No matter what someone says to you, there is no such thing as a dry basement. Your basement will seem some moisture eventually. Hopefully, it will only be a little dampness or a musty smell that can be cleared up with a dehumidifier. Some homes in the midwest are not so fortunate. A clogged gutter or poor grading can have your basement flooding fast. Here our tips from the restoration pros to help you right away, if your think your basement is flooding.
What to do if your basement is flooded:
Shut off your home’s power.
There could be electrical wires in the water level. When in doubt, stay out of your basement!
Assess the damage.
If this is a small area, you can probably clean up the water damage yourself. If this is a larger flood, and 2 to 3 rooms are damaged, then you should call your insurance agent right away. Consider your deductible. If the damage looks like it will be more than your deductible, then you should hire a restoration company to do the job for you.
Move any belongings that you can out of your basement. Once again, make safety your first priority. If you cannot easily move the furniture (like a couch) put something underneath it to try and get it out of the water, like 2X4s or styrofoam blocks. Furniture that sits in water will swell and split which causes permanent damage.
Get rid of water.
Next, you need to try and suck the water out. Make sure it's some sort of shop vac!
If you have carpet in your basement, pull the padding out from under the carpets. They will most likely be wet and they are hard to dry out.
Get your fans & dehumidifiers out and going!
This process takes about 3 to 4 days to fully dry out a spot in your basement.
If the damage seems more than your deductible, it is best to call your insurance agency and hire a restoration company. Restoration services have better equipment and more experience to reduce the damage done to your home. Most restoration services will work your insurance agency to take inventory of your items and store them in a safe spot.
Dial the phone
Call a certified mold remediation company right away if you spot mold, don’t try to remove it yourself!
The best way to avoid moisture in your home is prevention. Most basements have some sort of moisture or dampness, but this can be monitored and contained in a few simple steps.
Tips to prevent moisture in your basement:
- Buy a quality humidifier. Don’t skimp on a humidifier, get one that is the proper size for your basement. Aim for 70 pints of capacity a day and run it through the spring into the fall (about October).
- Make sure your downspouts distribute water at least 6 feet away from your home.
- Check the grade of your home regularly, you don’t want any flat areas where water can get trapped.
- Clean your gutters out regularly.
- Make sure your sump pump has a decent backup power supply (at least 120 volts). The power often goes out due to weather, which means a lot of rain! Having a dead sump pump leaves your basement vulnerable. You should install this sump pump a little higher up so it can help out the main sump pump when/if water gets high. A commercial grade pump may be more expensive, but it is well worth the money.
- Buy a humidity meter if you have an annoying, damp basement. These easy to read meters can cost around $10 to $20, but they can help you keep an eye on the moisture in your basement.
Highmark Restoration proudly serves the Lake County and North Shore area of Chicago. Please call us right away on our emergency phone number if you are in this area if and have a flooded basement.
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