What To Do When Your Basement Floods
By: Karli Willden
Most flooding incidents come as a complete surprise to the homeowner. After all, rarely does a homeowner expect or plan for their basement to flood in any circumstance. Those are the type of things that happen to everyone else, but never happen to you. Or, so it seems. Most basement flooding experiences sound something like this:
You walked into the house and heard the sound of water running. You were unsure where the sound was coming from since you don’t remember leaving any appliances on. You walk downstairs and you see it. Water, everywhere.
You have no idea how long this water has been sitting here, but you know something needs to be done. As a victim of basement flooding, it is important to know what to do and when to do it. Below are a few tips and suggestions to help prepare you for unexpected times ahead.
Determine if the Area is Safe to Enter
One of the first things you will to want to do when there is a flood is to check out the damages. But, wait! Before you rush to the basement to check see how bad it is, make sure the area is safe to enter. Especially in the case of flooding, there is a higher chance of electrical shock, pollutants in the water, potential structural damage, and in some cases, gas leaks and issues with chemicals.
Keep yourself and your little children out of the water until it is declared safe by professionals. If you aren’t sure if the area is safe to enter, do not risk it. If you do need to to wade through the water immediately, make sure to turn off the power to reduce the risk of electrical shock. Also, wear protective clothes to prevent the possibility of sickness or injury.
Hazards of a Flooded Basement
- Electrical Shock
- Gas Leaks
- Structural damage
Find the Source of the Flood
A basement flood can happen at any hour of the day or night. One of the best ways of knowing the cause of the flooding is to get a basement inspection. Finding the source of the flood might be easy, or may not be quite as obvious.
It could be from a heavy summer or winter storm, an appliance leaking, clogged gutters or downspouts, or broken pipes. It is important to find out what is causing the basement flood and determine what needs to be done. The longer you wait to get it inspected, the greater the water damages could be. Schedule a basement inspection as soon as you can.
Possible Reasons of Flood
- Broken Pipe
- Appliance/Bathtub leak
- Heavy storm rains
- Sudden snow melt
- Gutters/Downspouts Clogged
- Flooded window wells
Call Your Insurance
Before you begin to throw large amounts of money at your flooding problem, make sure to call your insurance company and find out what your insurance policy covers. If you have not yet experienced a flood in your home, you might also want to call your insurance company to double check your coverage. Flooding may or may not be covered as part of your homeowners insurance, and you may need to take out a separate flood insurance policy. Meanwhile, make sure to take lots of pictures and keep a running list of all the damages you find to your property and possessions. If your insurance will cover it, they will need proof all the damages. Pictures simplify the claims process.
Consider Hiring a Professional
If you have major basement flooding, you should definitely consider hiring a professional. Flooded basements can be very damaging and costly in the long run if not handled properly. Personal possessions, furniture, flooring, walls, or the home structure could be ruined if the right steps aren’t taken immediately. If you decide to handle it all yourself, be aware of the risks associated with the job and make sure you can give the disaster the proper attention it needs.
When you hire a professional company you are getting the best experience, equipment and crew who know how to properly handle flooded basements in the least amount of time. While insurances may cover most of the costs, you are still responsible for the cleanup and restoring your basement to normal. A professional company can help a lot with this overwhelming task from start to finish.
Remove Valuable Items from Water Affected Areas
The next big thing you will want to do immediately following a flood is to remove any valuable items from the area. Once the basement has been deemed safe to enter, it is important to remove these items as soon as possible to salvage them and prevent further damages. Especially in the case of electronics and other valuables, it is important these are removed immediately.
If you have found many of your belongings have already been damaged, talk to Tobin Cleaning and Restoration about our Esporta Wash System which can clean most soft items. Not only can our company restore your basement, but we can also help restore your belongings as well.
Basement Water Removal
In the case of major basement flooding, calling a professional is your best option for help. Water needs to be pumped out quickly to minimize water damages to your basement. While you might have good intentions to try to haul buckets of water out yourself, it just might not be fast enough or even safe. Water removal requires taking special precautions to ensure you stay protected and the water is removed in a timely process. Tobin Cleaning and Restoration offers 24/7 services for basement flooding and water damage. We are here for you when you need up most, day or night.
Dry Out the Area
Areas flooded with water need to be dried out as soon as possible. Wet or damp areas can increase the chances of mold growth, and water is highly damaging to carpets, walls, furniture and more. Once the water is properly pumped out of the basement, make sure to open the basement windows and turn on fans downstairs to increase the ventilation and assist with the drying process. Tobin Cleaning and Restoration has advanced air drying systems that can dry out the area in even less time. We are professionals and understand the specific drying principles to make sure the area is completely dried in the least amount of time. Give us a call for more drying tips.
- Remove Water
- Open Windows
- Turn on Fans
Basement Cleaning and Restoration
Cleanliness and sanitation is a big problem after a basement flooding, due to all the dirt, toxins or waste flushed into your basement living quarters. Tobin Cleaning and Restoration can help take care of this part of the process for you as well, so you can rest assure your family avoids the ill effects of murky flood waters. Your basement will be completely restored to its original condition with our cleaning and restoration services. We customize our services to your unique needs.
If you have more questions regarding your basement flooding, feel free to give Tobin Cleaning and Restoration a call. We would be glad to answer any questions you may have at (208) 523-1080.