Water is a force of nature that follows the path of least resistance. By finding cracks and holes through basement walls, water can easily find its way into your basement. In Northeast Wisconsin flooding usually occurs in our basements or crawl spaces. Most times the flooding is due to insufficient drainage around foundation walls, heavy rains, a faulty sump pump or a combination of all. This year, we have seen a great deal more precipitation than in previous years. So how do we handle flooding cleanup that will most likely be needed?
1) Let’s talk prevention first:
Check your home for drainage issues. Make sure your rain gutters are in proper working order and are clean to handle the rain and run off from your roof. Next, look at the slope of the ground around your foundation. Is there a good slope/slant that will carry water away from the foundation versus the ground having the runoff go back towards your homes foundation?
Test your sump pump. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again…test your sump pump. Verify that your sump pump is plugged in and check your pump throughout the year to make sure it turns on. Also, be sure to put in a backup system also called a dual sump pump. For a detailed description please see our blog post: https://ccspps.com/sump-pump-failures-are-you-covered/. We also encourage you to make sure you have sump pump failure insurance on your home owner’s policy. These two items combined can save you so many headaches if the worst case scenario of flooding occurs.
If your area is prone to have basement flooding due to heavy rains and saturated ground, prepare your basement belongings. Look for ways to protect anything you keep in your basement that you’d like to save and keep. Look to store items up and off the ground, even if it’s a few inches. Plastic storage crates are also much better than cardboard boxes. If you have furniture in the basement, look to put 2 x 4 boards underneath the legs of furniture to raise the items by two inches off the ground. Unplug any electronics and make sure cords are not dangling on the floor.
2) Next step – be prepared for flooding cleanup:
If you are hit with flooding, time is of the essence to keep the damage to a minimum. Always keep safety at the forefront for you and your family. If there is standing water and it is high enough to hit your electrical outlets, make sure the power is turned off before entering into the space. This is why we encourage you to unplug electronics prior to any known major storms headed into the Northeast Wisconsin area.
- Remove Items that are Easily Removable:
Dry any of the contents exposed to the water as quickly as possible. Most likely no matter how quickly you act, the under padding from carpet will need to be disposed of.
- Remove the Water in the Affected Area:
Depending on how bad and how much flooding will depend upon how you get rid of the water. Using buckets to remove the water, towels to mop up the area, or pumps are all reasonable options depending upon the situation.
- Dry out Your Basement:
It only takes mold 48-72 hours to start growing. Moisture and darkness are key ingredients for mold growth. So, it’s important to dry everything. Using fans and dehumidifiers will help dry the area faster.
- Disinfect Your Basement and Belongings:
Disinfect your basement and the contents. It’s important to keep you and your family safe.
- Prevent Mold Growth:
After the area and contents have been disinfected, let the area dry out again. Because mold spores are everywhere, it’s vitally important to use an antimicrobial product on surfaces and contents that were affected. The antimicrobial product will help prevent future mold growth.
- Dispose of Damaged Property Responsibly:
It’s important to dispose of the damaged property and contents correctly. Recycle products appropriately and do not just throw toxic items into the dumpster.
If the above is simply too much for you to undertake yourself, we have the staff and the know how to handle flooding cleanup. We’ve been in business since 1991 helping Northeast Wisconsin with all their emergency water removal needs. At CCS Property Services we provide water cleanup, dry outs and sanitization. We will work with you on a plan for cleanup and restoration to keep your home a healthy home. We are also able to work with your insurance company to help facilitate the water damage restoration needs. Call us today at 920.435.2288.