What to know about flooded basement Restoration
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 are structures that have multiple building materials such as dry wall, paneling, carpet and cabinetry, that are made of cellulose. Because this is a favorite food source for mold you absolutely will need to dry all materials in 72 hours or less, to keep mold from amplifying and spreading. This is why after a basement floods it is recommended to hire a professional water mitigation company to provide flooded basement restoration.
With what is known today regarding 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.
Flooded basement restoration is an applied science that takes into account multiple factors and institutes the most efficient and safe drying chamber possible, to avert mold.
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.
Introducing flooded basement restoration will be the safest strategy to effectively eliminate all germs, moisture and mold. Hiring a professionals restoration company will prove to be the best option when the basement is finished and multiple materials are suffering from water exposure.
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 the home has had some type of flood damage in the past there can be conspicuous signs. Water staining at the base of the dry wall walls, base molding that are swollen and detached from the wall and signs of mold growth and smells. There are times however, when although the basement may have indeed flooded there are no noticeable signs, because they hired a professional to service the property for flooded basement restoration.
Before finishing your basement
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. The number of people who move ahead with making there dream space in the basement before knowing for certain there are no water issues is more than you would think. Although flooded basement restoration will be capable of restoring the basement, it is never a good idea to neglect managing all water issues first.
Many homes require a repair of adding a sump pump or a sump pump backup system, to prevent flooding. 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 flooded basement restoration process 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 cost for a new sump pump is typically under 300.00. The cost for flooded basement restoration however, will vary due to the amount and type of water.
Water Removal – 1st Step in Flood Basement Restoration
There are several ways to remove water from your basement. The use of a shop vac can be highly effective if the amount of water is limited to a small area. If it is than vacuum flooded basement and in several minutes you should see your making progress.
When the water is everywhere and several inches deep, the use of a water removal pump could be necessary. If you literally have hundreds of gallons then you may need flooded basement help. The professional restorers have truck-mounted extraction systems that are capable of removing the water very quickly. This is especially true if you have wet flooded basement carpet that needs water removal. The professional systems generate enough suction lift to remove almost 98% of the moisture. Once this flooded basement service has been completed you can move forward with the next steps of cleanup and disinfecting.
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. This will not obviously help a great deal with flooded basement carpet however, as squeegees work best on hard surface flooring. 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 several different types of moisture detection meters, 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. In all water sources whether clean from a plumbing supply line or filthy like from a sewer backup, the flooded basement restoration protocol will included a disinfecting of all the wet building materials.
Drying a Flooded Basement
Basements need to be completely dried in 72 hours after flooding is discovered to avoid structural damage and/or mold concerns. This requires specialty drying equipment that the flooded basement companies use everyday to dry wet property after flood damage happens. The two essential drying apparatuses utilized are industrial air movers to create rapid air movement and industrial flooded basement dehumidifiers to remove high moisture content.
In some instances the contamination of the surrounding environment will need air quality control to remove air borne hazards and help get rid of smell from flooded basement. There is no such thing as proper flooded basement restoration that does not include structural drying of the wet environment.
Once you have successfully completed flooded basement restoration it would be wise to look at some ideas on flooded basement prevention going forward. One idea is a device such as a flooded basement alarm that goes off loudly alerting you to a potential flood threat when water comes into contact with it.
Call today for a free estimate and evaluation of your Michigan flooded basement or to learn more about flooded basement safety. 586-713-4333