Basements Flood After Temperatures Drop

Posted at 7:02 PM, Jan 31, 2013

A home on the northwest side of Grand Rapids felt the effects of Tuesday’s rising temperatures.

“What we see here is a basement that’s absolutely full of water,” Ed Krieger, with Ayers Basement Systems showed FOX 17 around a flooded basement.

He said this week’s snow melt and rain are part of the blame for flooded basements but not the root cause.

“There’s a much larger problem. in that we’ve had a drought in West Michigan for a year and a half. So, soil conditions have pulled away,” Krieger said.

“Soil’s actually shrunk and pulled away from the foundation,” he added.

“Then when it rains, the way that it’s rained over the last few days, water has a unique opportunity to go directly into the foundation, instead of permeating through the soil first,” he explained.

He said, “This is happening in thousands of basements all over west Michigan.”

While some homeowners may be seeing this for the first time, Krieger said this homeowner had seen this before.

While some residents don’t believe there’s a fix, Krieger said inaction is often tied to costs.

“Really there’s a fear of what the cost is. you’d be pleasantly surprised. we have systems in place in homes just like this, for just a few thousand dollars. and of course if you add sump pumps and dehumidifiers and things like that, that adds to the price,” he explained.

However, he said the benefits outweigh the costs. Krieger said there are several dozen methods he uses to prevent this from happening, thus preventing mold and mildew from growing in the future.

The Ayers crew took out an old sump pump. “As you can see, it’s rusty. There’s a piece missing here on the switch,” he illustrated.

A technician then put in a new sump pump. “It has a stainless steel switch, key well tested,” Krieger explained.

“It’s water management as opposed to sealing the basement because sealing the basement from the outside just won’t work,” he said.

Unfortunately for the homeowner, insurance may not be of help. Krieger said that’s because this scenario happens all too often in older homes around West Michigan.