08 Jul 2015

What To Do When There’s a Basement Flood

Have you experienced a basement flood? The following are some things you ought to know before you go down to clean it.

Safety considerations

If your basement is flooded, consider it a hazardous zone. There are several safety considerations to take including the following:

  • A wet basement poses a risk of electrical shock. It is therefore important first to turn off the power in your home at the main breaker. This will ensure that there is no power flowing to the basement outlets.
  • Ensure that there are no gas leaks. If you can smell gas, leave the house and call your utilities company. Your basement is a real risk of explosions where gas has leaked out.
  • Check for sewage leakage. If a sewage pipe has burst and waste has contaminated the water, be sure to wear protective clothing such as gloves, facemasks and safety glasses. Raw sewage contains bacteria that can cause serious illnesses.
  • Your basement is also a structural concern. Flooding can weaken the walls or ceiling of your basement. If you notice any signs of structural damage, be sure to call in an expert to handle the cleaning and restore your basement.
  • Do you store chemical in your basement? Chemicals such as cleaning agents, fertilizers and other household products can pose a serious health risk when exposed in a small room. Ensure that the room has adequate ventilation and limit your exposure to the chemicals.

Call in experts

It is important to call in a plumber as soon as possible. This is especially if the flooding is due to a burst pipe or sewage back up. You may also want to consider calling in cleaning experts if you suspect that the water in the basement is contaminated. They will have the right equipment to deal with the cleaning safely. If the flooding is caused by sewage back-up, contact your local authorities to let them know. They may need to carry out some work on their infrastructure.

Contact your insurance company

You ought to notify your insurance company of the flooding. Take photos of the basement and any damage to your home that may need replacing. Your insurance providers may assist you in replacing some property depending on the nature of your insurance cover.

Insurance providers can also recommend contractors to contact to help you with the clean-up. They will also advise you on the claims procedure.