One of the most devastating in home accidents is the dreaded flooded basement. If you have a flooded basement, you must spring into action quickly, but safely. Here is a short checklist of things to do if you have a flooded basement.
1- Shut off the Water – If possible, shut off the source of the water and stop the flood. This may involve turning off the plumbing in your home, so make sure you know how to do this before disaster strikes. If it is a sewage backup, do not attempt to use the toilet or any other appliances that use water, like the laundry machine or dishwasher.
2- Examine the Damage from a Distance – Don’t walk through the water. First, there is a legitimate threat of electric shock. If you’re 100% sure you can do so safely, turn off the power to the house. Do not enter the water without protective gear, especially if the flood came from a sewer pipe, as it may contain bacteria that can make you very sick. Finally, check for gas leaks and structural damage. If you cannot determine all these things for certain, do not enter the flooded area.
3- Call a Plumber immediately!
4- Call Your Insurance Company – After calling a plumber, the next call you should make should be to your insurance company. The longer you wait to call them, the more chance you have of not getting the coverage you expect. Remember to take plenty of photos of the damage and keep all your receipts for any emergency repairs or purchases.
5- Prepare for the Future – There are several preventative measures you can take to curb damage during basement flooding, such as keeping valuables in water tight containers, installing a sump pump, or making upgrades to the foundation’s drainage system. Not only will this help prevent future flooding, but it also will make the insurance company more likely to satisfy your claim.
These are important steps to take if you have a flooded basement in order to minimize the damage to your home. Only after taking these steps can you begin to take the steps to cleaning and restoring your basement.