During the last 30 years of investigating water intrusion issues, I’ve heard people proclaim countless times, “It’s raining more now than ever.” I’ve also seen the headlines declare that global warming is causing more storms. So, is it true? Is it actually raining more, and if so, by how much?
Data provided by the National Weather Service indicates it is raining more – alot more. Since 2000, rainfall rates in New York City exceeded the average rainfall, which is found to be 42 inches, 12 of the 16 years. In 2011, the rainfall rate reached almost 73 inches, a 78% spike from the mean.
More concerning though is the increasing frequency and intensity of high-volume storms. The number of 2-inch rainfalls has sharply increased since the turn of the century. The 100-year storm — a severe storm expected to occur every 100 years — is happening at a much greater frequency.
These heavier rain storms are punctuated by the historical hurricanes Harvey, Sandy, and Irene.
Hurricane Irene dumped 11-inches in one day. Three years later, a summer’s worth of rain, over 13 inches, was dropped in one day.
For homeowners, the increase in rain results in over-flowing drywells and flooded basements. It is more difficult to tolerate the occasional leak because homes are flooding with greater frequency. These leaks can lead to more serious issues such as mold growth and structural problems.
Whether the trend continues, and how it is influenced by global warming, is not fully understood. But the reality is – it’s raining much more.
For that reason, waterproofing your basement is more critical than ever. French drainage systems or sub-floor drainage systems, which remove the water that exists in the soil, are at peak demand. French drains collect water from the perimeter of the basement and pump the water outside. The more it rains, the more these French drains work to pump the water up and out of the soil. Other solutions to resolve wet basement conditions include excavating the outside and apply a waterproof membrane to the foundation.