The damage from any flooding can be severe. It also gets worse after the water subsides. This is when molds and biological pathogens can do the most harm as you are likely going to be assisting in the cleanup and also live in your home that had the flooded basement. Here are four tips of what to do in the aftermath of a flooded basement.
Be Aware of Hazards
Electricity, flammable liquids and gases, mold, viruses and bacteria are a real threat when a basement has been flooded by a natural flood. A broken water pipe still produces the electrical hazard. Water in your basement may come in contact with a washer or dryer motor or refrigerator/freezer compressor at just a couple of inches in depth. Higher water can come in contact with wall outlets or even the electrical service panel. The water can be energized without any visible signs, making it an electrocution threat if you touch it. Natural floods can carry sewage, gasoline or other dangerous substances into your basement, presenting fire, physical contact and inhalation hazards.
Rent a Commercial Dehumidifier
Local building supply and tool rental companies offer commercial dehumidifiers that can remove 20 gallons or more of water vapor in a confined space per day. While you are at it, you may wish to consider renting a commercial air mover to ventilate your basement. Household fans and dehumidifiers cannot move enough air or extract enough water vapor to be of any use. It is important to begin the drying process before professional restoration experts can begin to repair the damage.
Call Your Insurance Provider
The sad news is that flood damage is not covered under regular homeowner policies. Separate flood insurance is needed for protection, and it is limited as to what is actually covered. Even if you do not have flood insurance, you should call the underwriter of your homeowners insurance to inform of the flood and to find out if anything is covered. You may have a policy that offers some help depending on the source of the water that caused the flood.
Get Help from Professionals
This not only includes hiring experts in water damage restoration. It may include calling your local fire department for help in pumping out standing water in your basement. Many local fire companies will pump flood water out of your basement at no charge. This allows you to get a head start on drying things out and getting your home back to normal, and it can be a vital service if there is widespread flooding that inundates repair companies with people needing basements restored from flood damage.
It could also be a good idea to have a plumber like Jim Dhamer Plumbing and Sewer, Inc. or someone similar inspect your pipes to be sure that none of them are leaking or cracked. This can help ensure that you won’t end up with additional flooding. The worst looking flood damage in a basement can usually be repaired. As long as the foundation is intact, most of the restoration work is replacing appliances and furniture as well as surface work that includes insulation as well as wall and flooring replacement. Renovations should not begin until your basement has everything porous in it cleaned and dried or removed for replacement. It is a big job, but the end result will look better than it did before the flood.