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Tuesday, Dec. 11th 2018

Flooded Basement – What To Do First When Pipes Burst

A flooded basement due to effects of severe winter weather is no laughing matter. Water damage caused by frozen pipes that burst can be significant. According to the time-tested Farmer’s Almanac, a bitterly cold winter is predicted for our region of the country. In fact, they describe it as a “teeth-chattering” cold one, with plenty of snow.” It’s going to be the kind of winter that causes busted pipes and flooding in basements.aas restoration water damage flooded basement dec 2018

More than just property damage occurs with a flooded basement. It is also a potential threat to the safety and well-being of you and your family. If the flooding occurs during the night and you only discover it after you wake up in the morning and go downstairs, do not go down there until you are properly protected. Dealing with a flooded basement can be dangerous and extra safety precautions must be taken. 

What to Do First
Take pictures or a video of the flooded basement before you do anything else. Then, if you have homeowners or renters’ insurance coverage for flooding, notify your insurance company. Confirm your coverage limits, deductible amount and claim procedures.

Never Enter a Flooded Basement
Electrocution is a very real danger in a flooded basement so you need to shut off the power at the main breaker box as soon as possible. Electrical appliances or devices located in the basement can become dangerous if they are in close contact with the water. If your circuit breaker is not located in the basement but is in a different location (i.e. the garage or utility room upstairs) then you are less at risk of injury by electrocution. 

Remove the Water
After eliminating the electrical threat, it’s time to assess the damage. To do that you need to get the water out of the basement as quickly as possible. The damp environment is an ideal area for mold growth; the presence of mold will not only compound your property damage costs, it is also a serious health hazard.

Be sure to remove all toxic chemicals such as pesticides from the flooded area to prevent further contamination and the mixing of chemicals. Drying-out needs to happen quickly once you’ve got all the flood water out, so now it’s time to start clearing all the wet and soggy, contaminated items out.

If more than two feet of water is in your basement you may want to call AAS Restoration to help you dry out the basement instead of attempting to remove the water yourself. Obviously, if your basement flooded, your sump pump (if you have one) has failed and you will have to replace it with a new one. A sump pump can very effectively remove the bulk of the dirty water but it won’t remove it ALL. You may need to resort to using mops and old towels to clean up the rest. 

Dealing With Damp Items 
Leave no wet items behind. Literally, everything that got wet, from couches to bookshelves, to the rugs on the floor must be disposed of unless you think they are salvageable. You would then need to place them in an area where they can dry out, like the garage. (By this time you’ve probably begun to realize you’re going to need a very large dumpster to dispose of all the debris and ruined items in.)

Most floor coverings should be removed as well, taking the floor down to the bare concrete. Tear out and dispose of tiling, wood floors and wet carpet. Rarely are carpets and pads underneath salvageable. Tiling and wood floors can warp and buckle and have to be completely replaced.

The same applies to the drywall that got wet, even if it’s just the bottom section, to avoid mold growth. Some wood paneling may be saved if you can clean and dry it properly without it becoming warped. See our previous blog about Mold Remediation

Drying Out
Now that everything is out it’s time to dry it out. (Are you ready to call 
AAS Restoration yet?) You will need to ventilate the area as much as you can by opening doors and windows. If it’s extremely cold weather and your furnace or air conditioner are cleared for use, you can use those to help get things started drying out. Allowing wet items to air-dry as quickly as possible will help prevent rot and mildew. However, it can sometimes take several days to get it dry enough to be usable again.

The flooded basement won’t dry on its own. Fans and dehumidifiers can help. You may need to rent or buy fans or even industrial blowers. A dehumidifier can remove excess moisture which will help the basement to dry faster minimizing the chance for mold to grow. AAS Restoration has all the equipment and materials to restore your basement completely. 

Cleaning Up
Start by washing down concrete and brick or masonry walls and then the floors (anything that has been under the floodwater) with warm soapy water. Sweep the wash water down the floor drain or the sump pump. Next, thoroughly disinfect everything, including cabinets, shelving and anything else that came into contact with the floodwater. Use a solution of 8 tablespoons of liquid chlorine bleach to a gallon of water. Finally, flush and disinfect the floor and sump pump drains using undiluted chlorine bleach.

Quick action after a flooded basement can minimize water damage due to busted pipes. An immediate response is vital in the event of an emergency. AAS Restoration in Kansas City is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with experienced, certified and professionally-trained technicians serving the entire Metro area. Our services for water damage cleanup include extraction and pumping, mildew and bacteria control, state-of-the-art speed drying and diagnostic equipment for testing water saturation.

Through the use of industry-proven drying techniques and tools, our technicians set up and monitor the drying process through every phase. The moisture is thoroughly removed from deep within the walls, floors and contents to avoid potential problems in the future. Environmental remediation is conducted and textiles are cleaned in the Esporta Wash System, which removes 99.997% of the bacteria.

If you’re ready to throw in the towel over the flooded basement, give us a call. AAS Restoration has been restoring flooded basements for more than 25 years and is ready to help you put your world back together.

AAS Restoration  (816) 861-1550 Kansas City. Or contact us via our website.

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AAS Restoration
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