Homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flood damage. Water damage can occur in basements or anywhere else within the home. When this happens, you don’t need to panic.
There are steps you can take whether you have flood insurance or not. It’s essential to act quickly to protect yourself from increased damage.
Not only will your home be damaged, but your possessions too. Let’s explore what to do if you have a flooded basement.
Assess the Damage
Start by taking photos of the mess to make repairs easier down the line, should you decide to claim insurance. Note where the water came from and the approximate levels it reached. Then, inspect your belongings to understand what you’re dealing with.
Remove damaged property and any personal belongings that have been compromised. Check for signs of mold and funk – signs of lasting water damage. Check for power supply issues and make sure your home’s electrical system is safe.
Determine the Source of the Water
If the water comes from an external source, such as storm or river flooding, you should find ways to mitigate the water around your home and address any flooding issues. However, if the water source is inside the house, you should identify and repair the problem before further damage occurs.
Check for broken pipes, overflowing sinks, water heaters, faulty plumbing valves, foundation cracks, and poorly sealed windows or doors. If you’re unsure what to do, don’t hesitate to call a professional plumber for inspection and repairs.
Turn off Electricity and Gas
After your basement floods, turn off the electricity and gas for your safety. Locate your home’s main circuit breaker box and all emergency shutoff valves. Once you have located them, cut off electricity and gas at the source.
This can be done by pushing the circuit breaker switch to the “off” position and shutting off each emergency shutoff valve. If you are unsure how to turn off the electricity and the gas, contact your local utility company for instructions.
Though you may feel overwhelmed by the flooding, it is critical that turning off your electricity and gas is your first step to protect yourself and your possessions.
Find a Professional
Start by searching for local basement restoration companies in your area. Call around and ask the companies about their years of experience, services offered, and job costs. Additional criteria to consider when narrowing down your search include customer reviews and if they have any recent basements they’ve serviced.
Ask if they can provide pictures of their recent projects to get an idea of their craftsmanship. Once you’ve chosen the right company, you must ask them as many questions as possible, such as what type of insurance they offer and the timeframe for their work.
Finally, call your insurance company to see if the service will be covered before you begin work. Also, to get rid of floods in your basement, you can also check out these water removal services available here.
Eliminate Excess Water
You must act quickly to eliminate excess water and reduce the risk of further damage. Start by unplugging and removing any electrical devices in the affected area. Next, use a wet/dry vacuum to remove standing water. You may need a damp/dry submersible pump if the water is deep.
Wear eye, breathing, and hand protection while performing this task. If still necessary, you can use a mop, towels, or buckets to help remove any remaining water. Once you have eliminated as much as possible, open windows and run fans to help dry the area and reduce humidity.
Finally, inspect the area for any structural damage or hidden moisture. You may need to contact a professional to fix any severe damage.
Set up Fans and Dehumidifiers
Dehumidifiers are necessary for effectively removing moisture from the air. Fans help reduce humidity and move air around, aiding in drying. Place each near the wet spot and relocate them as the area dries. Ensure all your appliances are unplugged, and remember to turn off the power to the entire basement.
Set up the fans and dehumidifiers soon after the flooding, or you could deal with mold and mildew buildup. Additionally, if the flooding is bad enough and the fans and dehumidifiers can’t keep up, you may need to contact a professional water damage restoration service.
Clean and Sanitize
The best way to start is by removing all your items and the damaged furniture. Once everything is terminated, you must remove the standing water with a shop vacuum or by mopping the space. Then you’ll need to clean and disinfect all hard surfaces with a bleach and water solution or an industrial disinfectant.
Ensure you follow the instructions on the bottle for the proper solution dilution instruction. Using a hot water extraction method, you must also thoroughly clean and sanitize soft surfaces like carpeting and fabric furniture. Then make sure you dry these surfaces completely to prevent mold growth.
For the hard-to-reach spots, use a high-pressure steam cleaner to get rid of the bacteria and sanitize the area. Finally, you’ll need to replace any items that were damaged in the flood, such as drywall, insulation, and carpeting.
Treat All Affected Surfaces
Begin the process of removing water and drying out the area. Then, you will want to treat all affected surfaces with an EPA-approved antimicrobial solution. Use a cloth or mop to evenly apply the solution over hard and porous surfaces such as glass, painted surfaces, cinder blocks, and wood.
Always wear protective gear such as gloves and a mask to protect yourself from health risks. Cover any exposed air vents and other openings to prevent mold and mildew from spreading. After treating all affected surfaces, you should use a dehumidifier to get rid of excess moisture and reduce the chance of mold occurring.
Take Measures During a Flooded Basement
In conclusion, it’s essential to act quickly in a flooded basement. Begin by identifying the sources of the leak, if possible, and commit to the clean-up process as soon as you can.
Call a restoration specialist for help if needed, as they can thoroughly assess the damage and assist you with the clean-up process. Don’t let your basement flood become a significant headache – take action now!
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