What To Do When Your Basement Floods: 5 Crucial Steps
Finding your basement wet and flooded is one of the most overwhelming experiences you can face as a homeowner. It’s messy, dangerous and usually represents major issues with your home’s foundation, plumbing or sump pump.
You may find yourself going into panic mode, but fast action is imperative and there are steps you can follow to get you through the soggy clean up. Here are the 5 Crucial Steps to take when your basement floods:
1: Don’t Step Into The Water Until The Power Has Been Turned Off!!
Once the main power is off, make sure any electrical devices are unplugged (washers/dryers/television/lamps etc.) Failing to do this could result in shock or electrocution so make sure it’s safe before you touch the water. If you’re unsure about how to make sure the power is off, call an electrician. Do not run electronics or appliances before they are properly cleaned.
2: Remove Furniture and Other Items That You Want To Save ASAP
The sooner you get them dry and out of the water, the better your chances of saving these items. This includes carpets and rugs, which may not be salvageable but should be removed from the area. Underlay padding should be thrown out.
Upholstered furniture can be cleaned but only by a professional. Wood veneered furniture is usually not worth the cost and effort to repair but solid wood furniture can usually be restored unless the damage is too severe.
Toys, stuffed animals, and pillows should be thrown out. Photos and other paper items can be washed and put in freezer bags to store in a frost-free freezer to stop the growth of mold and mildew. When ready, just pull out, thaw and clean yourself or take them in to be professionally cleaned.
3: Call Your Insurance Company
Explain the situation and find out if your insurance covers flooding. You would be surprised at how many home insurance policies do not cover all types of flooding, especially groundwater. If your insurance covers the damage, you will work with an adjuster to estimate the costs of repairs.
Be thorough and make sure you list the damage and take photos or videotape as you clean. This documentation will come in handy for insurance claims, applications for disaster assistance, and income tax deductions.
4: Remove The Water
The more water you have in your basement, the more costly it will be to clean up. You may want to call a professional company like Cleanol to handle your clean up. You can also rent shop vacs from your local hardware store. Be sure to plug it into an outlet that is dry and away from the flooded area.
— Cleanol Services (@CleanolClean) January 11, 2016
5: Dry Out The Basement
Large floor fans can be rented and dehumidifiers can be installed to circulate the air and dry out the flooded area. If you are able to turn the heat to a higher temperature in the basement this can also help to dry it out. If you notice any mold on the drywall or baseboards it needs to be cut away before the mold has a chance to spread.
By taking action quickly and calmly, you will not only reduce the amount of damage caused by the flood but likely take steps towards preventing a flood from reoccurring. Keep in mind that the primary cause of basement flooding are usually one of the following:
- Broken or malfunctioning pipes
- Sewage backup
If your flood is caused by groundwater, the good news is you will not have the stink of a sewage backup. The bad news: you can’t stop mother nature. As long as there is a leak in your basement, you will have a wet basement. Contact a waterproofing contractor for a free inspection and stop the problem at its source.
RCC Waterproofing and Foundation Repairs has been servicing Ontario customers for 96 years. Their repairs have outlived lifetime warranties by at least two times. The company provides professionally trained sales representatives to view, assess and quote on repairs. The installers are employees of RCC and most have long term working relationships. RCC carries full insurance including WSIB coverage and HST registration.
RCC Waterproofing offers:
- A Lifetime Waterproofing Guarantee!
- 24-hour emergency services for Ontario residences
- Fully trained technical sales representatives to view, assess and quote the repair
- 96 years of third-generation family success both in products and services and superb warranty
- Full-service options, providing either exterior or interior repairs depending on issues, location, and structure
- A successful record of servicing over 75,000 customers