You decide to go to your basement to get some things you have stored down there. You turn on the lights and OH NO! There is several inches of standing water in your homes basement. You have a flooded, water damaged basement.
What should you do?
- Remember, safety first! If there are electrical appliances submerged in your basement, you will need to shut of the breaker to the basement, to prevent electrocution. If there are gas appliances, such as a water heater or furnace with a pilot light, that has been submerged, you will need to shut the gas off to these appliances as a precaution. Enter with caution, or if it “feels” unsafe, call a water damage professional immediately.
- Try to find the source of the flooding and stop the flow of new water from coming in to the basement. This may be simple or may require the help of a plumber or other trade professional. Some common sources of basement floods: A)Leaky freshwater supply line. B)Leaky sewer drain line, SEWAGE! C)Washing machine (in basement) overflows / malfunctions. D)Sump pump malfunction or failure. E)Power outage resulting in sump pump failure. F)Over watering of landscaping which creates a man made high water table and can result in water seeping through the concrete. G)Naturally occurring high water table in your homes geographical area resulting in water seeping through the concrete. H)Overflow flooding of rivers, lakes and streams. I)Localized area street flooding, this often occurs during heavy rains when storm drains are overwhelmed or clogged with leaves and debris.
- If the source of the water is from a sewer drain line, sump pump failure or ground water flooding from a river, stream or lake, the water may contain hazardous microbes or chemicals and should be handled and treated by a professional water damage company.
- Once the water source has been cut off, move and evaluate personal contents to be saved or discarded. Place on blocks large items that can not be easily removed (cabinets, etc.)
- If the area is small and simply unfinished cement, use a wet shop vacuum to extract as much water as possible and place a small dehumidifier and some fans in the area for at least a week. If the basement flood involves finished building materials like, carpet, framing, drywall etc., stop and call a water damage professional for proper cleaning, drying and sanitizing. A professional water damage company will be able to dry and clean the savable finished building materials in a fashion to prevent microbial amplification or mold growth. Should complex systems like a water heater or heating system be water damaged, call the appropriate professional to have them evaluated (plumber or HVAC contractor).
- Your homeowners insurance may or may not cover the damages caused by a basement flood. This will be dependent on the type of coverage you carry and the source of the water. Contact your insurance claims professional for details on what is and what is not covered.
- Basement flooding can cause serious problems to your homes structure and or indoor air quality if not handled and treated promptly and properly. If you have water damage in your basement, seriously consider calling a professional water damage water damage company to have it remediated and restored properly.