Recently we’ve had record rainfall in many parts of Western Iowa and Eastern Nebraska. Many homeowners have been facing problems with flooded basements and sump pump wells along with power outages. Heavier than normal rainfall can lead to many of the following problems in your home’s basement:
- Leaking through wall cracks and floor cracks
- Pooling water due to poor basement drainage and inadequate sump pump
- Flooding due to loss of power to the sump pump and lack of a battery-operated sump pump.
Dealing with excess basement water is always a challenge, but the following are a few tips to help you deal with your immediate problems and find a long-term solution to prevent ever having a flooded basement again.
What to Do First with a Wet or Flooded Basement
If your basement is starting to flood, the faster you respond, the less time and money it will cost you in the end. Following is a list of what you need to do and NOT TO DO first.
- Don’t EVER step into basement water – Water is a strong electrical conductor, and you put yourself at risk of being shocked or electrocuted. If you can do it safely, turn off the power and call an electrician immediately.
- Contact a plumber with a professional pump – For minor flooding, you can rent or borrow a pump to use yourself. For serious flooding, you’ll want to call an expert with a high-capacity pump to pump out the water. If the water sits too long, it will cause more damage and a higher cost for cleanup.
- Take photos or videos of the damage – This may be useful for insurance or warranty purposes. Unfortunately, most homeowners do not have flood protection against groundwater. The best solution for preventing flooding in the first place is to contact a foundation repair and basement waterproofing specialist, such as Jerry’s Waterproofing.
How to Clean Up a Flooded Basement
If you decide to do it yourself:
- You’ll need the following supplies – Gather together rubber gloves and boots, eye, nose, and face protection, a wet-dry vac, paper towels, and plastic bags.
- Dispose of all carpets, rugs, and upholstered furniture – There is no such thing as “clean water”. Once it seeps into your basement, it is likely to be full of bacteria and other contaminants.
- Ventilate the basement – Open all windows and doors and run large fans and dehumidifiers.
- Decontaminate the basement – Scrub all walls and surfaces with soap and water. Make a solution of 1.5 cups of bleach and a tablespoon of dish soap to a gallon of water. Spray it on the walls and let them dry completely.
If you decide to hire a professional restoration service, be sure it is reputable. A common problem with some is that they take shortcuts and don’t allow enough time to dry. You want to be sure they will treat your drywall and other surfaces to prevent the growth of mold and mildew. It may cost at least $500 to pump out, clean, and dry out your basement.
How You Can Prevent Another Flood
- Install a leak detector and high-water alarm – These devices will set off an alarm or send you a text message to let you know before your problem becomes more serious.
- Check your gutters and downspouts – If your gutters and downspouts are working properly, they will divert water away from your home and foundation.
- Correct improper grading – Be sure that the soil next to your home is sloping away from the home’s foundation, driveway, sidewalks, and patio to prevent excess water to flow underneath and cause damage.
How a Professional Can Prevent Another Flood
Install an exterior drainage system
A waterproofing professional will install ditches, drains, and drainpipes where water accumulates and divert the excess water away from your home’s foundation.
Jerry’s Waterproofing offers full foundation repair services using the highest quality, US-made products manufactured by Earth Contact Products (ECP). The following are three foundation repairs we frequently do after major flooding.
Repairing Foundation Cracks – We inject polyurethane into leaking cracks in your foundation. This fills the crack and keeps water from seeping into it. Because it expands to the entire width of the crack, it provides additional strength to the foundation wall.
Installing Plate Anchors – Plate anchors are used to correcting leaning, rotating, or cracking foundation walls by providing additional lateral force to the walls.
Steel Push Piers – Steel push piers are hydraulically driven deep into the soil to evenly support heavy structural loads and stabilize foundations that do not have adequate support due to water and soil movement beneath the foundation.
Interior Drainage Systems
Installing a drainage system beneath the basement floor on the perimeter of the foundation prevents excess groundwater from entering the basement. It requires removing and replacing a small amount of concrete to install a trench, which drains water to a sump pump well.
Once the water drains to the sump pump well, the sump pump pumps the water from the basement into an area safely beyond your home’s foundation. In case of a power outage, we also recommend installing a battery-operated sump pump.
Contact Jerry’s Waterproofing to Prevent Flooding
Jerry’s Waterproofing has helped Western Iowa and Eastern Nebraska residents during past rainy seasons and provided them protection against future flooding. We are professionally trained to provide complete basement waterproofing, foundation repair, and crawl space repair services in Western Iowa and Eastern Nebraska. Contact Jerry’s Waterproofing today for a free estimate!