Late winter and spring are prime times for basement floods across the U.S., and right here in Blackfoot. We’ve been hit with some heavy snow already this winter, and there is more yet to come. That means, when the spring thaw comes, all that water has to go somewhere – and unfortunately, some will go into local basements. If your basement floods, it is important to act quickly to get the ball rolling on getting the water out and the mess cleaned up. The longer you wait, the greater the damage.
Before you do anything or try to walk into the flooded basement, be sure the power to the house is off.
If the power is still on, it’s likely not safe for you to be in the home, and certainly not in the flooded basement. After all, water is a conductor. This means the power should be off – period. That includes thinking about borrowing power from your neighbor via an extension cord to try to dry out the basement yourself. You could use a power source like that to charge your cell phone or plug in a lamp, but think twice before doing more while standing water is present.
If the power is off, and it’s the middle of winter, please think twice before staying in the home. If you must stay put, do not try to run a generator with power in the house. If this flood is covered by your homeowners insurance, you should be able to stay at a local hotel. Or see if nearby family or a friend would mind having some overnight guests until the house is dried out.
There are different classifications for flood water, the worst of which is category 3 – meaning sewage or other biological contamination. If you aren’t sure where the water is coming from, and don’t know that clean(ish), don’t go in it. A professional restoration company, like Restore Rite, will send in crews with full personal protective equipment to dry out and clean up the basement. That special equipment will keep them safe from any biological contamination lurking in the water. Allowing water like that to come in contact with your skin puts you and others at risk of illness and infection.
If you were out of town when the flood happened, and you think the water may have been sitting for several days, there is a chance mold is already growing in the space. In this case, it doesn’t hurt to grab a mask to wear while inside the home to protect yourself against mold and other allergens that may be in the air.