain that is specially made for this. Much like option 1, it increases the surface area of the filter/drain. Though this creates a tripping hazard, which isn't that big of a deal considering we plan on never using those stairs anyway.
- Sealing off that damn door since we will never be using it, and getting rid of the stairs. I'd prefer not to do this, but if the door wasn't there in the first place, I never would have complained.