Homeowners Guide To Basement Flood Damage
The homeowners guide to basement flood damage restoration produced by Flood Metrix is our attempt to educate the public about water damage restoration. We believe that education is a main factor in accomplishing our mission, which is to move a customer from stress to satisfaction. Having a plan of action in case of a flooded basement really helps a customer to rest at ease during a time that is naturally stressful.
Many homeowners don’t know what their insurance company will or will not cover. This article is going to include some standard procedures for basement flooding so that homeowners can better understand what to expect.
We should begin with what is considered basement flooding
First, let’s break the subject down into three parts:
Basement Water Damage
Basement leaks can originate from a crack in the foundation, failed plumbing or plumbing related appliances. Leaks originating outside the home are not typically covered by standard homeowners’ insurance, an additional policy for a flood protection is usually needed. I recommend reading your policy and contacting your agent to discuss any question before they arise.
Basement Floods Water Proofing
It is always a good idea to have a water proofing expert make suggestions about the best water proofing options for your basement. An expert will be able to let your know if installing some a simple water barrier is enough for your project or if you need greater support. It all depends on the location of your home, and the condition of the basement, and your goals as the homeowner as to what maybe considered the best course of action for preventing a basement flood in your home.
When To Call A Water Damage Professional
Homeowners should call a professional whenever there is more than 10 gallons and or sewer water involved. Basement flooding typically involves multiple areas of a basement or over 60% of a basement. Anytime you experience a basement flood, the first step is to contact an IICRC certified water damage professional. It is better to call an experienced water damage professional, because most plumbers do not understand the insurance process of basement flood claims.
If you are unable to stop the water flow, then definitely call the plumber first. But if you can, call the water damage restoration professional first they can explain to you your options with filing a claim. Homeowner really need to understand that the inspection report is the document they need to support their damage claim.
Step 1 Basement Flood Mitigation
The very first step to a basement flood damage mitigation is to choose a qualified and reputable water damage restoration professional. If you are able to stop the leak yourself, you do not need to call the plumber first, you need to call a water damage restoration professional, even before you call your insurance company to make your claim.
Flooded Basement Service Agreement
Most companies require that you sign a service agreement. Signing a water damage service agreement is important because not only does it protect the water damage restoration company, but it also protects the homeowner. Both parties become protected from no fault damages.
Initial Water Damage Report
Most homeowner are not experts at making damage reports for official basement flood coverage. One advantage of hiring a water mitigation company first is the additional help you have with properly filing your basement flood insurance claim. After you’ve chosen a qualified water damage mitigation professional, the next order of business is to inspect for primary, as well as secondary damages. We want to document both what is and what is not affected at the time of arrival. Videos, photos, written notes, diagrams, measurements, along with psychometric analysis are all use to create basement flood damage reports to be shared with the homeowner and insurance adjustor.
Your basement flood damage project manager should be able to answer questions related to and provide help with filing your water damage mitigation claim. Information such as: how to report a water damage mitigation claim and your rights and responsibilities when filing a water mitigation claim. The initial report usually takes an hour to create and with today’s technology can be completed onsite.
Step2: Basement Flood Water Removal
After the paperwork is taken care of, the water extraction can begin. The water removal method depends on how much water is in the basement. If there is less than more than six inches of standing water in the basement pumps will be used to quickly remove standing water from the basement. If there is less 6 inches of water, portable extraction equipment will be used to remove standing water from the basement.
What to do if basement flood water becomes frozen?
If you come across a case where the basement has flooded, and the water has frozen. The only way to proceed would be to restore power, either through the electrical system or by generators to warm up the house. Then the water can melt and then be pumped out of the house so that the mitigation process can proceed.
A Pack Out Is Standard Basement Flood Mitigation Procedure
A flood damage pack out is considered a specialty skill and even has its own IICRC certification. Pack outs are typically necessary when dealing with basement floods because contents must be removed from the affected area during water damage mitigation. Pack outs are the process of moving a customers’ items for storage and must be done in an organized fashion. Homeowners’ contents are labeled and can be always tract during the mitigation and reconstruction portion of a basement flood damage restoration project. Compare this to content manipulation, which is relocating affected items on site. Often a pack outs are the preferred course of action for all parties involved, including insurance companies.
Homeowners are hesitant when they don’t know if insurance is going to pay for certain costs, however, a pack out is standard basement flood damage mitigation procedure. It is recognized by insurance carriers, and they even have a special billing for this service which includes storage.
Step 3: Water Damage Demolition
Homeowners tend to worry about the cost of water damage restoration, but the truth is that it may not even cost you anything out of pocket. If your insurance deductible is $1000 then that is your total out of pocket expense for a new basement. In most cases, especially when you’re dealing with a good water damage restoration contractor and a flooded basement you should be able to defer your deductible to avoid any out-of-pocket emergency expenses.
The commitment of an insurance carrier is to bring you back to a pre lost condition. When dealing with water damage restoration projects and flooded basements oftentimes there are many damaged materials that need to be removed. This is the 3rd step to water damage mitigation. During the demolition portion of your project all unsalvable materials throughout the flooded basement will be removed for disposal. area after the demolition is complete and all wet and affected materials have been removed will then move on to step 4.
Step 4: Decontamination
During the decontamination phase, any exposed structural frame of the home be cleaned and decontaminated along with the walls and floors. This process includes HEPA extraction and the application of antimicrobial. In some case this also includes the HVAC.
Step 5: Water Damage Structural Drying
Once the demo phase is complete your water damage project moves into the dry out phase. OK The dry out phase includes of a lot of air movers to manipulate the air flow and dehumidifiers to pull excess water from structural materials and other contents in the area. This help to prevent further secondary damages including microbial growth. When the dry out phase is complete your water damage mitigation project is complete.
At the end of a water damage mitigation a customer will be given a final walkthrough. They will be allowed to inspect and will be asked to sign a certificate of completion. The insurance company will be sent an invoice which is normally paid 30 days. The average time frame for a water mitigation to be complete is about three to five days. However, water damage reconstruction can take a lot longer due its nature. It’s a good idea for a water damage restoration contractor to closely network with a basement remodeling company to better assist their customers in these situations.
4 Hidden Causes of Flooded Basements:
The natural position of your home or office relative to its natural environment is a major factor when considering the possibility of future water damage or basement flooding. Understanding where your house is built in relation to land elevation & sloop is important when planning to prevent basement flooding. Low quality materials and poor craftmanship is a dangerous mix and is more susceptible to water damage causing basement flooding.
Water Drainage System
Improper installation of underground drainage system by your home builder can cause many complications and are not likely to be discovered until a basement flood damage occurs. However, you can do your part to prevent a basement flood. Proper maintenance of your sump pump includes having a back up power source. Even this precaution will fail if the builder makes a mistake.
French drain installation can be a great defense against basement flooding. If you live in the Northern VA or Southern MD area and plan to use your basement as living space, then French Drain Installation is highly recommended as a defense against water damage.
Gutter maintenance and water diversion is important to the overall water damage protection of your home. Clogged gutters can cause ceiling to wall water damage. When gutter water is not diverted away from the home, water pressure increases around basement perimeters. This makes basement water damage and basement flooding more likely.
Foundation Cracks & Leaks
Foundation cracks can be tiny but turn into a major water damage cleanup. High humidity levels are the result of leaky pipes, water intrusion, foundation cracks and many other water damage issues. Mold growth is a secondary damage caused by water, in gas or liquid form. Foundation cracks become weaker by poor drainage. As the ground becomes over saturated, the pressure per square inch increases as does the chance for basement flooding and basement water damage.