Kansans are all too familiar with water in the basement. It’s a common-enough occurrence that homeowners really need to know what to do when it happens to mitigate the damages. Emergency Mitigation Services (EMS) is here to provide 24-hour flood services in Paola, but until our crews arrive, here’s what you should know about flooding in your basement:
When it comes to water, time is everything; the longer water is allowed to sit, the more damage it does. If your basement flooding is caused by rain or stormwater, you have to wait to take action until it stops. But, for every other situation, get moving quickly.
Think About Gas and Electricity
Before you put your boots on and head down to your flooded basement, you need to turn off the power. If you have standing water in the basement, it’s highly likely that electrical cords and outlets have been compromised. Don’t risk electrocution; turn off the power. If you’re uncertain about this at all, call a professional first.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a must. Start with gloves and boots and add waders if necessary. If the floodwaters are gray – sewage or environmental water—you’ll also need eye protection and possibly a mask. If the floodwaters are clear, you still need to be careful. And don’t move too fast; a wet basement is a slippery basement and you also might not be able to see the hazards.
Stop the Flow
You can’t stop the rain, but you can turn off the water to broken pipes. Turn off the water and stop the flow as fast as you can.
Eliminate the Water
Again, the longer the water sticks around, the more damage it can do. Immediately after water stops flowing into the space, take action to remove it as fast as you can. The volume of water will dictate your method; sometimes a mop and bucket will suffice, but often you’ll need to pull out the heavy duty wet/dry vac or sump pump to do the job. After the lion’s share of water is gone, use towels and sponges to sop up the rest. The more water you remove, the better.
This is important: even though you’ve removed the standing water, a lot of water still remains. It’s soaked into the drywall, furniture, floors, and carpets. You might not be able to see it, but it’s there. To prevent further structural damage and the growth of mold, things need to dry out fast. This is also important: your basement is not going to air dry. There’s too much moisture down there. Get as much wet stuff out of the area as you can and take it outside (weather permitting) to dry. Open all windows and doors and get fans and dehumidifiers running to circulate the air and get the water out.
While speed is essential, so is patience. You need to give your basement plenty of time to dry. Use moisture monitors to measure your progress and don’t put anything back until you’re certain the items and the space are 100% dry.
Take photos of the damaged area and items and keep all your receipts. Thorough records will be critical when you work with your insurance company to negotiate a claim.
Even the most experienced homeowner can be thrown into panic at the sight of water in the basement. Stay calm, get busy, and call EMS for water damage removal in Paola. Our teams are on call 24/7 to help with any water emergency. We’re committed to helping you cleanup after a basement. Don’t wait; call us right away.