A Complete Guide to Flooded Basements
A flood can happen to anyone at any time, regardless of the time of year or where you live. Floods are the natural disaster that causes the most property damage. A flooded basement can cause serious and sometimes irreversible damage to your property.
Knowing what signs to look out for, as well as what to do and what not to do, can help you save money on basement flood repairs. Explore our complete guide to everything you need to know about flooded basement cleanup.
Common Signs of Water Damage
Check your basement regularly for these five signs of water damage. During certain times of the year when there is more moisture, you should check your basement for these signs more frequently.
Cracking Walls, Floor, or Foundation
Cracks in your basement’s walls, floors, or foundation could be caused by water pressure on the structure. Hairline cracks can be harmless, but if cracks grow larger than one-sixteenth of an inch across, they could lead to serious damage. If you notice these cracks, or shifting and displaced walls, contact a professional to assess for water damage in your basement.
Peeling paint is often the first sign of water deteriorating the foundation of your basement. When the cement under the paint flakes, white salt deposits accumulate on the foundation. This occurs when water is present and can lead to structural failure. A professional water damage restoration company should assess your basement immediately.
If your basement floors begin to sink, there could be foundation damage or soil erosion. This is one of the more noticeable visible signs of water damage in a basement. Your basement should be assessed as soon as possible to prevent further damage and costly repairs.
Does your basement have a moldy and musty smell that cleaning, dehumidifying, and ventilation cannot get rid of? The most likely cause is mold growth. Mold grows when there is a water source, indicating a potential leak in your basement.
Mold is one of the most common signs of water damage in basements. Mold grows in wet, dark, and warm environments. If you discover mold in your basement, call a full-service water damage restoration and mold remediation company.
What to Do After a Flood
Follow these steps after a flood to begin the process of restoring your home to its pre-loss condition:
- Determine the source of the water. If the flooding is caused by a broken pipe, shut off the water to the house to stop the flow of water. If the water is from a sewer line you will need to contact your local authorities.
- Get to safety immediately.
- Contact experts in basement flood repair services. Professional water damage restoration specialists have the experience and advanced equipment to safely and efficiently address the flooded basement cleanup.
- Document the flooding. While still staying safe, take pictures or videos of the basement. Make a note of the date, time, and other relevant details. If you have determined the cause of the flooding, you can document that as well.
- Call your insurance provider who can open a claim for your damages. Check what your insurance covers and does not cover. Many policies do not cover flooding unless you have additional flood coverage in place.
- Remove any unaffected items from the area while still remaining safe. Anything above the water line can be relocated and cleaned thoroughly to prevent mold growth.
What Not to Do After a Flood
In addition to what you should do following water damage in your basement, there are certain things you should not do.
- Don’t handle the flood on your own. An outlet could be submerged and electrifying the water, it could be contaminated with sewage, or there could be unseen structural damage.
- Don’t enter a flooded area unless it is completely safe to do so and the electricity is off.
- Don’t enter a flooded area without personal protective gear, such as tall rubber boots, a face mask, eye protection, and gloves.
- Don’t attempt flooded basement cleanup on your own. Since you will not have the proper equipment, training, or expertise. Your insurance provider may require the job to be done by certified professionals.
The Water Damage Remediation Process
In the event your basement floods, you will need water damage remediation services to get your basement restored to its pre-loss condition. Here is what you can expect from the process:
- An assessment checking for any structural damage.
- Water extraction using state-of-the-art equipment.
- Identify any salvageable items to be professionally cleaned.
- Removal of any unsalvageable items.
- The space will be dried using dehumidifiers and ventilation.
- Powerful cleaning products will disinfect and remove mold and bacteria.
- Floors, walls, ceilings, pipes, and electrical wiring are repaired.
How to Prevent Future Floods
Flooding can be caused by a number of factors. Here are some of the ways you can be proactive about basement flooding:
- Install drainage solutions that funnel water away from your home
- Install a sump pump in your basement
- Regularly inspect the foundation, walls, windows, and doors for cracks that need to be repaired
- Repair or replace any damaged pipes
- Have regular inspections by flood restoration professionals
The Flooded Basement Cleanup Professionals
Residents of Southern Idaho have trusted the experts at CTR for their flooded basement cleanup for over 25 years. Protect your home today by contacting CTR for basement flood repairs. Our licensed and experienced specialists have 60-minute response times and are available 24/7 for emergency services. Get your free estimate today online or by calling today!