Basement flooding can happen at any time. We seem to be experiencing a lot of sudden rainfalls that have the potential to cause quick unexpected floods. Basement leaks and floods are not only caused by Mother Nature.
You may also experience a pipe that is blocked or a drain backup; where the sump pump may stop working.
Overland flooding, a leak in the foundations or a simple pipe burst can cause thousands of dollars in damage. Whether it’s caused by some mechanical malfunction or Mother Nature, your immediate next steps after a basement flood can help prevent a bad situation from getting worse.
If you hear, feel or see water in your basement, you will want to quickly identify the source of the water coming in. After locating the source you want to stop it, block it or turn it off immediately.
You should then contact your insurance broker and document the damage with a log of events, photographs and videos. Your broker will get your water damage claim submitted to your insurance company and walk you through the next steps within the claim process.
HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW TO PREVENT FURTHER DAMAGE:
Wherever possible, photographs or videos of the damaged property should be taken
Try to mitigate the water damage by moving contents to higher ground
Shop-vac, pump or mop up the water
Use dehumidifiers and fans to try and dry up the areas. Mould can follow water damage if it’s not properly dried out, cleaned and sanitized. There are many resources on the Internet you can use, or contact a restoration company to have it done professionally
Items such as contents and furniture can be removed from the house but not discarded until your insurance company has a chance to see them
Keep track of all of your work hours and expenses directly relating to the event
NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF MOTHER NATURE
Prolonged rainfall or major storms can cause flash floods, which may cause natural flooding in your basement. We can never underestimate the power of Mother Nature, and to make sure we prepare for major storm events, which unfortunately are becoming more frequent.
The ground becomes saturated during a major rainstorm, which puts a lot of pressure on your foundation walls. Your weeping tile or foundations drainage system can be overwhelmed by a large amount of water in a short period of time. This can result in clogged drains and back-flowing water.
Surface water can also push in through windows, doors, cracks or fill window wells. It’s important to identify where the water is coming from so that you can start planning for cleanup and damage repair. Remember it’s essential to always start by talking with your insurance broker so you understand the process.
THERE’S MORE RAIN IN THE FORECAST WHAT DO I DO TO PREPARE FOR MORE WATER?
Keep all floor drains clear of obstructions
Ensure that there is proper grading around your home. Over time, the soil settles and can detract from the finished foundation. In areas where the soil has pulled away, you can see a dip or depression, exposing parts of your foundation to the elements. This is where water can come in
Install a sump pump/have a sump pump on hand
Store important documents and irreplaceable personal objects (such as photographs) where they will not get damaged
Get everything off the floor in your basement as possible
KEYS TO REMEMBER
It’s important to remember that before rebuilding can start, everything needs to be completely dry. This can take weeks, depending on how badly your basement was flooded.
Dealing with the aftereffect of a flooded basement can be a headache. Although prevention is always key, how quickly you can deal with a flood can minimize damage and costs. Do your research, be quick to find the source of water, immediately contact your insurance broker and make sure you hire pros.