Steps to take when your basement experiences severe flooding
Our trained experts specialize in wet basement repairs of all kinds and can provide a great solution for you.
From time to time, and particularly during the heaviest rains, we’ll speak with a homeowner who has just discovered that their basement is flooded with several inches to several feet of groundwater.
The homeowners are, understandably, very upset that their personal items (and sometimes their home’s utilities) have been damaged or destroyed by water, and would like us to install a waterproofing system right away.
Calling In A Certified Professional
Repairs of a flooded basement are best conducted by a professional who specializes in basement waterproofing.
Three Reasons To Call An Expert:
- An expert in the industry can help you recover your damaged items and advise you on restoring your damaged drywall and furniture.
- Depending on the source, water in a flooded basement may contain bacteria or viruses, and it may present an electrical hazard as well.
- Pumping out a severely flooded basement too quickly can sometimes lead to damage to foundation walls.
At first glance, a flooded basement may seem like a problem that a homeowner will just have to live with. This is not true! There are basement waterproofers available, with common sense and warrantied solutions, that are just a phone call away. We can help you repair your flooded basement & prevent future flooding in your home!
Basement water Damage FAQs
Basement flooding can lead to widespread damage, which can be frustrating and upsetting. How can you recover from basement water damage?
Are you looking for a way to remove the water in a flooded basement? If you know it’s safe to go down in your basement, especially once you’ve checked that there are no electrical hazards, your ability to remove water from your basement will likely come down to a few steps.
- Make Sure the Flood Is Contained
First and foremost, you have to make sure you’ve stopped the source of the flood. Whether that means turning off the water to the house so you’re no longer experiencing an overflow from your pipes or just waiting until a storm passes, you can’t remove water in the basement completely until the source of the basement flooding is no longer a concern.
If you have a sump pump, the pump will start moving water out of the basement even if it’s still pouring in. This is helpful because it ensures that your basement doesn’t deal with the fallout that can come from multiple inches of standing water. However, you can’t fix the problem for good until you’ve stopped its source.
- Remove the Water and Dry the Area Out
Next, you need to get all the standing water out of the area. Most commonly, you’re going to do this with a sump pump. Plus, a high-quality sump pump will help you pump out the water even as the flood is ongoing, which means there’s less of a chance that the water will continue to rise in your basement, making it even more damaging to the basement as a whole.
You also need to dry the area completely. This is one of the most important elements of the process. If you don’t dry out the area, you’re going to have remaining condensation issues. Those issues are certainly going to turn into problems like mold and mildew, as well as structural instability, which can be extremely damaging.
Basement follow-up care is one of the most important things you can do. Most homeowners can figure out how to pump water out of the basement, but what do you do to keep it healthy afterward?
A dehumidifier is crucial if you’re going to keep your basement healthy after a flood. Once the basement has flooded, you’ll need a dehumidifier to remove the lingering high humidity issues. This is true even if you’re able to make the area dry with something like towels or fans. You’re still likely to have high humidity, which means you need a dehumidifier to reduce that humidity.
Remember, humidity is one of the most serious causes of damage in a basement. High levels of humidity can encourage the growth of mold and mildew or wood rot. It can also increase the levels of humidity throughout your home, not just in the basement.
- Recurring Maintenance
It’s most common for water to enter basements through doors and windows. These are usually the most vulnerable areas for water because water is great at finding its way even through very small gaps. Make sure that you’re looking at the sealing around doors and windows regularly if possible. A yearly inspection can save your home a lot of grief.
You’ll also need to take a look at your waterproofing processes every time you have a basement flood. This is one of the best ways for you to make sure your basement is as waterproof as possible for the future. You also might be able to notice where your waterproofing went wrong during the last flood.
The basement waterproofing process isn’t always going to help you avoid flooding. After all, if a pipe bursts in your bathroom, waterproofing isn’t going to help it stay out of the basement. However, waterproofing measures can still have added benefits in the event of a flood.
- Sump Pump
A sump pump is one element of basement waterproofing that can also be helpful if your basement has flooding problems in general. Sump pumps are the easiest way to pump water out of your basement in case of a flood. Having one that’s always ready to go in your basement is an easy way to avoid water problems.
When you pair a sump pump with a drainage system like BasementGutter™, you’re more likely to avoid problems with standing water in your basement. Even if you have an active leak, the combination of an interior drain and a sump pump will often be enough for you to avoid water damage in your basement.
- Knowledge of Weak Points
Knowing a little bit more about your basement is a great way to understand its potential weak points, such as wall cracks. When you have a professional waterproof your basement, they may be able to help you with other elements of your repair process. That can include giving you information on where you may be most likely to have problems. Additionally, homeowners who are more well-versed in the weak points of their home are more likely to notice when there’s a problem. For example, if you know that your home has problems with bowed basement walls, you’ll be more likely to take a quick look at the walls every time you go under your home. That’ll make it easier for you to catch the problem early on.
You might wonder whether you even need an expert to help you fix your basement water damage, especially if you’re someone who might appreciate the DIY process. The truth is that an expert’s touch will be one of the most important parts of fixing the basement water damage you’re experiencing.
- The Issue With DIY
A good and bad aspect of DIY is one and the same: You’re the one who’s doing it. This can be a huge benefit because it’s cheaper, but it can also be a huge downfall if you’re dealing with something that requires a lot of expertise you don’t have.
Because basement water damage does require expertise, you need to talk to an expert about fixing it. If you try to DIY a basement fix, it’s much more likely that you’re going to end up with foundation problems. Those are expensive and difficult to fix. It’s much easier to just hire an expert from the beginning.
- How to Maximize Your Basement Water Damage Approach
You must manage your basement waterproofing needs. If you’re not paying attention to basement waterproofing, you’re more likely to have basement water damage that recurs. However, after you’ve ensured you have as little flooding possibility as possible, you need to call in a basement waterproofing expert to help you with the current issues you’re having. The best way to ensure a high-quality basement waterproofing process is with the help of a Complete Basement Systems expert. You can schedule a free inspection through Complete Basement Systems today to get more information on waterproofing your basement.
What To Do If Your Basement Is Flooded
When your basement floods, we at Complete Basement Systems recommend taking these six steps:
While most flooded basements are caused by heavy rains and groundwater flooding, others are caused by home plumbing failures.
If a pipe, washer hose, water heater, or other pressurized water source fails in your home, it can release hundreds of gallons of water into your basement every hour.
In fact, we’ve seen water rise so high in a basement that it’s coming out of the windows!
In situations where there is a plumbing failure, the first step to solving the problem should be to turn off any failed plumbing. Be very careful to stay high and dry as you do this, as the water be electrified, or contain viruses and bacteria.
It may seem a bit extreme to think of a “disaster restoration expert” when you need someone to pump out a flooded basement, but these are exactly the people who are best suited to help you take care of your flooded basement.
Disaster restoration experts are pros at drying homes, pumping out water, and making sure that mold and rot are controlled. Have them visit your home within 48 hours to avoid mold growth.
Disaster restoration experts are busiest during heavy rains — so call them right away to beat the crowds. These companies generally provide 24-hour emergency service, so don’t hesitate to contact them as soon as you find a problem. Depending on your area, the local fire company may also be available to pump your basement out.
Here’s where we come in! If your home is located in the Greater Denver area, we’ll be standing by to help you.
We have exclusive access in our service area to a wide variety of award-winning, warrantied products made specifically for basement waterproofing, and we can customize a great system for you.
In our business, when it rains, business tends to pour in. In the same way that we see long lines at good restaurants on weekends and holidays, we’re bustling with activity when basements are flooding all over the area. Calling us sooner rather than later is a great idea.
You can count on our trained staff to go above and beyond to help you solve your problem as soon as possible.
Where there will be a few things you want to get out of the basement right away, most things can be moved after you’ve made those two phone calls.
Again, it’s important to take care when moving items, as your water could be charged with electricity, and raw sewage or toxic substances may be present in the floodwaters. If you’re not sure if this is the case, it’s best to be on the safe side.
If you have photos, electronics, or irreplaceable items that have water damage, do not despair! Many disaster restoration companies have ways to restore your property and restore lost computer data. This is one of the key reasons to opt for them over a standard pump-out job from a plumber or fire department.
Since the basement could be humid for a couple days while the drying out process continues, you may want to move out personal items such as photos, documents, and fabrics. They may look fine now, but they could grow mold in the near future. You also may want to get a photographic record of the damage for your insurance company.
If your homeowner’s insurance policy covers flooding, now is a good time to give them a call. Your agent can talk with you about what options you have for a claim, and they can advise you on what needs to be done when you meet with your contractors.
Some insurance companies will offer protection from flooding, and some will not do so. Additionally, it is important to note that some companies offer coverage for failed plumbing but not floods that result from groundwater flooding.
Even if the flood you see today is small, or you don’t feel that a call to your insurance company is necessary, you may want to make a mental note on exactly what kinds of coverage you have, should a larger flood occur later on.
You’ll probably be surprised to find out just how many products and companies have been specialized just for basement waterproofing.
The number of products and companies out there that are specialized just for waterproofing will be surprising! There’s a lot of science behind basement waterproofing, and lots of new products have been developed recently.
Before meeting with them, be sure to research each contractor you work with online — and to check out their rating with the Better Business Bureau. You may also want to ask the contractor to provide good references and testimonials and to ask whether their workers are fully insured.
Be sure to also research what kinds of solutions they offer, and how those solutions may measure up against the alternatives on the market. Remember — the old-fashioned ways are not always the most effective.
When it comes to wet basement repair, we at Complete Basement Systems have it down to a science. We’d like to meet with you and show you firsthand why we’re the best in the business!
For a free, no-obligation basement waterproofing quote, contact us by phone or e-mail today! We proudly serve the Colorado area, including Colorado Springs, Denver, Aurora and nearby.