When it comes to matters of water damage, the basement is always going to be ground zero. In fact, as many as 98% of all basements will suffer from some form of water damage at some point, making it pretty much a matter of “when” not “if” it will happen. The reason is quite simply actually…..basements are the single lowest point in any home or business, and water loves to run downhill. You put 2 and 2 together and it equals “flooded basement”.
Many companies advertise basement waterproofing as a means of protecting your basement from intrusion by water or flooding. This is not entirely accurate, however, since it is impossible to fully waterproof this lowest level in your home…..if enough water wants to come in, eventually, it will. The good news is that there are steps you can take to protect your basement, minimize the possibility of water damage, and further minimize the damage that may occur I when it does finally come your turn in the barrel.
For starters, sump pumps or sump pits may be installed in the basement. These units are designed to catch excess water and pump it out and away from your home. Sump pumps may be electric or gas powered, and should always have some sort of backup switch just in case of a power outage or other malfunction. While they do require a measure of regular maintenance, sump pumps are the best first line of defense against flooding and water damage.
Basements may also be protected from water damage by making sure that all outside drains are free and clear of obstructions and in good working order. Similarly, landscaping should slope away from the home for a distance of no less than ten feet. This decreases the likelihood for water to flow toward your property once the ground has become saturated. You want any and all excess water to flow away from the home.
Do not place appliances or other electrical devices in the basement. If they must be placed there, then take steps to elevate them using a crate or pallet. Even a few inches of elevation may be enough to protect them from most flooding scenarios. Valuable items such as books, photos, or important documents should be stored on a higher floor.
If your basement is used for storage purposes, then use the aforementioned pallets to elevate the stored material off the ground. This protects from flooding and increases air circulation.
HVAC systems and electrical outlets may also be moved to higher levels on the wall. Such work will need to be done by an experienced technician, but it will reduce the chances of inadvertent electrocution or system failure.
In the event that the basement does become flooded, then the procedure is the same as it would be for every other water damage case. The excess water will need to be removed from the basement and everything dried out completely.
Excess water can be removed using either shop vac units or gas powered submersible pumps. Which option used depends on the depth and severity of the spill.
If the water level is several feet deep in the basement, resist the urge to pump the water out as rapidly as possible. While acting quickly is recommended, pumping water out too quickly could result in uneven pressure, placing undue stress on the foundational walls and making them prone to collapse. The water should be pumped out slowly but steadily, at the rate of about a third a day, in order to maintain structural stability.
Once the excess has been removed, use fans, blowers, and dehumidifiers to finish drying the basement and bringing down relative humidity levels. Basements almost always seem to be more humid than other areas of the home, and if you aren’t careful, you could end up with a mold problem.
You also have to remember that water has an uncanny talent for getting pretty much anywhere in the home, including places that you may not think to initially look. A water damage restoration professional can inspect those areas of your home, locate those hidden water problems, and take care of them before they have the chance to grow, multiply, and const even more of your money and time.
Crawlspaces are the first cousin to basements and as such may not only attract water and water damage, but may be much more difficult to get to and work in. Again, a professional can take care of all of your water damage problems, including those in such hard to reach locations within the home.
It is also important to let a certified professional do the work, since water damage repair is something of an exact science, and hiring the wrong contractor may end up causing more problems than it solves. You want someone who is certified by an industry leader such as the Clean Trust, who has taken the time and expended the resources to properly educate and train their employees on proper restoration techniques and equipment, and who backs their work with the industry’s most comprehensive guarantee.
For all of your fire and water damage, contact the professionals at 24/7 Water Restoration. Certified by the Clean Trust, they are available and ready to handle all of your water, mold, or fire damage restoration needs. Call for a free estimate. We can have a technician on your doorstep within the hour, ready to assess your needs and begin the cleanup and restoration process.
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- Free Estimates
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Thank you to 24/7 Water Restoration for quickly coming to our house and cleaning up the water damage in our basement from a burst pipe. Their technicians were extremely professional and polite. Their quick response reduced the risks of mold setting in and causing even more damage and potential allergies and health concerns for our son. Thank you for your outstanding service!Karen