Basement Flooding: Top 10 Tips
How to Start With Water Damage Restoration
So far this summer, Northeast Ohio has experienced record-setting rain fall. If you’ve encountered flooding, you’re not alone. In fact, rain in July caused flooding to at least 1,000 basements in Stark, Summit, Portage, Medina, Wayne, Tuscarawas, Columbiana, Mahoning, Holmes and Carroll counties.
So you have a flooded basement. Now what? At Allen Keith Construction, we’ve put together ten tips that will help you when your basement floods.
1) Call your homeowners insurance company
The first thing any homeowner should do after flooding, no matter its extent, is call their homeowners insurance company. One simple phone call will get a claim in the insurance company’s system and help ease your worries. During the call, your insurance company will inform you of the type of insurance you have, and how much coverage your plan offers for this situation.
2) Call a mitigation company
By looking at the amount of flooding, you’ll be able to tell how severe your flooding damage is. If you doubt that you’re able to remove all the water by yourself, call a mitigation company immediately. If you do choose to remove the water yourself, a professional company should take a look at the remaining water to ensure you’re protected against an improperly dried out basement. Even a constant trickle of water or light seepage can cause mold, which will grow if not mitigated properly.
Before your chosen mitigation company arrives, make sure they’ve got the relevant certifications as many people call themselves experts, but few actually are.
3) Return to the flooded area to move out non-electrical contents
Wood items are the most vulnerable to flooding damage. Wood furniture will wick water up from the carpet and rot out the legs and/or base. If the items are too big to be moved, help minimize damage by putting plastic or some other impermeable material between the water and the wood. Even the slightest moisture in carpet will completely ruin your furniture.
If any electrical items, such as stereos, televisions, and lamps have been touched by water, leave the items alone. Touching a water-damaged electrical item can cause electrocution, shock, or start a fire.
Separating what can be salvaged is a smart way to keep what’s savable in its best condition.
4) Begin circulating air
Get air circulating as soon as possible. This can be done by turning on fans and running a dehumidifier.
Other ways to boost air circulation include opening doors, closets, and windows, if possible. Also, if your home has central air conditioning, leave the air conditioner running at a low temperature, as this will allow moisture to be pulled out of the room.
5) Continue to assess the home’s structure for insurance purposes
Determine where the water came in, as this may assist with insurance questions. Also, examine how far the water has spread, and be sure the crews you have cleaning know the extent of the damage. The more information you can give your insurance and mitigation companies, the better.
Also, check your walls for any damage. Cinder block or brick walls can be cleaned with a bleach solution to prevent mold, but damp or wet drywall is at increased risk for mold growth. If the damage is bad, your mitigation company may have to discard your drywall.
Always let the inside of the wall dry out before considering replacement materials.
6) Examine your water heater’s pilot light
Although the water heater may not seem like it can be easily damaged, excess water can snuff out the water heater’s pilot light.
More severe flooding can sometimes cause larger damage to your water heater. If so, your adjuster or a plumber can determine if an entirely new system is needed.
7) Stay calm and be kind to your adjuster
We realize it's incredibly tough to stay calm while your house, and possibly its contents, are damaged by flooding but keeping cool is important. The simple truth is there are countless basements in Northeast Ohio damaged following heavy rain, and there are a limited number of qualified individuals able to remedy them.
Because of this, adjusters may be slow getting out to homes - these professionals may have had upwards of 100 files hit their desk all at once. Even while working 15 hours a day, 7 days a week, the widespread nature of the damage has them overworked.
In Northeast Ohio, we’re fortunate to have some of the best insurance adjusters in the nation and despite their best effort, you'll likely be waiting longer than you'd like.
8) Trust your adjuster
Letting your adjuster examine the damage closely will help you. The more you trust the professional in your home, the more you will be grateful for their top quality job. Here at Allen Keith Construction, we will never sacrifice quality for quantity.
9) Remove additional odors
The odor of a flood can not only cause unpleasant smells that tend to linger. By simply placing a lump of dry charcoal in an open metal (tin) container, these odors will be absorbed.
10) Consult a professional to prevent flooding in the future
A home repair company or plumber can determine the cause of the flooding, as there is a strong possibility you can prevent future flooding and seepage. If there is a way to prevent this natural disaster from wreaking havoc on your home again, professionals can give you sound advice and the service you need.