You come home from work and feel like something is off the moment that you open up the front door. You look around the house to see if you left an appliance running or if something is misplaced. In your disconcerting search, you finally open up the door leading downstairs and your stomach drops when you see that your basement has turned into a lagoon.
If this happens to you, you will need to call professionals to deal with the emergency right away. An electrician or the power company will turn off your electricity to make the area less of a hazard. A Toronto plumber with lots of experience can see what the root of the problem is and address it right away — they can help you figure out if it was caused by a sewage back-up, a burst pipe or another issue. After these essential tasks are complete, you won’t be able to go back to using your basement as a game room or a storage unit. You will have to deal with the damage first.
Deal With Insurance
One of the first things that you should do when your basement floods is getting out your smartphone — make a call to a plumber and an electrician to deal with the emergency, and after you hang up, use it to take photos and videos of the situation. These pictures and videos can be used as evidence of the flooded basement and the destruction it caused.
Be sure to back these photos up on an account or the cloud, so you don’t accidentally lose them. You will also want to log down the series of events like when you discovered the flood and when you called professionals for help.
Depending on the root cause of the flooding, you may or may not get coverage from the insurance company for the damages. Your property insurance will likely deal with instances of unexpected discharge of water inside of the house. This can help with broken water lines, overflowing fixtures, burst pipes and leaks, although there are always exceptions.
If the company can attribute the flooding to an act of personal negligence, you may not get covered. For instance, if you return from vacation to find your home had a burst pipe, the company could deny the claim because you forgot to turn off the main valve and drain the plumbing.
Sewer back-up coverage relates to moments where water damage is caused by back-ups. It’s often after heavy storms when the city’s sewer system gets overwhelmed by precipitation and sends contents back into people’s home plumbing.
Your property insurance also does not include protection from water damage caused by outdoor water infiltration. Overland flooding insurance can help with flooding situations like extreme weather and overrunning lakes or rivers. Not all Ontario companies have this option for their customers, so be sure to check if it’s even available.
If you don’t have insurance coverage, you need to take this as a sign that you should get covered. Water damage is considered to be the biggest threat to homes nowadays — they account for an overwhelming percentage of home insurance claims in comparison to emergencies like fire and theft. Make sure that you are covered for all of the different types of water damage.
Tackle The Mould
Renowned home expert Mike Holmes recommends that homeowners with flooded basements should combat mould growth right after the water has been removed from the area. When water seeps into the area, especially into the fabric like carpet and furniture upholstery, mould will come fast. Holmes warns that it can show up within twenty-four hours of the incident.
One of the first steps of mould removal is to get rid of as much moisture from the affected areas as you possibly can — this means opening up windows, running fans and using dehumidifiers to dry everything out. Throw out items that are not salvageable like soaked pillows, plush toys and mattresses. Scrub down surfaces and dry them so that there is no moisture for mould spores to flourish.
Anyone who is really overwhelmed by the level of water damage in their basement should call professionals to get rid of mould growth and to make sure it doesn’t resurface. It may seem like an overreaction, but the spores can grow behind your walls, inside of your furniture and underneath the carpet. It can be incredibly tenacious, so don’t underestimate its capacity for destruction.
Prevent Future Flooding
After your basement floods, you should start looking for plumbing services in Toronto to prevent your house from experiencing one again and protecting it from potential water damage. One flood prevention step that you can take is getting a backwater valve installed to create a one-way sewage stream. This move will make sure your home doesn’t fall victim to flooding by sewer back-up when the city’s sewer system is inundated with water. Getting a sump pump installed in the lowest part of your basement will stop water from pooling.
Several waterproofing services can guard your home against water intrusion, especially during cases of overland flooding. While paired with a functional drainage system, applications of waterproofing agents and membranes to the exterior walls of the house will protect against serious structural damage.
Finally, take good care of your home’s plumbing system. Keep your drains clear of obstructions — don’t put food, baby wipes, floss and other objects down them. If your drain appears to be clogged or working poorly, we can solve your drain problems and clear it for you as soon as possible because a blocked drain can prevent water damage in certain cases. For instance, a clear floor drain can limit the water damage when a fixture overflows in the basement.
Water can cause a lot of damage to your basement and repairing this will cost a lot of money. All you can do to limit those costs is to minimize the impact of the flood. You can tackle the moisture in the room, stop mould from spreading and upgrade your plumbing to prevent the same thing from happening all over again.