What NOT to do About a Flooded Basement
Amidst the craze of activities and obligations this time of year, the last thing you need is a few inches (or feet!) of water setting up camp in your basement. Many homeowners look for an easy fix to the problem so that they can get on with their day. However, quick fixes don’t mean that they are handling the situation safely. Flooded basements require time and calculated effort to restore. So, while you may not be an expert in water damage clean-up, you can still make the situation easier by avoiding these common mistakes that homeowners make in the event of a flooded basement.
- Underestimating damage. When you think about it, a flooded basement is just a bunch of harmless water, right? Wrong. The very water that is sitting in your basement is littered with toxins such as bacteria, mold, and perhaps even contamination from your sewage system. While on the surface, you might only see unwanted water in your basement, it’s important to keep in mind that there’s more going on under the surface. Simply removing the water (which in itself is not a simple task) will not prevent the mold that is preparing to multiply in your basement, or the water damage that has set in your walls and flooring. The bottom line is to remember that the “water” that is in your basement is more than what it appears to be.
- Postponing action. No matter how busy your summer schedule is, it’s important to remember that with time, your flooded basement is only going to become more of a problem. As previously mentioned, bacteria and mold thrive in wet and damp areas. The longer that moisture is allowed to sit in your basement, the higher the chances are that bacteria, mold and damage are going to spread, making water restoration even more difficult (and costly) at a later date. While immediate action may seem far too stressful of an option, in the long run, it will save you money and reduce your disaster-inflicted stress many times over.
- Neglecting possible safety hazards. Your first instinct may be to run to your basement to assess the damage, and while this is a common response, it is not a wise one. Even if there are only a few inches of water on your basement floor, there are still hazards that could cause harm to those who try to walk about the area. If there are any electronic devices or outlets in your basement, there is a risk that making contact with the water would shock you. Turn off your electricity and gas to make the water safe to enter. If the water is deeper than a few inches, there is also a chance that sharp materials will be floating about. By keeping these hazards in mind, you will ensure your safety as you go in to retrieve what you can.
- Waiting too long to work with your insurance provider. Many homeowners make the mistake of taking action before calling their insurance company. The better option is to first, mitigate further damage by stopping the water flow (call a professional if need be), then call your insurance company and get their advice on what you should do next. Most importantly, if you have to immediately move or clean up anything, make sure you have taken photos that depict the extent of the damage to share with your insurance company.
- Attempting to make it a DIY project. Hiring professionals means spending money, and because of this, many homeowners sometimes try to fix the entire issue, or at least some of it, themselves. And while this might save money in the short run, professionals have the equipment, experience and the expertise to prevent bigger problems down the road. Look for a water restoration company near you who will respond quickly, use specialized equipment, and care for your property as if it were their own.
Here at Hays + Sons, we take the restoration of your home seriously, working to salvage personal property so that life can return to normalcy after a disaster strikes. We provide board up services, as well as mold remediation, storm repair, water removal, and fire and smoke repair. While our main objective is always to restore what has been lost, our focus is on our customers. We keep them informed throughout the entire process, all the while striving to work efficiently so that life can return to the way it should be. We have water damage restoration experts ready to serve you at any of our locations in Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Muncie, Crown Point, Fort Wayne, Lafayette, & Columbus.