What to know about a flooded basement
If you have an unfinished basement that floods after a storm than chances are you may be able to safely dry it out yourself, if you know what to do. Unfortunately finished basements due to the building materials like dry wall, paneling, carpet and cabinetry, you absolutely will need a professional water mitigation company, if you have a flooded basement.
Today with what we know of mold, microbes and other microscopic dangers, it is not wise to assume all will be A OK just because we want it to be, More and more stories are coming to light about hidden mold that develops after flooding because people hoped for the best and nothing more.
Why basements flood
The reasons basements flood can be many, however most will flood after a strong downpour of rain. The 2 types of water that may enter your homes basement are storm water or perhaps worse yet, sewer. Each type carries with it requirements in water removal, sanitizing and drying that necessitate professional assistance.
After heavy raining the water table rises and homes water channeling systems such as sewer drains and sump pumps can fail for many reasons. Whatever the reason the damage is always the same and the real chance of mold a strong possibility.
Signs of flooding to look for in a used home
Often when looking for a new home it is a good idea to examine the basement to see if the signs of flooding are visible. Stained dry wall and base moldings are a sure give away and stains in the exterior walls as well are indicators of flooding issues. If you love the house a candid conversation with the owners is warranted and often the fix can be as simple as adding a bit of soil around the perimeter of home and adjusting the gutters. Other times the compromises to the drain system and foundation can cost thousands to repair.
If you live in a home presently and are aware that your house is vulnerable to flooding than be sure to make all the necessary repairs prior to finishing your basement as one flood is all it takes to destroy all your hard work.
Many homes require a repair of adding a sump pump or a sump pump backup system. Others have sewer drain systems that are compromised from foundations shifting over the years or tree roots having entered and clogged the pipes. It is very common to experience a flooded basement if it requires any of the fore mentioned services.
Once the horror of discovering that your basement has flooded, the first thing to do is consider your safety. Water and electricity do not mix and quickly walking into water could cost your life. If water is high enough to have reached any outlets the water could be electrified. Even if water is not high there is the concern of extension cords and electronics wires resting in standing water.
Chuck Bingham owner of Action Extraction flood restoration Co. in Macomb MI recommends a professional or at the very least an electrician to first make sure the basement is safe for entering.
Steps to take when discovering a flooded basement
Once it is determined safe the first step in the restoration of your flooded basement is water removal. This of course requires an assessment and determination of wear the water came from. If it came from the sewer drain and the rain has stopped yet the water refuses to go down the drain, there is a clog. An experience plumber should be called out to open the system and this will allow the water to go down the drain allowing the next step. However if the water is very high saying over a foot, you may require the standing water to be pumped out before the plumber is willing to service the faulty drain.
If the cause is a foundation leak this can often be fixed inexpensively. If you have a company suggest a major expense due to what they feel is a big repair requiring digging up your lawn around the house, get a second opinion.
Homes equipped with a sump pump may have flooded because the pump failed or the electricity failed. Either way the fix is easy and the cost of repairs typically under 300.00.
There are several ways to remove water from your basement. Once you have the water removed there will probably be puddling throughout and a squeegee a good idea, allowing you to manipulate the standing water in the direction of the nearest drain. You need to consider a few things when determining which equipment you are going to use. Once the water is gone you are ready for the next step.
Materials inspection with a moisture meter.
Here is where the importance of calling a professional water removal company comes in handy. They are trained to locate moisture where the human eye fails to see it. Equipped with a moisture meter they will be able to determine what materials are wet requiring drying service and which are dry needing little attention.
Decontamination of materials
Each type of flooding such as fresh, storm and sewer have their own particular rules of what can be saved and what must be discarded because it is beyond the scope of saving. Here again it is vital to have a professional navigate you through the science of water mitigation and restoration.
Drying of all moist and wet structure and materials.
Basement need to be completely dried in 72 hours after flooding to avoid structural damage and mold. This requires specialty drying equipment that utilizes rapid air movement, dehumidification and often air quality control
Call today for a free estimate and evaluation of your Michigan flooded basement. 586-713-4333