Has your basement ever flooded? I’m taking a break from posting on my blog today, Manning the Wall to share with you what happened when our basement flooded a few years ago. The last place you want to be in the event of a flood in your home is away from it. But that was exactly where I was in July of 2013; away from home, in Afghanistan when our basement flooded.
This week’s Tip is dealing with water damage in your house.
I had gotten to the office early that morning, checked my e-mail, and there was a message from my wife detailing the torrential weather for the last two days, a sump-pump that could not keep up, and 3 inches of water in the basement.And from my desk inside Camp Blackhorse, I could do nothing.
Of course, this wasn’t our first flood. We had one a year after we moved in the house but the basement wasn’t finished then, so the cleanup wasn’t so bad. Since that first flood, we’ve turned our basement into a nice “playroom” for the kids, complete with carpeting that was now soaked.
The road back would take months. First there was an intensive clean-up – some friends showed up to help. A couple of wet/dry vacuums, in tandem with the overworked sump-pump managed to extract most of the water. It took a while, but after a few hours, the crew made significant headway getting to the “like it never happened” state.
We (and by “we” I naturally mean “she”) found a good painter to restore the sheet-rock. I would put in the new floor when I returned the following year, choosing inter-locking rubber floor tiles over getting new carpeting.
How to deal with water damage in your house:
Make sure you turn off the source of power to the house. If you don’t know how to do this, call an electrician or call your electric utility company and have them turn off the power to your house. This is important! Do not attempt to turn off the power to the house while standing in the water.
2. Find out how the water is entering the house.
3. Move what you can to higher ground.
Try to move as much as you can to higher ground so your loss is minimal.
4. Remove as much water as possible quickly.
Thankfully for us, our sump pump had already kicked in and was doing a great job of removing the water. But if you don’t have a sump pump, look for alternative routes for water removal. You might have to clear a blocked drain, use a shop-vac, etc. In some areas you can call the fire department to pump your basement out.
5. Drying out.
Recovering from Water Damage
With each passing hour, the air-movers and the de-humidifiers worked to take the moisture out of the air and walls. Gradually, the mold growth slowed, and then dropped below replacement level. It wasn’t long before the basement reached a bone-dry state. One more wipe-down with a bleach-damp towel, and we were able to turn off the machines.
Just as no single drop of rain thinks it’s responsible for the flood, the journey back from a home disaster requires patience and small steps moving relentlessly forward. You can read more about my adventures in life and the Army on my blog, Manning the Wall. Would love you to visit me.