The average basement flood causes about $4,000 in property damage here in Long Island – and that number could rise substantially without knowing how to deal with a flood before, during, and after it happens.
The good news is that with quick thinking and action and a proactive approach, you can greatly reduce the likelihood of a flood and mitigate its impact.
Common Causes of Basement Floods
Most basement floods result from leaks caused by pressure in the soil surrounding the foundation of your home. This happens because:
- Persistent rain saturates the soil, creating pressure that forces moisture through your basement walls and floor.
- Clogged, overflowing gutters and downspouts pool water at the foundation, where It expands loose soil to cause leaks and foundation damage.
- Seals around windows and basement doors fail, allowing water to enter the basement.
While heavy rains can bring challenges that push the limits of any home structure, there are things you can do to give your home its best chance to survive them. More on that below.
Responding to Home Flooding
It is imperative that you respond quickly and correctly if you experience a flood in your basement. Here are six things to do immediately in the event of a flood in your North Fork home.
- Contact your local water department – Local municipalities will be able to inform you on the mainline sewer condition of your home.
- Protect yourself for clean-up – Always wear eye protection, gloves, and boots. Take care not to track water throughout your home, which can spread dangerous sewage contamination. Cover all exposed areas of skin and keep children and pets clear of flooding areas.
- Mop and dry everything – Thoroughly clean and dry all surfaces and areas of your basement to slow the damage and prevent mold problems. Add a half-cup of liquid chlorine bleach to one gallon of water to disinfect all surfaces that have come in contact with floodwater.
- Discard questionable items – Err on the side of removing anything that could be contaminated or toxic. Photograph damaged items for insurance claims purposes.
- Have any damaged home comfort equipment inspected – Water can damage important safety features of your furnace, boiler, or water heater. Always have it inspected by a professional before you use it if it has been inundated by a flood!
- Remove damaged drywall – Halt mold growth in its tracks by removing wet drywall within 24 hours of the flood.
- Contact a licensed plumber – A licensed, experience plumbing professional will help advise you on flood damage while helping you prevent future problems with your basement.
Preventing Basement Floods
- Consult a plumbing professional to identify and fix problem areas (cracks, weak spots, broken seals, etc.) before a flood occurs.
- Have your home professionally Inspected for root intrusion and blockages in your main lines.
- Snake plumbing pipes annually.
- Grade the landscape away from your home to prevent pooling at your foundation.
- Keep downspouts at least five feet from your home’s foundation.
- Keep baby wipes, facial tissues, paper towels, and sanitary products out of your plumbing. Do not flush them!
- Review your homeowners policy in advance of severe weather; know what’s covered and what’s not.
Avoid these hazards:
- Never enter rooms with sagging ceilings
- Never touch or use plugged in electrical items in a flooded basement; keep electrical appliances away from flood-propane areas of your basement.
- Never allow children or pets near a flooded area.
Take steps now to prevent floods in your Eastern LI home later. Contact Burt’s Reliable today to learn more about professional plumbing services in Long Island’s East End and North Fork!