There’s water in the basement!! Your actions in the moments after discovering water in your basement are critical to water damage cleanup in Paola, KS. The right decisions will affect the extent of the damages, how quickly the area can be restored, and your ability to be reimbursed by your insurance company. Here’s a step by step look at what you need to do:
Step 1: Stop the Water
If water is flowing into your basement from a source you can control, stop the flow immediately. This may mean shutting off a single water valve or the main water valve; whichever it is, take action fast. If water is rising as a result of weather, you won’t be able to stop the water, but there are things you can do. You’ll learn more about that as we go on.
Step 2: Consider Safety
Standing water in your basement represents hidden dangers such as the following:
- Electrocution. Water and electricity are a dangerous combination. If the flood didn’t trip your circuit breaker, you likely have electrical current flowing through the water. The live current could come from submerged electrical outlets or plugs; once your body steps into the live water, the current will close, and you will be electrocuted.
Solution: Switch off the circuit breakers feeding the basement. When in doubt, turn them all off.
- Natural gas exposure. Water will extinguish pilot lights on gas-burning appliances like water heaters and furnaces. Gas is still flowing, but the pilot is not burning. To make things worse, electrical you may also have a risk of an electrical fire. Gas plus electricity plus water means boom!
Solution: Call your utility company to have the gas turned off.
- Grey or black water. Flood water falls into three categories. Category 1 is clean water, category 2 is greywater, and category 3 is black water. A basement flood is never considered clean water. Even if the original water is from an unpolluted source, by the time it flows through everything in your basement, it’s at best greywater. As such, it carries chemicals, bacteria, and other contaminants.
Solution: Identify the source of the water and use proper PPE to limit your exposure.
- Slips and falls. If you have significant water in your basement, it’s impossible to see all the hazards lurking below the surface. This is especially true once you’ve shut off the power, and it’s dark down there.
Solution: Use flashlights and headlamps to improve visibility. Wear non-slip footwear and tread cautiously.
Step 3: Move Your Stuff
Once it’s safe to enter the basement, it’s essential to move quickly to remove as many of your belongings as you can. If it’s portable, get it out. But don’t dump everything in your bedroom or living room; remember, these wet items are not considered to be clean. They need to be handled carefully and kept away from your other possessions until they can be dried and sanitized.
Step 4: Make a Record and Call Your Insurance Company
Document everything. Take photos of the flooded area during and after water removal. Take pictures of your damaged belongings. Account for all of it and then start the claim process. This is important: don’t delay water removal while waiting for insurance issues to be resolved. The longer the water stays in place, the more extensive the damage.
Step 5: Call Emergency Mitigation Services
Water damage is tricky, which is why you need a professional for water removal in Paola, KS. The water damage experts at EMS are here to help with your flooded basement 24/7. We’ll assess the situation, remove the water, and get everything dried out as quickly as possible. Again, time is of the essence. Don’t wait. Call us right away.