Whether it was heavy rain or a broken pipe, flooding in the basement can feel like a disaster. Fortunately, much of the damage can be mitigated if you act quickly. The following are a few things that you need to do within the first few hours of a basement flood.
1. Cut the power
Your home's electric service can become deadly during a flood. Stay out of the flood waters until you know that there is no electricity flowing to the basement. If your circuit breaker isn't in the flooded area, you can shut off power yourself. Otherwise, contact the power company and ask them to shut off power to your home.
2. Call for help
Your second call needs to be to a restoration company that specializes in flood damage. The sooner you can get the professionals on site, the more likely that the majority of your belongings and home can be saved from permanent damage. The restoration company may not be able to begin restoration right away, but they will show up within a couple of hours to begin the drying out process.
3. Determine the cause
Is the cause from exterior flooding, a broken pipe, or a sewage backup? If it is exterior flooding, there is nothing you can do other than ride out the storm. Your restoration service may be able to set up a pump to minimize the amount of water flooding in. For a broken pipe, shut off the water to the basement or house, then contact a plumber for a repair. If you suspect a sewage backup, do not enter the basement and contact a plumber to fix the cause of the backup.
4. Save at-risk items
If it's safe to enter the flood zone, you can begin saving some of your belongings. Wear gloves and protective clothing in case the water is contaminated. Carry wet furniture and items to a dry area, such as a garage.
5. Start the drying process
Air movement is important for quick drying. The restoration company will come and set up large fans to speed the drying process, even if they are unable to begin other restoration techniques immediately. If it is sunny and warm outside, you can set items outside to dry, otherwise begin the drying process indoors. Towels, fans, and open windows for ventilation and air flow can help you begin drying out your items while you wait for the full restoration crew to arrive.
Contact damage restoration companies like SERVPRO of Western Lancaster County with 24-hour fast service so you can begin cleaning up the damage.