Every home and business owner hopes that the possibility of a basement flood always remains an “if”. Unfortunately, whether from burst pipes, flooding from storms, or backup from the municipal drain, basement floods do happen. It’s not just an inconvenient and costly situation, it can be dangerous as well. If a worst-case scenario has happened in your home or business, keep reading to learn what to do when your basement floods.
Safety Comes First!
A couple inches or feet of water may not seem like a hazardous situation, but it is always best to be cautious. A flooded basements can cause a number of issues, and sometimes multiple problems at once!
Gas Leaks: If you smell gas, leave the property and call your gas provider. It is dangerous to stay on the property until the utility company has made the premises safe again.
Pollutants: Hazardous chemicals may be present in the water, so never enter a basement without the proper equipment, including facemasks, safety glasses, and gloves. Sewage backups can be especially toxic, as diseases or bacteria may be present in the water. Thoroughly sanitize any equipment that comes in contact with raw sewage.
Structural Damage: Exercise extra caution, especially in older buildings, as water damage may have compromised the basement’s structural integrity. You may have to consult a professional contractor to determine if the basement is structurally sound.
Electrical Shock: If your basement has flooded, it’s very likely that the water has come in contact with an electrical outlet or appliance. It doesn’t take more than a single exposed wire or outlet to make your flooded basement a life-threatening hazard. Turn off the electricity to your property before entering the basement. If your shut-off is in the basement, and you have to stand in water to turn off the electricity, call your utility company.
Your first priority is your safety. Salvage your belongings only if it is safe to do so.
What to Do When Your Basement Floods
Determine the cause of the flood, as in most cases there are steps you can take to prevent further damage. There are several possible causes of basement floods.
Flooding: Storms, melting snow, and foundation drainage failures can all flood your basement. In these cases, you’ll need to call a professional service to have the water removed.
Sewage Backup: Dirty water with a bad odor is most likely caused by sewage backup. Make sure to keep from flushing toilets, running the tap, or using any water-based appliances like washing machines or dishwashers, as this will likely make the flooding worse.
A Burst Water Pipe: If the water in your basement is clear, or coming from an upper level of the property, a water supply pipe may have burst. To help prevent further damage, shut off the water supply to your home or business if you are safely able to do so.
If you aren’t sure of the cause, call the professionals! Tidal Wave Response has a 24-hour emergency service for sewage backups and broken pipes. We guarantee to be at your Atlanta-area property in 30 minutes or less. Call us at 770-693-4568!
How to Clean a Flooded Basement
Once your property has been determined to be safe, you’ll need to remove the water from your basement before going in. You can rent a flood water extractor or call Tidal Wave Response to extract the standing water.
Once the water removal process has begun, you’ll need to turn your attention to ventilation. Atlanta can be extremely humid, especially in the summertime, and all that humidity provides optimal conditions for mildew and mold to grow. Open the windows and set up fans to keep the air circulating. You can also set up a dehumidifier to speed up the process.
You will also want to remove your belongings and, if possible, set them in a sunny spot to dry. In order to prevent mold, you’ll also have to remove any drywall that was soaked. Flooring may also need to be removed, although sometimes carpet can be dried.
Lastly, you will need to remove any gas or electrical appliances that were flooded. These are no longer safe to be used. Only a professional may be able to clean and salvage any gas or electrical appliances.
Is Your Basement Flooded? Call the Professionals!
If a pipe has burst or sewage has backed up into your Atlanta-area home or business and you need emergency service, call Tidal Wave Response at 770-693-4568! Our team will respond to your call in 30 minutes or less at no cost or obligation to you. We’ll provide a prompt inspection and assessment of the causes and damages to your property. One call to us can potentially save you thousands of dollars in water damage costs.