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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Avoid and Minimize Basement Flooding Damage in Somers

3/29/2021 (Permalink)

A flooded basement If your Somers or north central Connecticut basement floods, call SERVPRO of Manchester/Mansfield for complete water damage cleanup and remediation.

Welcome to spring, which many homeowners in Somers and north central Connecticut reluctantly know as “Basement Flooding Season.” Those famous April (and March and May) showers bring more than flowers—they bring the risk of lots of water entering your basement and causing lots of property and structure damage. Basement flooding is no joke, but there are ways to avoid it and ways to minimize the damage if it happens.

Ways to Avoid Basement Flooding in Your Somers Home

Direct Water Away from Your House

Rain’s gonna rain, but there are some things you can do to keep that water out of your basement, and one of them is to make sure the water stays away from your foundation in the first place.

This starts with the way your property is graded, or sloped. Ideally, your yard is graded so that it slants away from your home on all four sides. It doesn’t have to be a sharp slope, but it should be obvious to the eye that there is a slight angle away from your foundation.

Take a look at your property after it rains. Are there areas where water pools or ponds? If these areas are adjacent to your foundation, you should take action. If you need to have your property graded, you’re better off hiring a professional to do the job right. You’ll be glad you did the next time it pours.

Another important way to keep water away from your basement is to have a properly set-up drainage system, i.e., your gutters and downspouts. Your gutters should be properly sloped (a gutter professional can check and adjust that for you) and should be clean of leaves and other debris. If you can do so safely, you can use a ladder and do the cleaning yourself, but you may be better off calling a pro.

On the other end of the drainage system, it’s essential that your downspouts direct rainwater away from your foundation. Again, the grade of your yard will help carry water away. You should have concrete or plastic splash blocks positioned beneath the end of the downspout to shunt water away from the foundation. It’s also a good idea to add downspout extenders, which can be flexible or rigid, so that the water isn’t deposited right at the foundation, but several feet away.

If you have a basement window that is partially below grade, you should protect it with a window well cover so that rainwater doesn’t flow directly into the well and work its way inside.

Stop the Flood Quickly

If water does get into your basement, there are a couple of ways you can get a jump on stopping the flooding before it causes a lot of damage.

One way is to have one or more water sensors placed on your basement floor. These will detect a pool or flow of water entering your basement, and sound an alarm and/or send a notification to your cell phone, giving you a fighting chance at minimizing water damage.

Another old reliable way to combat basement flooding is to have a working sump pump installed and ready to go. With a sump pump set into your basement floor, any water that reaches it will flow into the pit. When enough water has entered the pit to trigger the pump’s float, the sump pump kicks on and pumps the water out of the basement and away from your foundation. As long as your pump is in good working condition, the pump will keep going until most of the water is removed, whether you’re home or not. The key is to have your sump pump periodically checked and maintained, which could make the difference between a damp basement and several feet of water in your basement. (Also consider a battery backup for your pump, so that it will still work in a power outage.)

What If Your Somers Basement Floods?

You woke up to a flood … you came home after a vacation … you walked downstairs to check on things …

Whatever the circumstances, you discovered inches or even feet of water throughout your basement, with appliances flooded and furniture and possessions soaked. Your first instinct may be to run down and get to work, but don’t do that quite yet. You need to take some safety measures before you do anything, because a flooded basement poses some real dangers.

Be Safe

First and foremost, you must shut off the electricity and gas to your basement. (If you are not sure how to do that, call an electrician or SERVPRO of Manchester/Mansfield—we’ll get out to you right away.) Do this to eliminate the risk of receiving an electrical shock.

Walking in water also poses slip-and-fall hazards, so wear sturdy rubber boots and be cautious as you walk around your basement. In addition to the boots, also wear thick rubber gloves to protect your hands as you reach into the water to begin cleaning up.

And as you do your cleanup, remember that water-soaked materials are very heavy. Carrying too heavy of a load can cause long-term damage to your back. Clear your possessions out a little at a time, and don’t try to lift too much at once.

How to Clean Up a Flooded Basement

Once you (safely) enter your basement, here’s what to do:

If the water is still entering your basement, try to determine the source. It could be through a window frame or a crack in the foundation. If you find the place where water’s getting in, try to plug the gap, perhaps with towels or cloths.

If your basement has a drain, check to see if it’s clogged. Unclogging that will help the water leave your basement on its own. Likewise with a jammed sump pump, getting the pump working again will speed up the process of getting rid of the floodwater.

Next, look up. Is the ceiling wet or sagging? If it’s sagging, don’t even enter the room. If the ceiling is wet, don’t turn on ceiling lights or fans.

Use a wet vac if you have it, or towels and mops to remove the water. Once most of it is gone, soak up the remaining water with towels.

Next, assess the damage to your structure and property. Here’s where you will do a lot of lifting, so be careful not to hurt yourself. Remove furniture, and if wet, put it in a place where it can dry, ideally outside on a sunny day. Do the same with your possessions.

Drying Out Your Possessions

Your goal is to dry your possessions and furniture in under 48 hours. Anything longer than that means that mold and mildew may start to grow, and that means that your items may have to be discarded.

  • Empty boxes of objects, discard the boxes and dry the items separately
  • Take wet books and magazines off the floor to dry
  • Hang up fabric, fur and leather clothing
  • Remove and prop up cushions and upholstery to speed up drying
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture and carpeting to prevent stains
  • Do not use any wet appliances, such as a TV or computer—you’ll need to have them checked by an electrician
  • Pull up and remove carpeting and padding

Drying Out Your Structure

Again, your goal is to have all the moisture out of your basement within 48 hours to prevent the potential growth of mold, which brings its own challenges to eradicate.

Start by getting the air in your basement moving: open windows and doors, and set up multiple fans to keep the air circulating (fresh air in, basement air out). If you own a dehumidifier, run it in the basement to drive down the humidity and hasten drying.

Or, Call SERVPRO of Manchester/Mansfield to Clean Up the Water Damage From Your Flooded Basement

If the amount of water in your basement is more than a foot or so deep, consider calling a professional water damage remediation company like SERVPRO. With flooding like that, many of your possessions will have been soaked, as well as flooring and furniture. That’s a situation that requires sophisticated knowledge and equipment to remove the moisture quickly—and to prevent a mold situation from exploding.

We do this kind of work day in and day out, so our crews at SERVPRO of Manchester/Mansfield have the training, experience, equipment and procedures to quickly and completely clean up flooded basements. Our proven water damage cleanup procedures have made life easier for countless homeowners in Manchester and central Connecticut. Let us do the same for you.

SERVPRO: The Pros at Water Damage Restoration in Somers and North Central Connecticut

In addition to drying your basement, we excel at restoring contents damaged by water or mold. Our “restore versus replace” approach can help you save money while preserving important irreplaceable possessions.

We pre-test your possessions to determine what can be restored, then we use several methods to do the cleaning and restoration:

  • Dry cleaning: appropriate for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to wet cleaning
  • Wet cleaning: used for removing moderate to heavy residues
  • Spray and wipe: for delicate items that would be damaged by wet cleaning
  • Foam cleaning: appropriate for fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet cleaned
  • Abrasive cleaning: for stubborn damage where the item can withstand agitation
  • Immersion cleaning: a 360° cleaning in which the item is submersed in the cleaning product

When damaged by water, electronic items—such as TVs, DVD players, tablets and computers—can become a shock risk, so don’t turn these items on. We will act quickly to prevent further damage. Our qualified electronics technicians will clean the exterior of these devices to help halt corrosion and damage, then clean and inspect the electronics.

If your basement water damage affects important documents—such as personal or medical records, books, correspondence and photographs—SERVPRO of Manchester/Mansfield knows how to tackle the delicate process of restoring these often-fragile items. While some of your documents may not be restorable, we have the expertise to save a great many of them—and we even offer the option to have them digitized. 

Another way we smooth the water disaster recovery process is with our Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS). This is a detailed digital bar-coded record of your possessions, which allows us to immediately locate any of your property as it’s being restored in our warehouse. Additionally, the inventory makes it easier to document your insurance claims for a quicker and more accurate payout.

If Your Basement Water Damage Creates a Mold Problem

We are experts at mold remediation, thanks to our high-level training, appropriate specialized equipment and experienced staff. We begin the mold remediation process with an inspection and assessment to detect both visible and hidden signs of mold. If mold is found, we go into action:

  • Mold containment: To prevent the spread of mold spores, we use advanced containment methods, like creating negative air chambers and negative air pressure
  • Air filtration: We utilize powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to remove mold spores from the air
  • Removal: We use antifungal and antimicrobial treatments to eliminate mold colonies and to help prevent new colonies from forming. If necessary, we will remove and dispose of mold-infested materials, such as drywall and carpeting
  • Cleaning contents and belongings: We use a variety of techniques to clean and disinfect furniture, decorative items, curtains, clothing and other restorable items affected by mold. We then remove odors with fogging equipment
  • Restoration: Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting and installing new carpet, or it may require major reconstruction

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of Manchester/Mansfield has specialized training and experience in water damage remediation, fire restoration services, natural disaster prevention, chemical cleanup, and natural disaster cleanup. Call SERVPRO of Manchester/Mansfield (860.649.0836) any time.

If your home or business suffers a flood or other water damage, call SERVPRO of Manchester/Mansfield today at 860.649.0836 for immediate expert water damage cleanup

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SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home or business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

SERVPRO of Manchester/Mansfield

53 Slater Street, Unit 2, Manchester, CT 06042
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.649.0836
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If your home or business suffers a flood or other water damage, call SERVPRO of Manchester/Mansfield today at 860.649.0836 for immediate expert water damage cleanup

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