Today we’re talking flood damage. Flood damage is something that has many occurrences and can affect both residential and commercial properties all the same. There are generally two main types of flood damage, basement flooding, or severe weather flooding.
Basements are already the place in your home most prone to flooding. They are the lowest point of the house or building since they are partly or completely underground, leaving it susceptible to many flooding precursors. Flooding can occur in your basement by water seeping or flowing through the walls or cracks in the foundation floor, from surface water sources, or even sewer backups.
Though uncommon, there are some reasons flooding can occur during dry weather.
- A sanitary lateral blockage or failure, which is something that can degrade over time, just like other parts of your home; any licensed plumber can help with an assessment of your sanitary lateral.
- Foundation drainage failure which, if you are in a situation where the groundwater level is getting higher than your basement floor, a sump pump can help prevent any flooding.
- Break in the water supply line or hot water tank failure due to old plumbing or plumbing equipment, damaged pipes, or freezing of pipes.
Flooding during wet weather is much more common than the flooding in dry weather. A few reasons why are:
- Surface or overland flooding due to heavy rain or a major snow melt. The water can pool near the house and flow into the basement. Proximity to ditches or improper grading near the home can put you at risk.
- Foundation drainage failure which can include seepage, sump pump failure, and weeping tile failure.
- Sewer backup from either the sewers being too full or full or partial sewer blockage.
Severe Weather Flooding
The National Severe Storms Laboratory says that flooding causes more damage in the United States than any other severe weather-related event, an average of $5 billion a year. Flooding can occur in any of the 50 states or U.S. territories at any time of the year, yikes!
When it comes to rivers rising and causing flooding, the National Weather Service uses three basic flood severity categories to define potential threat and damage.
Minor – Minor flooding is likely to cause very minimal to zero property damage but may inconvenience some folks when it comes to potentially flooded alleyways, neighborhood sidewalks, basements, etc.
Moderate – Moderate flooding will likely cause flooding of structures and roads near natural streams. There may be evacuations of people and/or suggestions to move people and property to higher elevations if necessary.
Major – Major flooding is the greatest possibility of a threat to people and property. It includes extensive inundation of roads and structures, and major evacuations of people and property outside the area and/or to higher elevations.
What should you do after your house or basement floods? There are a few first steps you can do in the initial 24-48 hours to ensure health, safety, and salvaging of items. You must act fast after a flood as it does not take long for mold to grow. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends discarding materials that haven’t been thoroughly cleaned and dried within 48 hours of water damage.
First things first, make sure it is safe to enter the home or basement. Check for warping, cracked foundation, or damage to gas or electrical lines. If the water is deep enough to potentially spark outlets, turn off the electrical if you can before entering the area.
Make sure you take pictures of all flooding to cover potential damages. Give your insurance provider a call as soon as possible post-flood and get an assessment.
In the meantime, get started clearing out items that have been wet or damaged. Depending on how the flood occurred, the water could be contaminated by sewage or chemicals. Make sure to take proper precautions with waders or waterproof boots. Rugs can be wrung out and hung to dry, and carpet can be pulled up and discarded fairly easily. Unfortunately large furniture items like sofas, and wooden cabinetry likely won’t be able to be dried thoroughly, and have to be discarded as well.
As soon as you can, get to work on removing all the water, brooms can be used to push out minor flooding to a door or your floor drain. Sump pumps or wet vacs will quickly and efficiently suck up deeper water. Keep in mind; the water will have to be dumped, so be careful in transporting it as it can be heavy. Lastly, fans and dehumidifiers can help dry out the area quickly as well.
What Service Master Can Do For You
Service Master covers all kinds of services that can help you through the minor to the most intrusive water damage to your home. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Give us a call anytime for help with water damage restoration, mold removal and remediation, and more!
Below is a sampling of the water damage services we provide:
- Water Extraction
- Pack Out and Storage
- Drying and Dehumidification
- Mold Remediation
- Demolition and Debris Removal
- Drywall Repair and Contracting
- Anti-Microbial Applications
- HVAC Duct Cleaning
- Carpet Cleaning and Upholstery Cleaning
- Electronic Equipment Restoration
- Data and Document Recovery
- Furniture Refinishing
- Antique and Fine Art Restoration