Whether it's 1-inch of water or 3-feet, nobody wants to deal with a flooded basement or crawlspace. The damage can be devastating and the flooded basement cleanup and repair process is overwhelming for most homeowners. There are also a number of safety issues to consider.
While your first instinct may be to rush into the standing water to save any damaged items, you need to make sure the area is safe first. This means shutting off the electricity to your basement. You should never use electric power tools or turn your electricity on or off while standing in flood water. Before entering any flood waters you also need to make sure they do not contain any raw sewage. Sewage contains a number of harmful pathogens and can make you extremely sick if your are exposed without proper safety gear.
After the situation is safe, you need to understand where the water came from before you can begin the cleanup and repair process. We put together the following guide to help you familiarize yourself with the top causes of flooded basements or flooded crawlspaces. This guide will help you learn how to prevent floods before they happen, how to determine whether your water damage will be covered by insurance, and when to call for professional help.
If you need help dealing with your flooded basement or crawlspace please call us now at (720)-720-9594. Denver Flood Repair has years of experience dealing with flooded basement cleanup and repair. Our water damage restoration technicians have years of experience and are on-call 24/7. We can have a team of professionals at your home in 60 minutes or less.
Top 7 causes of flooded basements or crawlspaces
Unfortunately, flooded basements and crawlspaces are a common occurrence for many homeowners. The top-7 causes of basement or crawlspace flooding that we see include:
2. Gutter Debris. Congested gutters are one of the leading causes of basement flooding. If your gutters have cracks, holes, or are clogged they can cause a lot of water to build up around your foundation. Eventually this water will find its way into your basement.
3. Improper Downspout Drainage. In conjunction with your gutters, your downspouts should be in working order and directed away from your foundation. Downspouts that don't lead away from your house can cause water to pool next to your foundation and make its way into your basement.
4. Sewer Backups. Besides outside water, your sewage system is another way your basement can flood. If your sewer line becomes blocked it can lead to a sewage backup and/or flooding in your basement.
5. Appliance Failures. Appliance failure is another leading cause of flooded basements. People often have water heaters or clothes washers in their basement. These appliances can become corroded and breakdown overtime.
7. Burst or Broken Pipes. A water pipe can break for many reasons including freezing during cold weather, accidental damage, or corrosion over a period of time. When a water pipe breaks it can release a massive amount of water in a short period of time. In addition, if a water pipe breaks in your basement it may go unnoticed for hours.
How to prevent basement flooding
Basement floods can be very expensive to cleanup and repair. And, as we will cover below, sometimes these costs may not be covered by your homeowners insurance. However, with proper precautions and maintenance, most of the time basement flooding can be avoided. To prevent a basement or crawl space flood you should follow the following maintenance procedures:
Fill Your Foundation Cracks. Small foundation cracks can be easily repaired using repair kits available at your local hardware store. For larger jobs you may want hire a professional foundation repair company.
Inspect Downspouts. You should regularly check your downspouts to make sure they are properly connected and free of damage. As an added precaution, you can also install French drains or a downspout drainage system to help move water away from your home.
Maintain Appliances. Have your appliances inspected regularly for signs of damage or corrosion. Old appliances that are showing signs of corrosion should be replaced.
Sewer Inspection. It is a good idea to schedule a regular inspection of your sewer lines to make sure they aren't becoming blocked. You should never put things like grease, feminine hygiene products, or paper towels down your sinks or in your toilets. These items do not breakdown quickly and will cause blockages over time. You can also install a sewer backflow preventer.
Inspect Sump Pump. Have your sump pump inspected every year. If your sump pump has back-up battery power be sure to check it regularly as well.
Is basement flooding covered by insurance?
However, flood damage resulting from an outside source is not usually covered by your insurance company. Regional flooding from heavy rainfall or water that seeps in through the ground will also not be covered unless you have flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program. Water damage from a broken or failed sump pump is not covered unless you paid for an extra "endorsement" on your policy.
Can I clean up a basement flood myself?
ou may be tempting to perform a D.I.Y. repair for your flooded basement or crawlspace. However, a vacuum and some beach towels simply aren’t going to cut it. Most homeowners are simply not equipped for removing hundreds or even thousands of gallons of water from their basement.
The water removal and extraction process involves the use of high capacity pumps, wet-dry vacuums, dehumidifiers, and air movers. Most homeowners don't have access to this type of equipment or know how to properly use it. Professional water damage repair and restoration technicians go through extensive training to learn how to properly mitigate water damage such as a flooded basement.
In addition, a botched D.I.Y. job may result in mold growth. Basements provide ideal growing conditions for mold. If all the moisture and humidity is not properly removed it can result in a major and much more expensive mold removal problem. When it comes to a basement flood, it is important that all the excess moisture be removed as soon as possible.
Companies providing emergency restoration services also have experience dealing with insurance companies. They can be valuable allies for homeowners when dealing with an insurance company that doesn't want to pay the full cost of a repair.
If you came home from work only to find that your home or basement had flooded while you were away, one the first questions that you probably had was how to get insurance to pay for the water damage. Whether or not you can file an insurance claim that will cover the cost of the damage will depend on several factors described below.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage?
Your insurance covers damage to your home and personal property that is "sudden and accidental." This means that damage due to normal wear and tear, long-term neglect, poor maintenance, or other forms of negligence are not covered. It also typically cover damage from wind, rain, hail, snow, or ice storms, but it does not cover damage from regional flooding. In general, if the water has hit the ground and then comes into your home, it is not covered.
Examples of the Types of Water Damage Covered by Insurance
Examples of the Types of Water Damage Not Covered by Insurance
Fully Document Your Damage
Be sure to take dozens or even hundreds of photos of the damage. Your photos should be extremely thorough and should include multiple photos of all damaged items and any wet drywall, saturated flooring, or wet carpet. These photos are necessary to support your insurance claim. A professional water restoration company will repeat this step when they arrive but it never hurts to have a second set of photos. Your water restoration company will also take moisture readings using high-tech moisture sensors and infrared cameras.
Call a Water Damage Restoration and Repair Professional
If you think your loss should be covered and the insurance company doesn't want to pay, be sure to call professional restoration company for a second opinion. Restoration companies have experience advocating for consumers when an insurance company or adjuster doesn't want to cover the cost of an insurance claim.
Never let your insurance company tell you which contractor you have to use. You have the right to choose your own restoration company. The contractor that your insurance company refers you to may have agreed to discounted rates in exchange for a high volume of job referrals. Which company would you trust to advocate for you and do a better job restoring your home? The company who is getting paid normal industry rates as determined by Xactimate, or the one working for substantially reduced rates so your insurance company can reduce its claim costs?