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Tag Archives: Black Water

Basement Flooding: What To Do

Basement Flooding: What To Do

Basement flooding, you never expect it and you can't really prepare for it. Unexpected issues happen all the time in homes, but a basement flood is not only unexpected, it can also be very dangerous.

Turn It Off

The absolute first thing that you need to do when your basement floods is to shut off any power and gas into the basement. The importance of this can not be stated strongly enough. If you do not know where your shutoffs are call an electrician before entering the basement.

Wear Protective Gear

Once you are sure the water is safe from electrical or gas dangers, you should still put on protective gear before entering the water. Wearing gloves and boots or waders is advised. The water you are walking in is likely going to be grey water but could easily be black water, depending on the source. Until you are sure what type of flooding you are dealing with, take all precautions.

Stop The Water, Fast

It is important that you identify the location of where the water is entering your home as soon as you are able. If the water is entering from a broken pipe, shut off the water. Check your drains as well to ensure they are unclogged. Determine the extent of damage to your basement with the knowledge that time is against you in the cleanup process. If the water is greywater and not black water you will have 48 hours to remove the water as well as clean and dry everything. If you are unable to do this, you need to seek out the help of a professional cleaning service for the safety of your home and family.

Clean Or Have It Cleaned

If it something you can clean yourself, read our steps on this other post. If not, look to the next paragraph.

A professional team will arrive on scene and begin removing all standing water from your home. Any and all water damaged items and furniture will be removed and dried off entirely. If the basement is carpeted, it will likely need to be removed as it can prove difficult to dry and any moisture that it could hold can promote mold growth. Additionally any wet drywall will likely need to be replaced. Often with flooding, dirt will infiltrate the basement and any contaminated dirt will need to be removed from your basement and crawlspaces.

In any case of serious flooding we strongly suggest calling in a professional team of experts to restore your home to the its pre-flood condition of safety, comfort, and appearance. Time is not your friend in a flood situation and after the first 48 hours when the water becomes black, a whole host of mold and bacteria begin to settle on the flood site. If not properly cleaned, this can become issues that can hurt your family's health for years to come.

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Water Damage: How to Classify

Water damage is a major dread for homeowners because it be both financially and emotionally damaging. While it can do quite the number on your property, it can also damage household items such as furniture, electronics, family heirlooms, and carpet. Not only that, but prolong damage can start to cause mold and other residual effects, which makes it much harder to recover.

Even though the effects are generally the same, insurance companies and restoration companies don’t all classify damage as the same. If you do incur water damage, there are several categories and classes when it comes to risk management.

They are listed below:

Water Damage Categories

Category 1:  Generally considered clean water, or water that doesn’t pose a threat to humans, this usually results from broken dishwashers, leaky sinks, or your hot water heater.

Category 2:  Also known as gray water, this usually happens when you have a broken toilet or sump pump, and water has started seeping in to potable water. If ingested, can easily cause sickness.

Category 3:  The worst of the worst, this is also called black water. Not only is it unsanitary, it routinely contains bacteria and other organisms that are damaging to your health.  This results when there are major sewage problems or when standing water becomes contaminated.


Water Damage Classes

Class 1:  Though damaging to your property, if caught in time this level of water damage is easily repairable. Materials should absorb very little water and a professional should be able to help you right away.

Class 2:  This class has a fast evaporation rate, which means carpets and furniture may take permanent damage. Repair is more difficult and more extensive in this situation.

Class 3:  Class 3 usually occurs when walls, furniture, or other items are damaged from above. Water damage restoration specialists will be able to help, but to what extent is highly dependent on the severity of the damage caused by the water.

Class 4:  The final class; water damage has affected hardwood floors, drywall, and even concrete. Water damage restoration specialists will require special equipment to help in these instances.