What to Do if Your Basement Has Flooded

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Basement Waterproofing Servicemaster

Many people are under the false assumption that basement flooding is a normal, almost inevitable part of owning a home and that it’s something they’ll just have to “deal with” if it happens to them. As a result of this assumption, homeowners often ignore signs of basement leaking/flooding in hopes that the issue will resolve itself in a matter of days or weeks.

 

This may not sound like a bad call (after all, it’s just a small leak, right?), but this nonchalant mindset can have serious consequences. First, ignoring water damage can lead to much larger, costlier repairs down the road. Second, water damage can also pose a serious health risk to you and your loved ones, as moist places like a flooded basement are the perfect breeding grounds for mold, mildew, and bacteria – all of which can be dangerous to your family’s health.

If your basement experiences even the smallest of floods, it’s crucial you have the problem addressed right away. In order to do so effectively, you should be familiar with the common causes of basement flooding as well as the steps you can take to keep you and your family safe while ensuring the issue doesn’t continue to worsen.

Common Causes of Basement Flooding

  • Heavy rains
  • Home plumbing failures
  • Groundwater flooding
  • Insufficient flooring and wall sealing
  • Obstructed gutter system
  • Overfilled eaves troughs
  • Inefficient or improperly installed drainage system
  • Unfavorable construction site (e.g. built on a bad slope)
  • Water seeping from the ground into the basement

Stay Safe and Minimize Damage by Following These Steps

  1. Call the experts at ServiceMaster to request emergency water extraction and/or mold remediation service. We’re available 24/7 and will be out to your property as quickly as possible.
  2. Double check that all power around your basement (including gas and electricity) is turned off. Do not under any circumstances enter the basement until you’ve double-checked that the power is off, as failing to do so could result in electrocution. Continue to refrain from touching electrical appliances in the basement even after you’ve shut off the electricity.
    1. If you’re unsure whether or not the power has been turned off, contact a local electrician before you enter the flooded area.
  3. Wear boots, gloves and long-sleeved clothing to protect yourself from potentially harmful contaminants in the water, and walk carefully at all times to avoid slipping.
  4. If you’re able to pinpoint the source of water (e.g. a burst pipe), shut off the water to the basement right away.
  5. Direct children and pets to a safe area outside the home. Do not allow them to go near the flooded basement.
  6. Move personal belongings and damaged items out of the basement to a safe, dry and well-ventilated area to prevent further damage.
  7. If your flood is fairly minor in scope you can try to start removing some of the water by using a sump pump, wet/dry vacuum, pool pump or a good old-fashioned mop and bucket. This will take quite a bit of time and you likely won’t be able to remove all the moisture yourself, meaning it’s still a welcoming environment for mold, mildew, and bacteria.

Therefore, we recommend you wait for our experts to arrive so they can put their state-of-the-art water extraction equipment to work for you. It’s faster, far more thorough and we’ll utilize our extensive mold remediation experience to ensure any and all traces of mold and mildew are completely eliminated.

ServiceMaster Is Here to Help 24/7

If you’ve noticed a leak or flood in your basement, call ServiceMaster to request emergency water damage restoration service right away. No disaster – be it water, fire, smoke, mold or anything else – is too big or too small for our experienced, certified restoration team to handle. To learn more about our comprehensive disaster restoration services or to speak with one of our friendly experts about a potential water problem in your basement or any other room of your home, contact us online today.


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ServiceMaster is a national company that has been a leader in the cleaning industry for more than 50 years. The local franchise in Minneapolis were founded in 1993 by people in the community who wanted to provide the best possible cleaning services to their neighbors.

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