Snapshot: Document everything that was removed from the basement in a detailed list. Remove carpet or other damaged flooring. Assess if further remediation is needed from a restoration company and contact your insurance agent.
April showers may bring May flowers, but they could also bring some serious headaches. Common in old homes and homes built at low points relative to storm drains can suffer from basement flooding and water back up when a storm is heavy enough. This can mean water flooding the basement from drains or even sewage from the toilet. In the former case, the water may not have human waste but still be dirty enough to ruin your carpet, drywall, wood stairs, and household items that can absorb liquid.
We have dealt with this personally and would gladly impart our wisdom onto you.
Keep electronics, shoes, towels, stuffed animals, and other items that can absorb water on higher shelves or in sealed, plastic totes. Totes without lids can be effective but if the water rises high enough then it can (and in our case did) flip the bins.
In frequent flooding cases, a storm well or safety drain can be dug into a basement that will mitigate the risk of water flooding your home. Many local companies can provide this service- or shoot us an email for a reference.
One more time for good measure. Document EVERYTHING. Create a detailed list of all the items that were ruined due to the flooding. This includes but is not limited to shoes, DVD/CDs, electronics, carpet, carpet pad, drywall, hardwood, toys and stuffed animals, and clothing. If you have receipts or costs of the items, include those with each item as well as this will only help in the end.
When our basement flooded, we positioned one of our kids at the top of the stairs with a clipboard and pad of paper to write down everything that was brought out. It can feel tedious but will pay-off in the long run.
In the case of serious damage, harmful sewage, or both, you may need to bring in professionals to properly dry, disinfect, and remediate the damage. Mold is not something you want to mess with as it can have long lasting health effects so make sure your basement is completely dried out before moving items back into it. This unfortunately does not come cheap, but we have local companies that we can recommend who will take care of you at a fair price. Give your agent or our office a call for referrals.
Lastly, your Homeowners Policy could help lighten the financial burden and headache caused by the flooding. You may call your agent or insurance company directly to file a claim. In the case of the flooding outside of business hours, you can find ‘After Hours’ or ‘Emergency’ numbers listed on your insurance carriers’ websites. View a list by clicking here. However, when in doubt just give you agent a call and they will help you out. It’s what we are here for!
We know how stressful, frustrating, and costly a basement flooding can be. If you are in a flood-prone area, make sure you prepare ahead of time as this can mitigate most of your issues. In the unfortunate case of a flooding, remain calm and make sure your family and pets are safe first. After the storm passes, assess the damages and document everything that was ruined. Evaluate if you need professional cleaners and give your agent a call to file a claim.
If you ever have questions about what your Homeowners Policy covers, give us a call or an email. We would be happy to walk you through it.