Facing a Flooded Basement
Basement flooding can make even the most experienced homeowners feel a sense of dread and panic. But if this happens to you, try to keep your head and take action.
The most effective action you can take will be to contact a plumber as soon as you possibly can. The next step will be to call a water damage restoration professional to get your home back to normal.
Causes of Basement Flooding
There are a lot of potential reasons that your basement flooding occurred. It could have been due to heavy rains, burst pipes, roof leaks, basement windows, water heater floods and there could be another issue.
Here are a few of the more common causes of a flooded basement.
- A drainage system failure – Your home should have a drainage system to keep this kind of problem from occurring. But it might have failed for one reason or another. Once the water is gone and the mess is cleaned up, contact a professional to have a thorough inspection performed. You’ll find out why the problem happened, and what you can do to prevent it from happening again.
- Poor installation of downspouts – The downspouts are designed to move water away from your home as well as the foundation. If they’re installed correctly, they’ll direct water toward your backyard or the street. But if they’re broken or missing, or they weren’t installed correctly in the first place, then water could accumulate and slowly seep into the basement.
- Clogged gutters – Leaves, twigs, and other debris can easily clog gutters. Like downspouts, they’re supposed to move water away from your home. When a clog happens, water will flow down the side of the home and into the basement. Either clean your gutters on a regular basis or, better yet, have a professional do the job. It will be much safer.
Basement Flooding Repair
If water is allowed to stand too long in a basement, that can result in serious damage to not only the basement floor but also the walls and ceiling (drywall) and any appliances.
In order to keep this damage to a minimum, you need to contact a water restoration specialist as fast as possible. Fast action could make the difference between a minor problem and a major disaster.
Basement Flooding Cleanup
When groundwater, a broken pipe, or some other issue leads to a flood, immediate cleanup will be necessary in order to restore your basement to where it was before the flooding event occurred.
An expert in water restoration will typically use industrial-strength equipment to dry the area once the water is removed. Once that is done, the expert will then thoroughly sanitize the area to eliminate the risk of mold growth or the development of other contaminants that could endanger the health of you and your family.
Basement Flooding Repair Cost
The cost of repairing a flooded basement will depend on several different factors. If the water is relatively free of contaminants, it won’t cost nearly as much as if there was a stormwater intrusion or a sewer backup.
If the flooding isn’t that substantial, you can probably expect to pay anywhere from $500-$1,000 to remove the water and dry the area. On the other hand, if you have extensive flood damage, it might cost as much as $10,000 to repair furnishings, walls, the basement floor, etc. Your repair costs may also be different if you have flood insurance, check with your insurance company regarding your options.
Basement Flooding Prevention
Thankfully, there are several steps you can take to keep groundwater, rainwater, or any other kind of water from overwhelming your basement floor drain in the future. One is to consider professional basement waterproofing. An expert can paint the floor and basement walls with a special waterproof coating that will help repel water.
In addition, you should take a close look at the landscaping surrounding your home. The ground should slope away from the foundation, not toward it.
Basement Sump Pump
Maybe the best thing you can do is to have a sump pump installed in the basement. This is a small pump that will help keep excess water from accumulating in the basement. While it won’t necessarily dry the area, it will direct water to the nearest storm drain, helping you avoid water damage from taking place.
There are quite a few other benefits of a sump pump. It will not only help prevent flooding, it will also help keep the humidity levels low. This, in turn, will improve the air quality, reducing the chances that mold and mildew will develop.
Basement Flooding Safety Tips
If you should ever experience a basement flooding problem, the first thing you’ll want to do is be as safe as possible. These are some ways to do just that.
- Shut off the power immediately – You need to do this before anything else. If there is any sort of wiring in the basement, and that wiring gets wet, anyone who enters the area could be electrocuted. If you can’t safely do this, call an electrician immediately.
- Shut off the water source if you can – There are many instances where a problem such as a broken pipe will lead to basement flooding. If you know this is the cause, find the main water shut-off valve and close it as fast as you can. Call a plumber if you don’t know how to do this.
- Pump out all standing water – If you don’t have a sump pump, then you may be able to use a wet/dry vacuum to get rid of any water that has accumulated. You’ll need to be alert to any hazards that might be present, such as contaminated water due to a sewer system backup. Wear rubber gloves, boots, and eye protection before entering the area.
- Dry the basement – You should use a dehumidifier to make sure the walls, the floor, and everything else in the basement is completely dry. If it’s not, that could eventually lead to mold growth and other major problems.
If the flooding is relatively minor, you will very likely be able to handle water removal and drying on your own. But if it’s not, you’re going to need to call a professional. While it might cost a great deal of money in the short term, it will save you even more in the long run.
If you’re ready to address the flood damage in your home, find an IICRC-certified water damage expert near you.