Flooding is a true nightmare for homeowners and landlords alike. Water can permeate almost everything, causing irreversible damage to both belongings as well as the structure and building materials in the home or apartment.
What Causes Flooding In The Basement?
There can be many reasons for flooding. If a pipe bursts (often during winter) it can cause an incredible amount of water damage in a short amount of time. This is why you really have to remember to drain the pipes if you live in a freezing area and are going away for any length of time. Additionally, pipes can also simply break from age or manufacturing defect.
Flooding can also happen from natural disasters such as hurricanes or simply large storms. If your building or home is in a low lying area, flash-flood waters can happen quickly and without much warning.
Additionally, appliance failure can also be a reason for flooding. Improper washing machine hoses can be a point of failure, as well as improperly attached hoses. Always get metal hoses if you can for your washing machines as plastic or PVC hoses are prone to failure.
Can You Clean Up Yourself?
Whether or not you can clean up the mess yourself truly depends on how bad the flooding actually is. If it’s an inch or less and hasn’t hit the walls too badly, then cleaning up yourself might be an option. It truly depends on how physically fit and active you are, as well as the tools and materials you have on hand – some people are just better equipped to handle flood damage.
If you do attempt to try to clean up yourself, even a preliminary grab of items before any professionals get there, you should always ensure that you have shut off the power. Water and live electricity do not mix! Also shut off your gas main. Remember – do not enter a flooded room or area if the power is on.
If you have a pump, try to pump out standing water ASAP so that your room has a chance to start drying out as quickly as possible. The faster you’re able to act, the less damage to walls and furniture.
Should You Hire Water Damage Specialists?
Obviously, letting professionals handle any sort of flooding is the best option for most people. Check and see if your homeowners or renters insurance covers flooding. Hiring professionals will give you the best chance to dry everything out properly and reduce the likelihood that dangerous mold will pop up.
Generally speaking these professionals can come to your location quickly and assess the damage and give you an estimate of how long t would take and how much it would cost to fix the damages.
What About Mold?
Yes, mold is the biggest worry that most people have when it comes to flooding. Since water damage can be so insidious, it’s important that you are able to dry everything out properly. There are definitely ways to minimize the threat of mold post-flooding. If you are at all concerned about the potential health risks, then hiring a professional for a consultation might be a good idea even if you’re able to remove the water yourself.
How To Protect Yourself From Flooding
In order to protect yourself from flooding, follow a few simple precautions.
As mentioned above, always ensure that you have suitable hardware that is properly attached for all appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers.
If you’re leaving your house for an extended period of time, turn the water off and drain your pipes.
Install flood alarms that can alert your smart phone if they detect water. This can save you thousands of dollars if you’re able to act quickly enough to stop a flood before it gets bad.