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What to Do When There’s Water in Your BasementDecember 20th, 2016 by
Water damage is a nightmare for any homeowner. A flooded or perpetually wet basement can compromise your foundation, support toxic mold growth, and ruin your property’s value. Especially when left unfixed, the problem can be costly to take care of. Read on for information on how to deal with a perennially wet or recently flooded basement before it’s too late.
Get the Water Out
- Not all water damage requires a shop vacuum or an insurance claim to fix. If your basement has some low-level condensation, opening the windows and allowing the space to dry naturally should help eliminate the risk of long-term damage. However, you should still consult an expert to make sure there aren’t any underlying structural or mold issues hiding in your basement.
- Many basement water issues are caused by water runoff. When water flowing through the gutters isn’t properly routed away from the foundation, you’ll start to have moisture issues in your basement or crawl space. Simple fixes include fixing cracks in the foundation, resealing walls, and installing floor drains and sump pumps in badly affected areas.
- When the water issue is more than minor, safety is your first priority. If any major wiring or electrical outlets fall below the water line, make sure to cut power to those fuses before entering the basement. In cases where the water is over a foot deep, you’re better off calling in an expert to address the situation. For lesser incidents, try using a shop vacuum or sump pump to empty the space of any water buildup.
Call All of the Experts
- Even an inch of water in a 1,000-square-foot home can cause $10,000 in damages. Once the water has receded, make sure to have an expert assess your damage. You should consult electrical and foundation contractors to identify any potential long-term damage to your basement.
- If any of your appliances were within the affected area, they probably won’t be salvageable. Consult with appliance repair professionals and your insurance company to determine whether any of your major appliances can be saved and whether repairs or replacements are covered under your policy.
- Finally, learn from these disasters and near misses. There are many fixes that can help prevent another water issue in your home. If runoff is your problem, try rerouting gutters, waterproofing your flooring and walls, resealing your foundation, or installing foundation drains.
- Other remedies include installing battery-powered sump pumps or building a levee between your home and the water source.
- If you live in a floodplain, invest in a water alarm, which will alert you if and when water enters your home and can give you a jump start on preventing costly damage.