What to do when your basement floods
When a basement floods it is a stressful, confusing event which can take a lot of time, money and effort to bring your home back to where it was before the water damage. Whether the damage is caused by a broken water pipe, heavy rains, snow melt, a failed sump pump or swelling of ground water complicate things further as they all require different approaches to make it "Like it never even happened."
Fortunately here at SERVPRO of The Upper Peninsula we have been able to help families with flooded basements all around the Upper Peninsula and are ready to help you. In this blog we will seek to give you general advice for handling flooded basements but do remember our emergency line is open 24/7 and we are here to help you with specific advice for your flooded basement.
Safety for you and your family should be your first concern when you find out your basement has flooded. There are two main safety concerns in every water intrusion situation Electrical and Tripping hazards are the most prevalent source of injury in our industry.
- Never go into a flood damaged basement with standing water which has submerged outlets or other active sources of electricity. Wait for the water to be pumped out by a professional, such as SERVPRO, if you can’t safety do that yourself.
- Most home electronic systems and devices can be damaged from being submerged or exposed to water. Don’t us devices or outlets that have been exposed to water even after the water has been pumped out.
- It is not just the water but also the particulates in the water which will stay behind even after the water has been removed that can damage electrical systems and equipment.
- Not everything breaks immediately it can take time after electrical system is exposed to water before it breaks or becomes unsafe.
- Pay attention to where you are walking, many restoration professionals have hurt themselves walking across different materials (such as carpet to tile) because they didn’t expect the different in friction when these materials are wet.
- If you are removing any materials from your basement remember that wet materials can be VERY heavy.
- Keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging
When you have accounted for safety you can move on to being proactive about your home and belongings before our restoration technicians get there. Every minute counts which is why we respond 24/7 to emergencies and why anything you do until we get there can help protect your home.
- If possible find the source of water intrusion and stop the flow of water into your property. Check your sump pump to make sure it is working. They sometimes get unplugged or the arm gets stuck. If a pipe is broken shut off your water valve to your home.
- Remove as much water as you can. Using a shop vac, mopping or blotting possible. The less water which is allowed to soak into your furniture, walls and carpet the better off you will be.
- Move furniture off of wet carpet and wipe the legs or bottoms before placing in an unaffected area. Wet furniture, especially wood and metal, can stain carpet very quickly.
- If you cannot remove furniture from an affected area you can place foil or woodblocks between furniture legs and the carpet to prevent staining.
- Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting so their coloring doesn’t bleed onto the carpet.
- Turn on air conditioning for maximum drying in the summer.
Remember that our emergency line (906) 204-2450 is always answered by one of the restoration professionals here at SERVPRO of The Upper Peninsula, so we can give you advice specific to your situation. We are always Here to Help.