Basement car parking is an important component of modern infrastructure. Not just residential buildings, even commercial ones have most of their parking area in the basements. In residential buildings, particularly in apartment complexes, heavy rains often result in flooded basement car parking lots. Unlike in commercial buildings, most parking lots would be filled because people wouldn’t step out in heavy rains.
This causes a lot of damages not just to the cars parked there, but also to the structure of the building. Water seeping into the foundation from the basement is a main cause of concern especially for older buildings.
So. How do we handle this?
The Structure Of Basement Parking Lots
Let’s first take a look at how basement parking lots are constructed and how it may help counter flooding-
First and foremost, concrete has some level of absorbency. It will help a little. Not a lot.
In any inclined construction, there would be a point that is the lowest. This is called the sump. It is typically at the point where the inclined pavement makes way for the level ground where the cars are parked. The sump is where maximum water collects.
The sump is also where you need maximum facilities for drainage. Such a provision to drain collected water will shunt any flooding. Some buildings employ sump pumps which will pump the water into the sewage. This is by far the most effective in-built mechanism to counter flooding in basement parking lots.
The Best Method Is To Prepare In Advance
If you are expecting torrential rainfall, move your vehicles to higher ground. Ask your maintenance staff to display warnings at the entrance of the parking lots.
If your parking lot doesn’t come with enough drainage, you may have to consider alternate methods to drain the collected water.
Here’s what you can do if your parking lot is flooded –
- Check the drains. They could be clogged. A lot of debris float around and accumulate around the mouth of the drains during floods. Clearing them could help drain the water faster.
- Arrange a portable motor pump to get rid of water. You may also need to arrange for a generator to get this working.
- Redirect the water to another drainage path. This could be difficult to achieve but it can be done by using pipes and other conduits.
- Manually clear the water. This isn’t very feasible and should not be even attempted if the volume of stagnant water is too much. Besides if the water had been stagnant for several days, it could be teeming with pathogens putting you at risk for contracting infections.
- Call disaster management teams. They are the best people to deal with aftermaths of calamities.
Take Immediate Measures To Prevent This From Happening Again
Once you have cleared the water and you have recovered from the effects of the flood, bring the residents, MCs or property managers together and raise the need to fix the construction defects. If you are an MC, you can make use of the ADDA Admin app to conduct polls and discussions on how this can be avoided in future. Consider this as a lesson learnt and do what it takes to avoid this in future.
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