What to Do When Your Basement Floods
The thought of waking up to a flooded basement is a nightmare for homeowners everywhere. Although it is completely possible to repair a flooded basement and replace any ruined belongings, it will be a major project.
Hopefully, your basement will never flood. But life happens, so it might happen when you least expect it. Let’s take a look at how to tackle this major inconvenience in case it ever happens to you.
What To Do When Your Basement Floods
Here are the first steps you should take when your basement floods.
Call an Electrician
When you discover water in your basement, the most important thing is to stay out of the flooded waters. It can be tempting to wade into your basement to discover the source of the flood.
But that is a dangerous approach. It is possible that the waters in your basement are an electrical hazard. If you have any electronics in the basement, they could be in contact with the floodwater and cause a serious problem.
If possible, you should shut off your circuit breaker immediately. If the circuit breaker is in the basement, then wait for professional help. In either scenario, you should call an electrician to assess the floodwater and determine whether it’s safe to enter the area.
Find and Remove Important Items
Once you have the all-clear from an electrician, you can wade into the water and retrieve any valuables. If you’re lucky, the items that you want to protect were out of the floodwaters’ reach. Even if your valuables have been underwater, it is important to remove them as quickly as possible.
The only valuables that you should leave in place are any electronics affected by the flood. Ask the electrician to confirm that these items are safe to move before taking them out of the basement.
Take all the items that you want to save to a dry area so that they can start airing out. If the sun is shining, then the best place to dry things out is in a sunny spot. Just make sure to watch out for any bad (wet) weather.
Remove the Water
After ensuring that your basement is not a hazard and removing any important items, it’s time to fix the flood. Hopefully, the water in your basement will be receding instead of rising.
You can work to remove the water yourself. But if you have more than a few inches of water in your basement, then you might want to call professional help. A plumber or restoration service can be a good place to find help.
You can start removing water with a pump. However, you’ll need a mop and towels to finish the job. Once you get the water removed, you should then work to get rid of any remaining moisture from the walls and floor. You might need industrial fans and a dehumidifier to dry your basement quickly.
Clean Your Walls
The lasting effects of a flooded basement can transform into growing mold that is terrible for your health. Unfortunately, mold thrives in damp conditions. In an effort to prevent mold, use soap and warm water to wash your walls. Additionally, you should keep your fans and dehumidifiers working for many weeks after you’ve removed the water from your basement.
In some cases, you may need to remove parts of your drywall to evict the mold. However, you should consult a professional before proceeding.
How to Fix Basement Flooding
When your basement floods, the immediate priority is removing the water and drying out your space. However, you should investigate the source of the flood to prevent it from happening again.
Here are some steps that you should take to permanently fix the source of your flooding.
How to Tell Where Water is Coming Into Basement
It can be difficult to pinpoint the source of your basement flood. Some of the most common causes for basement flooding include a broken sump pump, burst pipe, leaking fixtures, leaking appliances and storm drain backup.
The best way to find the source is to eliminate the common causes one by one. Since you know your basement better than anyone, start with your best guess and then work your way through the other options. Alternatively, you can call a professional service to run through this legwork for you.
How to Stop Water From Coming Into Your Basement
Once you find the source of the problem, make the effort to fix it effectively. An inadequate fix can potentially lead to another flood in the future. After making a solid fix, the water should stop streaming into your basement. At this part of the process, it can be really helpful to work with a professional to fix your flooding issues.
Paying For Your Basement Flooding Expenses
One thing is clear as you are reading through your options: A flooded basement can be a sudden, expensive emergency. Even if the source of your flood is a relatively quick fix, you may have to pay thousands of dollars to repair your basement.
According to Angie’s List, it could cost upward of $50,000 to repair your basement! Many of us don’t have that amount of cash available for a basement emergency. If your emergency fund is low, let’s take a look at your options for funding these repairs.
Call Your Insurance Company
If you have homeowners or renters insurance, it may include flood insurance. But in most cases, you’ll need specialized flood insurance as an add-on to your regular policy for Mother Nature-related events.
Call your insurance company to see if they can help cover the cost of repairs. If you’re working with a professional restoration service, they may handle the insurance claim for you.
Evaluate Your Savings
If the flood is relatively minor, you may be able to cover the costs with your savings. However, you might want to avoid draining your savings entirely to cover a flood repair. Take a close look at your personal finances before deciding to drain your savings to stop the flood.
Check out our Personal Finance Learning Center before making any major decisions.
Consider a Personal Loan
A final option to consider is a personal loan. Rocket Loans® offers Home Improvement Personal Loans to help you with any home repairs. A flooded basement is definitely one expense that the loan covers.
With a quick and easy online application, you can receive the funds you need fast. Plus, there are simple payment options to help you repay your loan painlessly.
The Bottom Line
A flooded basement is a surprise that no homeowner wants to wake up to, but it still happens to many of us. Take action immediately to mitigate the extent of the flood damage.
After taking the first steps to safely remove water from your basement, evaluate your financial situation to decide how you will fund these repairs. If your insurance will not cover the costs, then consider a Home Improvement Personal Loan to help get your home clean and dry as quickly as possible.
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