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When we’re called in for a water damage restoration job, more often than not, it’s due to a flooded basement. It makes sense for a few reasons. First, water naturally flows downward due to gravity, so even if the leak did occur higher up in the house, water would likely collect in the basement, damaging everything it touches. In addition, it’s extremely common for people to have their laundry area in the basement; leaking washing machines or burst water tanks are common culprits of flooded basements. Or, heaven forbid, you and your loved ones have recently experienced a storm flood, causing stormwater and debris to pool in your basement.
Whatever the initial cause, we’ll take you through the 10 steps experts use to handle a flooded basement restoration.
As we briefly explored in our introduction, many different things could cause a flooded basement. And sometimes, you can come home and head down to your basement, only to find the floor completely submerged in water and no leading clue as to why this happened. So first, you need to figure out what it is- and fast. The longer you wait, the more water flows in; the more extensive the damage will be.
If you can’t immediately see the cause, we advise heading to the main water shut-off on your property and cutting it off at the source. Doing this will allow you to get a closer look at the situation, knowing that no more water will be coming in ( aside from what is already within the piping system). Before you get into the water-damaged area, shut off the electricity as a precaution and wear protective gear.
Reaching out to your insurance provider early in the process is crucial. You don’t want anything to get in the way of limiting your insurance payout- you’ll need it to fund the flooded basement cleanup cost and repair work. They will be able to advise you on their processes and inform you on what type of evidence they will require and when to approve your claim in full. Communication is key! And you’d rather have more evidence than not enough, so make sure you collect evidence throughout the process in the form of photos, videos, invoices, and receipts.
Once you have captured the necessary evidence for your insurance company and a full inspection has been completed by a professional, it’s time to start the flooded basement restoration process. All of your wet belongings in the basement will currently be soaking up water. Even the objects that aren’t even touching the water, like photos on the wall, are being exposed to moisture in the air and are at risk of damage. The sooner you can start the process, the better off your house and belongings will be, and hopefully, you’ll be able to salvage some of your basement contents.
This step is more than tossing the water out one bucket at a time. In cases of significant emergency basement flooding, industrial-strength equipment is required and is a lot faster and more effective than a mere bucket. Restoration operators will show up with a truck full of equipment and begin pumping out the water with an extraction hose, redirecting the water to the outdoor drains or an empty tank on the truck.
After extracting all the standing water, your restoration team will whip out their Wetvac system to start soaking up the remaining water within the carpet and flooring. Even if you intend on throwing it away and replacing it, sometimes this is required to be able to move the carpet as it can be very heavy when holding water.
If you have a large rug, you’re hoping to salvage – it’s best to move it to another room to continue drying out if possible. The carpet is trickier due to the nature of the material, it absorbs water so fast, and there are layers to your carpet that protect the floor beneath. Most carpeted areas have four layers; the carp[et surface (the soft plushy part we see), the backing, the pad, and the subfloor. The subfloor material can vary from plywood, hardwood floors, or, most commonly in basements – concrete.
Let the professional handle this step; they will remove your carpet layer by layer to see what (if any) of it is salvageable.
Drywall sheets and insulation pads can absorb and hold surprisingly large amounts of water and moisture. As a result, you may see brownish water stains forming on your drywall sheets, especially if they are left to sit once wet. Of course, if your basement wall is still intact, it’s pretty likely that your drywall sheet has acted as a barrier and that your insulation pads are unaffected, but it’s still possible. If your wall interior contains fiberglass insulation pads (commonly referred to as pink batts) that are wet, you will want them replaced. Leaving wet pink batts in your home can lead to the spread of mold, mildew, and sickness.
Extensive cleaning and disinfecting will be required if your basement is flooded with anything other than category 1 water (clean drinkable water). Even if the flood damage was originally clean water, that water could quickly advance to greywater or blackwater if exposed to bacteria, heat, or light. Greywater and blackwater contain harmful microorganisms and bacteria that can cause you and the inhabitants of your home to fall ill. This is why this step is so vital and requires advanced high-strength cleaning and sanitizing products. Some of these products can be harmful to inhale, so ensure the area is well-ventilated and protective gear is worn, such as eyewear, masks, and gloves.
Once the water-logged materials have been removed from the affected areas, the official drying process can begin. This process can take days, or even a week, depending on the size of your basement and the extent of the water damage.
Industrial-strength air movers, dehumidifiers, and dryers will be brought in to keep the flow of air circulating. You can aid this process by opening windows and doors throughout your home; just make sure you keep the basement door open so fresh air can get in.
It is extremely common for mold to appear after a flood or water damage incident. Mold thrives in moist, damp areas and doesn’t take too long to set up camp in your recently flooded basement, particularly if the flood was due to stormwater and contained outdoor bacteria and contaminants.
You should continue monitoring the area for mold growth even after the flooded basement restoration is complete. Additionally, your restoration operators can advise if mold remediation is required.
You’re almost there! Once you have had any required areas repaired or replaced, such as relaying carpeting, mending drywall, or replacing pink batts, you can officially have your basement inspected by the experts. They will advise if you have the green light to return to the area safely or if further action is required.
Dealing with an emergency basement flooding? Reach out to us here to dispatch a local team of restoration operators!
What an amazing response! I had a great experience with Restoration Operators – Connecticut! I called them immediately after my house flooded and they came out within 45 min. It’s a great choice!
Amazing job. Our basement flooded twice
and the did outstanding work drying it out
quickly. Very responsive and were very easy
to work with.
I cannot express how grateful I am for the amazing service provided by this sewage cleanup company. They arrived promptly and efficiently cleaned up the mess left by a broken sewer line.
Restoration Operators did an awesome job for us fixing water damage! We would not hesitate to recommend them to friends and to use this company again if the need arises.