Sewer Backups and Water in your Kansas City Basement

Many of you probably experienced some level of water intrusion in your basement a few weeks ago during the heavy rains. When this level of heavy rain occurs over long periods of time, even the driest of basements can take on water. Most of the time this is just an inconvenience, but sometimes it can lead to serious damage and expense. If this is the case, contact your insurance agent – if you are not covered, perhaps you can add coverage for future occurrences. There are some things you can do to avoid water in your basement – here are a few:

  • Keep your gutters clean and clear.
  • Install larger gutters, or have your gutter system evaluated to be sure it is adequate.
  • Make sure the yard is sloping away from your foundation.
  • Install downspout extensions.
  • Install a sump pump.
  • Install French drains.

If you experienced a sewer backup in your basement – YUCK – you are also not alone. This can occur when our old, overworked sewer system becomes overwhelmed with the high volume. There are other contributing factors you can research. One way to prepare yourself for this terrible issue is to add special coverage into your home owners policy that covers you for sewer or drain backup. This can be a very nasty, costly issue causing great damage to your basement, and you may be surprised to learn that you are not covered. I would say the minimal cost of this insurance coverage is worthwhile if you live in an older part of town. Below are some common practices that can help to prevent a sewer drain backup:

  • Disconnect your downspouts from the sewer line (connect a rain barrel instead!)
  • Do not put fats, oils, grease down your drain.
  • Be sure your sewer line is free of roots and debris.
  • Have your plumber install a backflow prevention device.
  • Learn more on the city’s Wet Weather Solutions Program website.
About the Author

Sarah Snodgrass is a residential real estate agent specializing in Kansas City's historic neighborhoods and enclaves.

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