What Should I Do If My Basement Floods?
Most homes in the Atlanta, Georgia area have basements and many basements (but not all) have a sump pump.
The purpose of a sump pump is to help to prevent flooding in a lower level floor like a basement. They are an essential piece of equipment if the foundation of the home sits below the water table. Sump pumps pull water away from the house and depending on your property, either disperses it or dumps it into a well or municipal storm drain.
But, there are homes that aren't equipped with a sump pump and there are times when it malfunctions or there is simply too much water coming in for it to work and the end result is a flood in your basement.
If this happens - here are some tips on what you should do.
1. Do Not Go Into The Basement
If you find that your basement is flooded - you may be tempted to walk in there to try to salvage some items or to try to fix the situation. But that can be a very dangerous venture.
Reason being that any electrical outlets or appliances, etc. could be affected by the water. If this happens, the water itself could be electrically charged and it could electrocute you.
The best thing to do is to turn off the power to the house, if you can. Of course - your electrical box may be located in the basement so if that is the case we would strongly recommend that you contact an electrician immediately.
2. Getting Rid Of The Water
Once the danger from the electricity has been eliminated, the next step is to get the water out of your basement. If you have just an inch or two, you may be able to mop it up and out of the area.
If you do have a sump pump, you will need to have it fixed or replaced if it failed to do it's job.
If you have 2 feet or more of water in your basement - the best solution is to contact a Restoration company to come in with their equipment to remove all that water.
Note: The longer the water sits in your basement, the more damage will occur to your floor, walls, etc. So, the sooner you can get that out of there, the better.
3. Drying The Basement And It's Contents
All furniture and items in the basement that got wet need to be removed and placed away from the basement. The yard, the garage, anywhere else but the basement. The idea is that they need to dry out.
Some items will be able to be saved but others may be destroyed and will need to be taken away.
Normally, floors are damaged beyond repair and sometimes the drywall as well.
To dry the floors and walls you will need to use fans or industrial blowers - these can be rented but if you use a Restoration company, they will be doing all of that for you.
Of course - you will be contacting your insurance company for their assessment of the situation.
4. Stop Any Mold Growth
An issue of concern for anyone who has a flooded basement is mold. No one wants to live in a home that has mold.
It can take 24-48 hours or less for mold to begin growing. The time factor depends on the weather conditions and where the water damage occurred in the home.
Mold can grow on carpeting within 24 - 48 hours (just like everywhere else) but it's a bit more difficult to clean it up from the carpeting simply because you have to treat not only the carpet but the padding underneat it as well.
You may have to remove drywall to get rid of the mold, replace the flooring, chuck some of the furniture that got wet, etc.
Even after things have been cleaned up we do recommend that you check the basement area daily for a few weeks to see if you detect any mold growing there.
If you have any questions about flooded basements or are having some problems with floording, call Atlantis Plumbing today at 770-443-8229. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.