After a heavy rain, flood or burst pipe, you may find yourself wondering how to remove water from your basement. This is a tricky one. You need to get the water out quickly, but there are health and structural issues that need serious consideration. Plus, do you have the equipment to handle the job?
With a lot on the line, we recommend contacting a professional water damage restoration service when you've got water in your basement. Experts, like the ones you'll find at ServiceMaster Restore®, know how to clean up a flooded basement with the right safety measures and equipment to do the job properly. In this post, we'll explain some of the dangers of a DIY cleanup attempt along with tips on what to do with a flooded basement while you wait on the pros to arrive.
Immediate Steps After a Basement Flood
- Turn off the power. When your basement fills with water, the first thing to do is safely turn off energy sources around the area. This includes electricity and gas. If you can't do this without going through standing water, stay safe by leaving it to a professional.
- Wear boots and gloves. It is wise to assume that floodwater can be tainted with sewage or other pollutants. You should keep clear of the area, but if you have to go near the basement for something, cover up. Use waterproof boots and gloves to protect your skin from unpleasant or dangerous stuff in the water.
- Call your insurance company. Homeowners' policies typically don't cover natural floods, so check with your insurance provider to see what your coverage is. If you live in an area where flooding from natural disasters is common, you should consider adding flood insurance to your policy. Remember – it's never good to find out after the fact that you don't have adequate insurance.
Dangers of a Flooded Basement
There are a number of dangers associated with DIY basement water removal. The average homeowner can easily get in over their head in trying to figure out how to remove water from a basement. Experts will know what to do with a flooded basement to mitigate damage as much as possible and help keep you safe. Watch out for these hazards, which your cleanup crew will know how to handle properly:
- Graywater or blackwater. This is ground water or rain that swells up and seeps into basements. It's full of ground pollutants, biological agents, bacteria and other hazards to your health. Unclean graywater or blackwater can cause serious illness and must be cleaned up carefully.
- Electric shock. Submerged appliances or outlets in your basement pose a risk of severe electric shock or even death. Never wade into water where there might be live electricity.
- Structural rot. Drywall, insulation and beams weaken more and more as they remain underwater, putting the very structure of your home at risk. Only professionals have the right equipment to fully dry out your basement and prevent potentially catastrophic damage from occurring.
- Buckling walls. Walls can buckle when pressure in the surrounding soil builds up due to oversaturation and improper drainage. An expert will be able to spot the warning signs.
If you experience flooding in your basement, don't let a DIY job put your health and the well-being of your home at risk. Instead, contact the experts at ServiceMaster Restore. We're available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to handle disasters large and small. When a flood happens, your best bet is to have professionals on-site as quickly as possible, so your home can be restored to normal.