As winter approaches, it’s important to remember that it doesn’t take a superstorm to flood a basement and cause damage here in Staten Island. So lets go over a few tips and guidelines on how to avoid basement flooding, and what to do if it happens. Water doesn’t have to be knee-deep. Any standing water or large soaked area requires an immediate and correct response to keep building damage to a minimum. Besides the serious health hazards of mold, drywall disintegrates and wood swells, warps, and splits. Surprisingly quickly, and even when things seem dry on the surface.
Types of Basement Floods
In Staten Island winter and spring storms are a major cause of flooding, but a basement can also fill with water due to an appliance, plumbing, or sewage problem. The source of the water has a big impact on the precautions and sanitation requirements. Anything other than straight-from-plumbing needs extra care, and cleanup from a sewer backup should only be handled by professionals.
First off, don’t forget autumn “rituals.” Clean out your gutters and down spouts, and make sure that your sump pump is in good condition and working properly. If you don’t have one already, consider buying a back-up battery or generator. If you already have one of those, be sure they’re also working properly. Even rechargeable batteries don’t last forever.
Then take a look at other possible sources. Don’t neglect old water heaters and any exposed plumbing. Make sure that the seals on any close to the ground windows are in good condition. Does your landscaping slope away from the building? It’s a good idea to get a professional assessment, and then inspections every few years.
Basement Flood Damage Repair
If flooding does occur, there are a few things you can immediately do yourself.
- Disconnect electric power to the area to prevent an electrocution hazard.
- Remove furniture and possessions as soon as possible. Don’t throw out anything that’s been damaged without documenting it first (photos are a great idea). If possible, store them until they can be inspected by your insurance adjuster.
- Notify your insurance company.
- If flooding is minor, remove all standing water and use towels or other materials to absorb as much water as possible.
- Pull up any carpeting and padding. There’s a chance that carpet can be saved, but most likely it will have to be replaced. Removing it speeds the basement dry-out process.
- Ventilate and thoroughly dry out the area.
Water quickly penetrates deeply into porous building materials and simply airing-out the basement can take many days to get rid of excess moisture, even weeks in damp weather. Mold and other water damage can get going in a single day, and heating up an area actually makes microbes grow faster. If there’s the slightest doubt that you can get everything thoroughly dry within a day or two, it’s time to call in a professional company like Joe Kielbasa’s Flood Service.
Professional water damage repair starts with extra-powerful pumps to remove deep water quickly, followed by any special sanitation. Specialized extraction equipment then removes as much wetness as possible, often 2 times as much as shop wet-vacs or standard carpet cleaners. Then comes even more technically advanced structural drying gear that includes high-capacity refrigerant dehumidifiers and high-volume air movers. Along with other treatments these cut several days off the dry-out time. Clean up, sanitization, and odor treatment finish up the job.
Time and correct action are the critical factors in basement flood damage remediation. Located in the center of Staten Island an expert from Joe Kielbasa’s Flood Service can reach you within an hour, 24 hours a day. We’ve been in business since 1986 and are fully insured and licensed. We’ll work directly with your insurance company to keep your up-front and out-of-pocket expenses to a minimum.