If you find your basement belongings submerged under a foot of water, don’t panic — You’ve got this! And we can help with a few guidelines to keep you safe as you bail out, clean up and revitalize your dreams.
Before taking action, pause and evaluate these potential dangers:
Electrical Shock. If you have electrical outlets or electrical equipment below the water line, stay out of the basement (and even the house) until the main power can be turned off. If this is the case, shutting off the main power is a job for a professional and shouldn’t be attempted.
Gas Leaks. If you smell gas, leave the house immediately and contact your gas company.
Contamination. If the flood is related to a sewage backup, that water could contain bacteria and raw sewage. Don’t wade in, and call the pros.
Structural Damage. If water rushed into your home, you could have structural damage. If you’re unsure, don’t go in the house until it’s determined to be structurally sound.
Be a Detective
Once you’ve determined it’s safe to enter the flooded space, take these steps to kick-start the repair process:
Take photos (or videos) of the damage and any source of the water to help with filing your claim .
Keep a record of what you did to mitigate the flooding damage.
Call In the Pros
Have you done your detective work? Good. Here’s who to contact once you know the source of the problem:
Burst Pipe. Contact a plumber and turn off the main incoming water valve, if possible.
Electrical Danger. Contact the power company and then an electrician.
Sewage Backup. Contact a plumber and refrain from running any equipment until the plumber can assess the situation.
Structural Damage. Contact a building contractor to check things out and provide braces, as needed.
Water Removal. If you need help removing water because your electricity is out and your sump pump doesn’t have battery backup or isn’t working, you can contact a plumbing and draining company.
Furnace Failure. Contact your HVAC professional to make sure water didn’t damage your furnace and get it restarted as soon as possible.
Insurance Agent. Contact your insurance agent to see if the type of damage you have is covered under your homeowners insurance policy.
As not-so-fun as a basement flood can be, remember that you are not alone and that you can take the steps to salvage, repair and even prevent future flooding.
*Some content credited to American Family Insurance*