A basement flood cleanup is what you need when your basement floods.
You have to be ready for it. No house is safe from flooding.
Even though your home is not located in a high-risk flood area, or in an area that does not see much rainfall, a burst pipe can do a lot of damage to your basement.
From sewage leaks to flooding, basement flooding can be caused by several factors.
Leaky basement foundation, melting snow, nonstop rainfall, and plumbing leaks can cause basement flooding too.
Your basement is very vulnerable to flood because water tends to seep into the smallest crack in the lowest level of houses.
Flooding doesn’t just do water damage to your properties; it can pose severe safety and health hazards to you and your family if you don’t address it quickly.
So when the flood hits, and your basement is filled with inches of waters, here are some cleanup tips to get you through the mess.
The first thing you should do when your basement floods is to protect yourself.
Don’t wade into the standing water without proper protection. Floodwater is filled with harmful microorganisms, especially via water sewage leaks.
There is also the risk of exposed electrical wiring. This is why electrocution is one of the biggest dangers of flooding. To prevent this from happening, call a professional electrician immediately to disconnect or take away any electrical equipment in the flooded area.
After calling the electrician, you should call other people too, depending on the cause of the flood.
Who to call?
If it’s a plumbing leak—probably caused by a leaking pipe, water tank or waste line—you should get a plumber.
Before the plumber arrives, you can prevent further damage by shutting off the water using the shut-off valve. If the valve is not accessible to you, a skilled plumber will be able to do so with special tools.
A plumber can also use a high-capacity pump to remove the water from your basement.
If this is done on time, you can save your carpeting and drywall while preventing mold growth.
For sewage leaks, it’s probably caused by a clogged sewer line or broken septic tank, which are quite hazardous.
To begin the cleanup process, turn off every faucet and don’t flush your toilets until the leak is fixed. When it comes to sewage leaks, the professionals are the best options for you. Fast and correct repairs will go a long way.
For backed-up septic tanks, a septic specialist is needed. When the leak is coming from the city sewer service, reach out to your local sewage department. They have the resources to check the neighborhood for clogs.
When the leak comes from the basement foundation, it’s often due to large amounts of rainfall, sewer backups and poor drainage seeping water into the basement from cracks in the house foundation. Here, a foundation contractor is equipped to assess the situation. The contractor will check your basement, identify the reason for the flood and suggest a solution to prevent future leaks.
Cost of cleanup
Cleanup can be expensive when your basement floods. And the cost varies, depending on the cause of the flood and the amount of work needed to fix the problem. A minor flood with a few inches of standing water can cost you as much as $10,000. And more severe floods could go to $25,000, depending on the damage.
Cutting the cost of cleanup may involve doing it yourself. It’s true that some parts of the basement repair and cleanup—such as toxic septic waste and electrical work—need specialists and professionals. DIY may involve taking off drywall and carpet.
Understanding your homeowner insurance
Understanding if your flooded basement is covered by a homeowner’s insurance can save you a fortune in cleanup money. If you own flood insurance, your basement is likely covered.
However, once a professional plumber or electrician checks out your basement and says it’s safe to enter, take plenty of videos or photos of the damage. Proper documentation will help you in making insurance claims.
A few home insurance companies won’t cover floods as part of your insurance policy and, therefore, won’t cover your water-damaged properties. To ensure your basement is covered, it’s vital to call your insurance company for confirmation. If your home is covered, the insurance company will send out an adjuster to check the damage on-site visit with an onsite water remediation/restoration company.
DIY Flood Basement Cleanup
Acting quickly is vital when your basement floods. To minimize the damage and save money, you have to get to work fast. After getting an okay from your plumber and electrician. When you act fast, you can save a fortune on repair costs.
To get started, put on your protective gear. Even after your plumber or electrician says it’s safe to enter the basement, you still have to be prepared.
Floods can bring a wide range of hazards.
By suiting up in protective gear like surgical masks, goggles, thick gloves, and rubber waterproof boots, you can save yourself from health hazards.
Ventilation is critical too. To remove fumes in your basement, open every window.
If you own a dehumidifier, use it to get excess moisture out of the air.
Next, you will want to remove items damaged by water. Standing water can cause a lot of damage to your stored possessions, and it can even damage your carpets and walls.
For padded carpets, ripping it up and replacing it is important to stop mold growth in your basement.
Drywalls are often prone to hold in water even after drying. It’s best to take them out as soon as possible after the flooding. Plaster walls, on the other hand, can still be saved, but you have to air-dry the area behind the wall.
To fight mold or prevent its buildup, a solution of water and bleach will do the job.
Also, disinfecting every surface in your basement is critical when performing a basement cleanup.
Every area that has been affected by the water needs to be treated with extra care.
To begin, use a solution of hot water and detergent (or bleach) to clean your flooring and walls. You are not just fighting mold outgrowth but killing dangerous bacteria.
Of course, getting out your damp possessions and cleaning your basement is hard work. If you’d rather get a professional to do the cleanup, that’s understandable.
Lastly, before getting a professional or water restoration company to fix your flooded basement, call your insurance company if your home is covered.