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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Cleaning Up Flooded Basements in West Hartford

4/1/2021 (Permalink)

A flooded basement with washer and dryer If you have water damage from a flooded basement, call SERVPRO of West Hartford—we'll be there ASAP with the people, tools and tech to clean up fast!

Spring is here, and with it come rain showers—too many of which lead to basement floods! Homeowners in West Hartford and central Connecticut know this all too well. When water flows into your basement, it can quickly cause a lot of property and structural damage—and even leave behind a lingering, hard-to-remove mold infestation.

So, homeowners of West Hartford, take basement flooding seriously! Read on for ways to prevent flooding, and how to avoid or minimize the basement water damage it creates.

Prevent Basement Flooding in Your West Hartford Home with Better Grading and Drainage

The biggest thing you can do to prevent basement flooding is to stop water from getting into your basement in the first place. Start by routing water away from your home’s foundation.

Your property should be graded, or sloped, so that it slants away from your home on all four sides. The slope doesn’t have to be extreme, but it should be enough of an angle to carry water away from your foundation rather than allowing it to pool there. After a rainstorm, visually check your yard. Do you spot areas where water pools or ponds? If these areas are next to your foundation, you need to have your yard graded. Do it yourself, or hire a pro to do the job right.

The next line of defense against a flooded basement is your drainage system, consisting of your home’s gutters and downspouts. If you have water spilling out of your gutters, hire a professional to check and adjust their slope so that the water flows to the downspout. Also, make sure your gutters are free of leaves and other debris, which can clog them up and allow water to spill over. But be careful: ladder falls are one of the most common home maintenance accidents, so consider hiring a gutter cleaning company to do the job.

Now, look at your downspouts. Their job is to direct rainwater away from your foundation, ideally aided by a properly graded yard. Always have concrete or plastic splash blocks positioned beneath the end of your downspouts to catch the flow of water and direct it out to the yard. By adding flexible or rigid downspout extenders you can send the water even further away from your foundation.

Basement windows that are partially below grade can be protected with window well covers, keeping water from seeping in around the frame.

Dealing with a Flood in Your West Hartford Basement

In spite of your best efforts, water got into your basement. Maybe it’s just a few inches, in which case quick action can minimize the damage. Or maybe it’s a foot or more of water, in which case your possessions, appliances, furniture, flooring and perhaps even structure may be severely water damaged.

Before you go to your basement and start dealing with the flooding situation, you need to take a few steps to keep safe. A flooded basement can be dangerous!

Take These Safety Measures First

First, turn off the electricity and gas to your basement, or call an electrician or SERVPRO of WEST Hartford to do that.

Be very careful when walking in a flooded basement. Wear sturdy rubber boots to protect your feet from injury and to help keep you from slipping and falling. Likewise, protect your hands by wearing thick rubber gloves.

As you’re lifting objects, be aware that even relatively light items can be very heavy if they’re water-logged. Protect your back by taking your time and not lifting too much at once.

Another safety risk lies above your head. If the basement ceiling is sagging, it could collapse, so don’t even go down there. If you see that the ceiling is wet but not sagging, you can enter the basement, but don’t turn on ceiling lights or fans.

Stop a Basement Flood Before the Damage is Too Great

When you do go downstairs to deal with a flooded basement, your priority is to try to stop the flooding and then get the water out of your basement before the damage to possessions and structure becomes overwhelming.

A helpful way to know quickly if your basement is beginning to flood is to place one or more water sensors on your basement floor to detect water entering your basement. These devices can either sound an alarm and/or send a notification to an app on your cell phone.

If you have a sump pump in your basement, you have a good shot at minimizing basement water damage. Any water that reaches the sump, or pit, in which the pump sits will be pumped out of your basement. The trick is to keep your pump in good working condition and ready to run when you most need it, so have your sump pump checked and maintained on a regular basis. And, if you have your pump hooked up to a charged-up battery, you’ll know it will work even if the power to your home goes out. With a well-functioning sump pump, you’ll be left with a damp basement—which will still need drying and cleanup—instead of a totally immersed basement, which will be a difficult and costly cleanup job.

Step One: Get the Water Out of Your Flooded Basement

Once you can get down to the basement, check to see if the water is still entering your basement and if so, from where. Common spots could be through a crack in the foundation or a window frame. If you find the source, plug the leaks with old towels or rags.

Does your basement have a drain in the floor? If it’s clogged, clear out the debris to allow the water to drain out. Even if you have a sump pump, that can get jammed, too. Sometimes it’s as simple as giving the float a nudge to get the pump working again, or you may have to clean out the filter or do other maintenance.

If you have a wet vac, use that to remove water from the basement floor. Otherwise, soak up the water with towels and mops.

Once you have the water up from the floor, take a good look at the basement’s walls and floors and all the items in it. You’ll be picking things up and carrying them now, so be careful not to lift too much at one time. Ideally, you’ll be able to take every wet item out of the basement and dry it outside in the sunshine. Failing that, get as much out of the basement as you can and try to get air moving around the items and furniture. You’ll have to pull up and discard carpeting and flooring; very little of that can be saved if soaked.

Step Two: Dry Out Your Structure

Whatever you do, try to get all the moisture out of your basement within 48 hours! Why? Because after 48 hours, mold can begin to grow, and if that happens, you may be left with a serious and hard-to-eradicate problem.

What to do? Get the air in your basement moving, any way you can: open all the windows and doors, and set up fans at each opening to pull in fresh air and move out stale basement air. And run a dehumidifier if you have one, too, because that will reduce humidity and speed up drying.

Step Three: Dry Out Your Possessions

Again, drying out your possessions and furniture in less than 48 hours is your goal to prevent mold and mildew. Anything longer than that and your items may have too much damage and you’ll need to replace them. Do these things to speed up drying—and remember, everything will dry faster outside in the sunshine, if that’s an option:

  • Take objects out of cardboard boxes, discard the boxes and dry the items
  • Pick up wet books and magazines off the floor to dry
  • Hang up fabric, fur and leather
  • Remove and prop up cushions and upholstery
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture and carpeting to prevent stains
  • Pull up and discard carpet and padding

Important safety note: Do not attempt to turn on wet appliances, such as TVs or computers, because if there’s any moisture inside, they can deliver a shock. These must be checked by an electrician before use.

For Quickest, Easiest and Most Thorough Basement Flood Cleanup, Call SERVPRO of West Hartford

An alternative to the work- and time-intensive effort required to dry and clean out your own basement—with uncertain results—is to call the West Hartford experts in flooded basement water damage cleanup. We possess the know-how, staffing and equipment to remove all the moisture as quickly as possible, speeding up your recovery from the flood and reducing the chances of a subsequent mold problem. Our proven water damage cleanup procedures have made the difference for countless homeowners in West Hartford and the central Connecticut area. Let us do the same for you.

How SERVPRO Restores Your Water-Damaged Possessions

SERVPRO takes a “restore versus replace” approach to objects that have been damaged by basement flooding. We help you save money while preserving your one-of-a-kind items.

We evaluate and test your items to determine what can be restored, then we use one or more of the appropriate techniques to clean and restore your possessions:

  • Dry cleaning: cleans light residues; also pre-cleans prior to wet cleaning
  • Wet cleaning: removes moderate to heavy residues
  • Spray and wipe: for delicate items that can’t withstand wet cleaning
  • Foam cleaning: for fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet cleaned
  • Abrasive cleaning: uses agitation for stubborn damage
  • Immersion cleaning: submerses the item in the cleaning product

Our qualified electronics technicians will first evaluate, then clean electronic items—such as TVs, DVD players, tablets and computers—to stop corrosion. Lastly, we open up the devices to clean and inspect the electronics, returning them to operating condition if at all possible.

You may have had important documents—like legal or medical records, books, letters and photos—stored in your basement. If they have been water damaged, SERVPRO has the team and technology restore many of these often-fragile items. We can also digitize these documents, too, giving you further peace of mind. 

Finally, we provide our clients with our Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS), in which we create a digitized and bar-coded inventory of your damaged furniture and other items. With this tool, we track the progress of your property as it’s being restored in our warehouse—and use it to document your insurance claims for a faster settlement.

How SERVPRO Remediates Mold Damage

SERVPRO has advanced training, seasoned crews, the latest equipment and specialized products to remediate mold if you have it after your basement flooding incident. First, we inspect and assess your property and structure to determine if mold is present—both visible and hidden. If mold is found, we follow our mold remediation process step by step:

  • Mold containment: We use advanced methods, such as negative air chambers and negative air pressure, to prevent the spread of mold spores
  • Air filtration: Our powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums remove mold spores from the air
  • Removal: We remove and dispose of any mold-infested materials, such as drywall and carpeting. For the rest of your possessions, our antifungal and antimicrobial treatments eliminate mold colonies and work to stop new colonies from forming
  • Cleaning: We clean and disinfect all the restorable items, such as furniture, decorative items, curtains and clothing, then deodorize them with deep-penetration foggers
  • Restoration: Whether it’s major reconstruction or minor repairs, SERVPRO returns your structure to before-flood and before-mold damage condition

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in water damage remediation, fire restoration services, natural disaster prevention, chemical cleanup, and natural disaster cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

If your home or business suffers a flood, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141 for immediate water damage cleanup and restoration of your structure and property

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SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
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Call 860.206.6141
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If your home or business suffers a flood, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141 for immediate water damage cleanup and restoration of your structure and property

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