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What do you do when your basement is flooding?

When your basement is flooding, you should:

  1. Call your electrician immediately
  2. If your flooded basement has an electrical hazard that could affect your family, you should call an electrician. This is important especially if you cannot access your circuit breaker. If your circuit breaker is not in the basement, you should shut off your power and gas immediately. An electrician will assist you on assessing your flooded basement’s condition and being the water removal process.

  3. Move important items to a dry area
  4. Following the water removal process, you can attend to your important belongings and move them to a different area.
    If any of your items are contaminated and toxic you should throw them out to avoid any potential health hazards.

  5. Call your plumber
  6. As soon as your area is safe to enter and you have removed all of your personal belongings in the basement, you should call a plumber. The plumber will be able to identify and fix the flooding issue.

  7. Call your insurance company
  8. Flood coverage is typically an add-on to your regular policy (most insurance companies cover flood damage caused by appliance failure or a burst pipe) and by having it will cover your basement when it does flood.

  9. Clean up
  10. When you begin cleaning up you should avoid using electronic devices that could come in contact with the water. If your plumbing company has the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) they will be able to perform effective water damage and restoration services.
  • Optional step:
  • This is to prevent the spreading of mold, you should try to remove all of the flooded drywall within 24 hours of the flood.

What should you avoid doing if your basement floods?

  • Do NOT enter rooms with sagging ceilings
  • Do NOT touch or use plugged in electrical items
  • Do NOT store electrical fans or other appliances near water
  • Do NOT use heat to dry your flooded interiors
  • Do NOT allow children or pets to play in any flooded area

What can cause basement flooding?

These are some of the things that can cause basement flooding:

  • Oversaturation of groundwater 
  • Broken sump pumps
  • Storm drain backup 
  • Older/Burst pipes 
  • Leaking appliances 
  • Leaking fixtures 
  • Overflowing creeks
  • Climate change, extreme water events
  • Seasonal flooding

What can I do to prevent flooding in the future?

To prevent flooding in the future, you can:

  • Consult a plumber for repairs and waterproofing.
  • Inspect your sewer lines for tree roots and blockages.
  • Snake your piping annually.
  • Check basement walls for any cracks or other damages.
  • Seal basement window wells, vents, and exterior openings.
  • Keep water away from your foundation by grading the landscape away from your home.
  • Extend downspouts five (5) feet from your home’s foundation.

Maintaining your basement to prevent flooding:

  • Be proactive: contact your insurance company ahead of time to avoid any problems that may occur due to flooding
  • Install a waterproofing system: this is an effective method to keep your basement dry
  • Routinely inspect pipe and drain services
  • Install a sump pump or backwater valve