Flooded Basement Cleanup
The season when children trapped indoors singing, “Rain, rain, go away, come back another day” is soon upon us. With it brings basement flooding from drain backups and failed sump pumps as heavy rains deluge down upon our southeast Michigan suburbs. Local flood restoration companies in southeast MI are getting ready for their busy season of flooded basement cleanup, but are you prepared for the possibility your finished basement could suffer flooding if your power goes out or if your sump pump fails? What about those older homes in areas of metro Detroit where archaic clay pipes having long been compromised by age and tree roots; what if they just one day stop allowing the rain water to be channeled from the home during a storm? Can anyone say, “Flooded basement”?
Three Sources of Water that need Flooded Basement Cleanup
Fresh municipal water is the least likely to do damage but that’s like saying a flung brick hitting you in the leg is better than hitting you in the head. This type of basement flooding is from a fresh source such as a sink overflow, broken water pipe or burst hot water heater. If you stumble into your basement and find water several inches deep the only silver lining will be if you discover it to be from a fresh water source as it will not be immediately contaminated or living with microbial life. Although all forms of water in the basement environment will require some exigent remediation and flooded basement cleanup to assure you don’t get structural damage or mold, you at least don’t have the germs. Yet!
Ground water is the most common flooding to experience in homes with a sump pump and eagerly inundates a basement through the sump well, floor cracks and floor joint that is around the perimeter of the basement. This is worse by far than the municipal water that one readily puts to their mouth to drink when thirsty. The water that is considered ground water is not so friendly and is called gray water by flooded basement cleanup service providers. Under a microscope there is an abundance of activity to detect as living organisms dart around like playful children on a playground. These living molds, and microbes are not your friend and are apt to create a hostile eco system in your basement and left to itself will create water damage.
Sewer water backing up through a drain is the worst. This is the flung brick to the head scenario and will equally create a headache needing remedy. This water is dangerous and airborne threats are brought into the home environment as well along with the water itself. This water is more than replete with living organisms; it is pathogenic meaning it causes illness. Young children and the elderly are at greatest risk and should be removed from the home as soon as possible. E-coli is only one of the very many illness creating bacterium’s that are thriving in this pungent liquid of destruction. Industry standards for flooded basement cleanup are very rigid and strict adherence to such standards is essential if the flooded basement is ever to see the same condition as it once had.
Steps to take for Flooded Basement Cleanup
So you just discovered your basement has become flooded and after the initial shock and racing heart beat you find yourself getting convinced you need a professional for flooded basement cleanup. You are committed to getting the cleanup done but don’t know who to call.
Charles Bingham owner of Action Extraction Inc. a Macomb Michigan flood cleanup company has several suggestions for finding a qualified restoration firm.
- Get recommendations from at least 3 customers
- Get up to date insurance and IICRC Certification
- Find out their years in business
- Check out the web for reviews
Once you find a qualified flood restoration company and are convinced from your initial conversation you have found the right advocate for you, here are the steps you will observe them follow.
Visual evaluation of the scope of damage. A qualified service provider will have a certified technician visually inspect all the areas that the water has come into contact with. They will determine the type of water that has inundated the wet environment and follow the evidences to determine what areas have become affected. If the water is fresh water from a broken pipe they will document this for your insurance carrier and have it repaired.
If the water is ground water from a failed sump pump they should determine why it failed and replace it if necessary. Their evaluation will included walking around the perimeter of all exterior walls to see if there is evidence of water having come in through the floor joints, cracks in floor as well as drains and sump well. This initial examine the construction of the basement and how water may have gotten to insulated wall, under pad and in wood cabinets. If the source of the flooding is from a sewer drain backup they should also take into consideration what things will have to be removed from the home to assure that all contaminated materials are removed.
Utilize moisture detection meters to find out what is wet and how wet. Water is not something that reveals itself to the naked human eye. Moisture meters will allow for a comprehensive approach to the restoration process because any hidden and trapped moisture will be discovered allowing for a drying strategy to be implemented.
Water removal will be the first step after a strategy for drying has been produced. Professional truck-mount extraction systems are the only way to go for water removal as they have tremendous extraction vacuum and will remove 99% of the standing water. If there is wet padding it may have to go unless the water is municipal. If the decision is made to attempt to save wet pad they hopefully will look to see if the padding has a plastic sheath that makes it incapable of being efficiently dried. If it does it must be removed. Carpets once extracted can be saved typically unless the water is sewage or has been present for several days. In each of those cases wet carpet should be removed.
Wall prep for drying. During the evaluation it will be determined whether or not your walls have been affected by the water and how high the water may have wicked into the walls. If the walls are drywall, any wood base should be carefully removed allowing for direct exposure of air from the drying equipment that will be placed. In some situations the base of the walls will have holes drilled in them to facilitate drying of wood substrates. This same process will dry wood paneling as well.
Cleanup of the wet environment. Depending on the nature of the water that has flooded the basement will determine the method of cleanup. Fresh water requires little cleanup and much drying. Ground water and sewer water will require a great deal of cleanup as all items affected will be either cleaned and salvaged or completely discarded. Personnel contents such as boxes, luggage, furniture and clothing all have a respected protocol for restoration the flooded basement cleanup provider will be well versed in. There are no good reasons to keep wet boxes, books, old papers or wet mattresses as these are cellulose and this is the food source for mold and ultimately mold is what you are trying to keep out of the basement.
Disinfect all surfaces. After cleanup there is a need to clean every surface that has come into contact with the water and it should be taken into account that during the flooded basement cleanup process items being moved and shoes having walked about, that cross contamination may have affected areas untouched, but now will need sanitizing service as well. Most reputable flooded basement cleanup companies will utilize plant-based anti-microbial agents for killing germs, but it is still good to ask just to be sure.
This last step is the one that will assure you stay free from mold and other microorganisms.
Drying equipment placed for structural drying. Once observances to the afore-mentioned steps have been employed, it will be time to remove all trapped water and remove humidity from the wet environment. This is achieved by placing industrial air mover for forcing water to become vapor and placing a dehumidifier to remove vapor. The placement of this equipment and how many pieces to place will be determined by the size and scope of wet materials to ultimately dry. The flooded basement cleanup process should be a complete success when these steps are taken.
Action Extraction Provides Flooded Basement Cleanup in all Southeast Michigan and the local macomb county cities of shelby Twp., Sterling Heights, Macomb, Utica, New Baltimore, Chesterfield Twp., Washington Twp., Fraser, Roseville, Warren and Eastpointe.