It’s an all-too-familiar scenario. You come home from vacation, tanned and relaxed, only to find your basement under several inches of murky water. While your first instinct may be to pivot, return to the airport, and get on the next flight back to the Bahamas or Branson, the reality of the situation requires measures that are far less extreme (and don’t involve frequent flyer miles).
Here’s an overview of how to fix a water-damaged basement.
Cut the Power
When your basement floods, your first step should be to turn off the power to the entire room or rooms. Skipping this step can lead to serious injury.
Call In the Pros
Your next step should be to contact a trusted water remediation company such as United Water Restoration Group. It has the equipment and experience required to safely remove excess water from your water damaged basement and thoroughly dry the area.
All flood water is not created equal. Depending on the source of the flooding, the water that’s overtaken your basement may be contaminated with bacteria and other pathogens. If that’s the case, you don’t want to handle that H20. Instead, leave it to the pros.
Once the water is removed, the water remediation team will likely set up industrial fans and dehumidifiers. This heavy-duty equipment will expedite the drying process and reduce the chance of mold growth.
Save What You Can
Remove wet items promptly and relocate them to a place where they can dry. Ideally, this will be outside, but if that’s not possible, aim for an area that has low humidity and plenty of air movement.
Items that can’t be dried, such as furniture or mattresses, will need to be disposed of to eliminate the potential for mold growth. If you work with a water damage restoration company, it may discard these items for you.
Extend Your Gutters
Once you’ve dealt with the water, it’s time to think about preventing a repeat performance, thereby ensuring that you never need to know how to fix basement water damage again. One easy way to reduce the risk of flooding is to add extensions to your downspouts. The farther away they deposit storm-water, the lower the chance of that water flowing into your basement.
Mind the Gaps
Inspect your basement walls and the areas around pipes. Fill any cracks, gaps, or other openings you find with waterproof caulk or hydraulic cement, which will expand to pack the gap as it dries.
Additionally, you should perform a quick outdoor check of your home’s perimeter for any points of entry, such as cracks in your driveway or walkways. Concrete surfaces can be patched with cement. For driveways or paths made from other materials, consult your local home improvement store for the best filler.
Retake the Crown
A house sits on a shelf of soil commonly referred to as a crown. This helps gravity do its job and pull water away from your home. Over time, however, this plateau can settle and become less of a crown and more of a beret that somebody sat on. To help reduce the risk of runoff invading your home, build the crown up again by adding dirt.
Build a Berm
A berm is basically a small hill. Constructing one on your property, either on your own or with the help of a landscaper, is a fairly simple way to reroute water away from your home or, at a minimum, slow it down.
Evaluate Your Drainage System
If your basement is consistently wet, as opposed to water from a one-time storm-related event or similar, it may suggest that your home is subject to high groundwater that it can’t handle. If this is the case, there are a variety of remedies that may be necessary, most of which require the expertise of a plumber.
On the less intensive and expensive end of the spectrum, you may be able to simply fill racks and add clay to the soil to soak up the excess water. Mid-range solutions include the installation of a sump pump or even a second sump pump in some situations. In the worst-case scenario, you may need to excavate around your home’s perimeter to address drain issues and waterproof your walls.
Knowing how to fix basement water damage essentially comes down to a willingness to call for backup. Don’t handle that contaminated water yourself. Don’t ignore the potential for mold or future flooding. Instead, enlist the expertise of United Water Restoration Group to get your water-damaged basement back to normal ASAP.