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Tag Archives: Standing 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.

Grey Water Damage and Clean Up

Some of you might be asking yourselves right now “What is Grey Water?” The answer to that question is any water from the overflow of household appliances like washers or dishwashers is considered to be grey water. Also, some flooding can be classified as grey water. Grey water is considered to be partially biologically contaminated waters. Given enough time grey water can become a much more dangerous black water if the appropriate action is not taken to clean it in time.

Sullage Cleanup

Grey water is also know as Sullage. Sullage is dangerous to individuals with weak immune systems. It is also not suggested anyone with asthma or allergies should not take part in the clean up of sullage. Sullage can be safely cleaned up by most adults, if you take the precautions to use rubber gloves and safety glasses. It is also a good idea to consider wearing long pants and long sleeved shirts as well as a mask when cleaning grey water. Avoid getting grey water on your skin to ensure you do not spread any microbes that may be in the water.

Black Water

As mentioned earlier, time is of the essence when cleaning greywater. If grey water contamination is not cleaned up in the first 48 hours, it becomes black water. Black water cleaning is far more intensive and often requires the removal of anything that the water could soak into and form mold. Everything from carpets to drywall needs to be replaced in black water flooding. That is why it is essential to move with haste when you have grey water flooding and clean the affected area thoroughly.

With time working against you in situations of grey water flooding, it is always wise to consider calling in professional assistance. Never underestimate the task at hand as grey water cleaning is not just removing the water and mopping up. All fabrics need to be removed, cleaned thoroughly and dried out. If you have any doubt that you were able to completely clean any fabrics, it is strongly encouraged you just opt to throw them out.

In the days following cleanup, it is recommended to continue to keep an eye on the area. At any signs of mold or excess moisture, call professional assistance. Post-flooded areas that were not properly cleaned are perfect environments for bacteria and molds to colonize and grow.

Providing Solutions for Potential Summertime Disasters

Providing Solutions for Potential Summertime Disasters


Summer is upon us here in the Petaluma area, so it’s a good time to take a look at preparedness measures for dealing with the effects of natural and environmental disasters that might plague us during these hot summer months.


From 1950 to 2010 there have been over 100 floods within 50 miles of Petaluma. On top of that, Petaluma and unincorporated areas of Sonoma County are in a FEMA designated flood zone. While flooding from storms impacting Petaluma River and its tributaries are primarily a winter phenomenon, with today’s increasing unpredictability in weather patterns it’s a good idea to know what to do in the event your home or business is flooded and you require emergency water extraction.


While Petaluma and the surrounding area is statistically less likely than other areas in the state to suffer the ravages of a major earthquake, it is still well above the national average so having a plan for the possible reconstruction of your home is well worth considering.


Again, Petaluma and surrounding areas are less likely to be impacted by a volcano than the state as a whole, but far more likely than the national average. This is yet another reason to maintain home reconstruction contingencies in your plans.

That covers most of the threats to the Petaluma area from natural disasters. But what about environmental ones?


With average July temperatures hovering over 80 degrees and periodic high levels of humidity, summer in Petaluma and surrounding areas are ripe for the possibility of mold taking hold and growing in your home. Unlike natural disasters, where the most we can usually do by way of preparedness pertains to assembling supplies and mapping out evacuation plans, mold is a potential disaster that is preventable, though once it has taken hold, it needs to be removed and remediated.



What to Expect: Reconstruction After Water Damage

Getting rid of standing water inside of a house can be chore all of its own. Once complete, a homeowner can often be left with a loss of words concerning all the work that still needs to be done as a result of the flood. Because of the seriousness of water damage, a professional is often needed to in order to repair the damage. More often than not, there is more to be done than a home owner may realize.

Standing water not only does severe damage to the surface of the flooded area, it can also penetrate beneath the floor and the walls of the house. You may have electrical issues created by the water that can only be fixed properly by replacing damaged electric lines, wires, and outlets that were affected by the water. By not taking the time and spending the money to correctly repair the damage, you could be setting yourself up to experience more severe problems and issues later in the future.

Issues and problems with the plumbing may also be a result of the flood. You will want to have a professional check for any leaks, cracks, or other damage throughout your water lines. Not taking anything away from the knowledge of the everyday homeowner, but there can often be damage that you wouldn’t know existed within the plumbing unless you had been properly trained to look for it.

Along with carpet, tile, and hardwood flooring, there may also be a need to repair or place some of the floors structuring. There is often damage to the woodwork within the walls surrounding the area of the flooding. This should be repaired properly as soon as possible in order to prevent the damage from getting worse as times goes on. Sometimes a fresh coat of paint will do the trick and nothing else needs to be done. However, the majority of the time, wood and materials within the sub flooring and wall structure will need to be replaced right away. If you do not have the proper knowledge to make the decision on your own, take the time to have a pro who handles flooding situations on a regular biases come and evaluate the damage. Be smart about who you allow into your home and hire to do the work. Ask friends and neighbors and check references through sites such as Angie’s List before you sign a contract of pay for the work to be completed.

Different Ways to Prevent Standing Water Under a Home

There is nothing good about standing water in your crawlspace. Crawlspaces create the perfect conditions for mold as they retain moisture, and they lack light. Add standing water to the mix and you’re multiplying the possibility of mold growth. Mold can create serious health problems and can be expensive to remediate. Before you run into such a problem, here are different ways to prevent standing water under a home, specifically one with a crawlspace.

Concrete and Sump Pumps

sump pump santa rosaYou can fill the space with concrete and install two sump pumps. Two sumps pumps are perfect for larger homes and you’ll have a backup if one of the pumps stop working. The concrete gets rid of mold, mildew, and moisture and it keep water from entering the space as long as the floor is properly graded. It is pretty much extra security. Keep in mind that the concrete is very pricey, and it will need a layer of stone underneath. You can sump pumps without concrete, but it is recommended to check with a local crawl space contractor before making a final decision.

A Perimeter Drain

You can have a perimeter drain installed inside your crawlspace. The pipe is typically four inches of perforated PVC, backfilled with gravel. If you already have a sump pump, the contractor can tie the tube into the pump and drill holes at the bottom of the block to drain out. Keep in mind that it is very labor intensive so most of the cost will be labor.

Check Your Drainage

Inspect the crawlspace for holes leading outside or drainage. Trace the holes outside and verify that they are all properly functioning. Sometimes you might find that one has collapsed or is missing entirely. You may also find that it is facing the house when it should be in a downward position facing away from the house. Simply replace the malfunctions drain or drains.

Moisture and Vapor Barriers

crawl-space-vapor-barrier-01lgVentilation is key to keeping your crawl space as dry as possible during winter months. First, a crawl space expert will want to make sure the home has proper cross ventilation all year round by opening vents around the house as needed. If drainage is required, they’ll take care of this before laying down a vapor barrier specifically designed to control mold, rot and pest. This is the ultimate solution to prevent standing water from creating issues to you home.