Water Damaged Basements

By | January 8, 2013

How to Fix and Repair Water Damage in the Basement

Water damaged basements can be especially difficult to deal with. A basement flood damage can result from many possible reasons. The most common reason is a leak in your water supply, which is usually installed in the basement.

You may also have a leaky sewer drain, which causes a bigger problem since the water will most probably be dirty sewage water. If you do your laundry in the basement, your washing machine may malfunction and also cause flooding.

Some basements are also prone to moisture seeping in through the concrete from outside; this problem is very common in areas that are known to have naturally occurring water in the ground.

Also, if you live in an area near the coast or a river, if these bodies of water overflow, they can cause basement flooding, and the first to be affected with definitely be your basement.

Well, in case of water damaged basements, here’s a step by step guide to help you deal with the problem properly.

How to Deal With a Water Damaged Basement?

Step 1: Turn off electrical source. The first thing to do upon finding your water damaged basement is to turn off the electrical supply to the basement to ensure your safety. If you have gas-based appliances, you also need to turn off the gas. You may be tempted to go right in and salvage your appliances and other possessions, but always put safety first.

Step 2: Find the source of flooding. After turning off the power, it is still not the right time to go and get your belongings. You need to first find the root cause of the flooding or, in other words, where the water is coming from.

This way, you can immediately stop it. If not, the water will just keep on rising and may make the situation unmanageable and more dangerous.

Step 3: Move all items from the basement. Only after turning off the source of the water can you start evacuating items from the basement. Now is the time to do some impromptu spring cleaning. Take the items somewhere dry and sort them out; separate items that you want to keep, items that need to be repaired, items that just need to be dried, and items that you can throw away.

Step 4: Move on to basement water extractionYou may find yourself fussing over your soaked possessions, but don’t forget that your home is more important. Go back to your basement and start extracting the water before the damage to the basement gets worse.

The longer the water is left there, the greater the damage there will be. The water may start seeping through the walls up to the ceiling and may seriously compromise the integrity of your building. Also, the longer you let the water stagnate inside your basement, the higher the chances of mold and mildew growth.

The problem is, how do you extract the water? The technique will depend on the extent of flooding and the size and construction of your basement. If your basement is small and is only constructed using unfinished cement, a wet vacuum can easily extract the water from it.

For larger basements and deeper flooding, however, other equipments may be necessary. Since basements are confined areas, there is no way to just guide water out the door. This is the tricky part that usually sends homeowners to the professionals.

Step 5: Do a basement flood cleanupThis is usually necessary when the flood water is dirty or the basement is dirty. Dirt and water in a confined area is a very bad combination. Usually, you will be left with a lot of mud. This means you have to do a cleanup after you get rid of the water.

Step 6: Dry the area completely. If you do manage to remove the water completely from your basement, you then need to dry the area after you’ve cleaned up all the dirt and mud. This is a crucial step in the water damage repair process.

Sometimes, you think you’ve already dried the area well, not knowing that moisture has seeped through the walls and flooring through cracks and crevices. Bring in some fans to assist in the drying. It would be best, however, if you can use professional water and moisture removal equipment such as a dehumidifier.

Should You Do It Yourself? 

You may be wondering about whether you can do your water damaged basement repair by yourself. Doing so will definitely have you save money, and all you need is a step by step guide that can help you through the process.

However, some instances of water damaged basements require the attention and expertise of professionals. Some problems may be relatively easier to handle, but if, for example, the problem was caused by a faulty sewer drain line, ground water flooding from a river or lake overflow, or a sump pump failure, the water may contain some hazardous chemicals and microorganisms that can compromise your health and safety. In such cases, it would be wiser to call a water damage repair service to do the job.

One of the most important reasons to call a professional water damage service is because these companies already have the necessary restoration equipment to do the work properly and most effectively.

The greatest danger in water damaged basements is that any trace of moisture that gets left behind will not evaporate on its own due to the lack of ventilation, and the presence of water can easily lead to mold growth.

A professional basement repair service can use special equipments, such as a moisture meter to check the humidity level in the basement, as well as equipments that can remove water and moisture completely, such as air blowers or air movers. These are equipments that don’t usually make it to the list of must-have household appliances, and yet they are extremely essential in any water damage restoration process.

Waterproofing Your Basement for Some Peace of Mind 

Basement flooding can have a significant effect on the overall structural safety of your home. Aside from that, it can also have an adverse effect on the quality of air that circulates around your house.

Thus, when you do a water damage basement repair, you should also consider adding a basement waterproofing system. You can do a DIY basement waterproofing or you can also look for a basement waterproofing contractor to set up your new and protected basement. This way, you no longer have to worry about your basement getting water damaged again.