A flooded basement can be devastating for homeowners. Storm Bella brought heavy downfalls and winds of up to 106MPH in the week of Christmas, and Met Office issued over 100 flood warnings across the UK. Your home and belongings is likely to be damaged in the case of a basement flooding. Luckily there are ways to minimise their impact.
What steps should I take if my basement floods?
The immediate step homeowners should take is to turn off all electricity in the house. Do not approach the flooded basement before doing so. This could pose a high risk to you and your family. If you know your circuit breaker is located in the basement, call an electrician right away, but if not immediately turn all power mains off in your home.
The next step will be to start drying out your basement. The longer your basement is left flooded the higher the fixing cost will be. Depending on the severity of the flood you may need to use an engine powered water pump. This won’t remove all the water in your basement, so make sure you mop your basement floor and use towels to finish drying the surface area.
How can I avoid mould?
It is extremely important to check for mould, as it can have a wide variety of negative impacts to your health. Mould can colonise in a matter of days from the flooding so it’s of high importance to deal with this issue as soon as you come across it.
The presence of mould will reduce the air quality of your home by releasing mould spores.
For those who are vulnerable to it, mould can cause a variety of health issues. Nasal congestion, skin irritations, eye inflammations and shortness of breath are common issues but it can be worst. Mould can be an even bigger issue for people who have had or are suffering from Covid-19, as they may be more at risk of lung infections caused by breathing in mould.
In order to check for mould, homeowners should visually inspect the areas where the flooding is likely to have occurred, as well as any other areas that could produce moisture. Homeowners can also purchase mould testing kits which can be completed at home for relatively low price. These will be useful both just after the flooding, as well as later down the line to track any development of the mould.
Who should you call if your basement floods?
There are three people you should contact right away. First you should contact your electrician to both make sure the basement of your home is safe to enter before you can do anything else. An electrician will also be able to inform you if there are any other electrical issues connected to the flooding.
Secondly you should contact your plumber. Plumbers will be able to give you information on the source of the flooding, and potentially begin to fix the issue(if it’s not caused by the heavy rain). A plumber will also be able to investigate any other issues related to the flood such as drain clogs, broken pipes or foundation issues.
Thirdly you should contact your insurer. The earlier you do so the better, as you will want to begin the claim process as fast as possible. Bellow is some advice on what to do when reporting flooding to your insurer.
What to do when reporting a basement flooding?