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Dealing With A Flooded Basement

There are a number of causes of basement floods. Along with heavy storms, a pipe bursting in your basement could easily fill it with inches or even feet of water. Generally speaking, it's best left to a professional to handle flooded basement cleanup, but there are a few things that you can do on your own to help the process.

Why Leave Flooded Basement Cleanup To Experts

There are several reasons why you shouldn't attempt to tackle cleaning up your basement after it floods. They include the fact that it can be dangerous to do so, that the water flooding your basement may be hazardous and that you probably don't have the tools or experience required to get rid of the water in your basement.

It is not uncommon for basement water to come in contact with electrical wires, and if you step into standing water in your basement, you could easily be electrocuted. Another potential source of danger associated with removing water from a flooded basement is that black and gray water may be what's filling up the lowest level of your home.

Black water is water that can come from high water tables after a large amount of rain in an area, or it may come from a broken sewage line. This water may contain pollutants and biological agents that can be very hazardous to your health.

Even if a regular water line breaks, your basement may be flooded with gray water. Gray water may not be as potentially harmful as black water, but there are still health risks associated with the chemicals and biological agents that may be found in it. Professionals are able to sanitize and deodorize a basement after a flood, and they are trained to deal with potential bio-hazards.

Another reason it's important to have professionals handle cleaning up a flooded basement is that not only do they have the correct tools for the job, but they know how to use them. A standard water pump isn't up to the job of removing the incredible amounts of water that can flood a basement. Furthermore, if water is removed too quickly, it can actually cause the basement to collapse due to the buildup of pressure in the soil where the water is being pumped.

What You Can Do After Your Basement Floods

While it's best to avoid the actual cleanup process and to leave it to the experts, there are several things you can do after your basement floods. The first is to stop water flowing to your basement if this is possible. If your basement flooded due to a burst pipe, turning off the water may stop the flow. Of course, if flooding is a weather related event, there's nothing you can do but wait.

It's also a good idea to take pictures of your basement. This can be helpful if you intend to file an insurance claim for the cost of repairing your basement or replacing items of value in it. If you have flood insurance, you should contact your insurance company as quickly as possible so that you can find out what is involved in filing a claim and having a professional clean out your basement.

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