Basement Flooding in Colorado
Outside the window is a bright blue sky. The sun is beaming in its vastness over our Colorado Rocky Mountains. The birds are swooping over the nearby pond, catching flittering bugs for their evening meal. It seems to be a peaceful spring morning, not a cloud in sight. You think, nothing could rain on this beautiful day, until literally, rain comes pouring down.
Colorado weather can be very unpredictable, and our area of Golden is often subjected to flash floods and heavy rains in the spring and summer months. Many of us are fortunate enough to have homes that protect us from such storms, but your home itself may not be as protected as you think. The following article will explain risk factors for basement floods, what we can do to prevent them, and how to help if you become a victim to storm waters in your home.
How Water Gets in
Water has a sneaking way of finding its way into many Golden, Wheat Ridge, Evergreen, and other Colorado homes. It can seep in through cracks and holes in basement walls, framing, floorboards, trim, and up through the foundation of your home. These cracks and holes become larger issues when there is improper drainage around your basement, especially for homes in the Foothill areas where there is sloping topography. If you find your home at the bottom of a hill, or at any position where water may run down, you are at higher risk for a basement flood.
There are many dangers to flood waters in your home. Even though the water pooling in your basement or crawl space may look clean and clear, it is likely to contain many harmful toxins to human health. When water comes in from the ground, it pulls anything in its path along with it. The contaminants in the water create risk to human health as well as harm to your home. The following is a list of these dangers.
- Ground water contains metals such as manganese and iron from the soil in high concentrations. Pesticides and fertilizers used in yards and gardens can soak into the water. Chemical spills or leaking fuel tanks may also find its way in. Animal feces and many other natural and human-induced chemicals can be found in ground water.
- Mold can start to grow and spread within 48-72 hours after water enters the home. These molds can produce allergens and irritants that are harmful to the health of you and your family. Any source of the water must be fully addressed before the mold can be remediated because it is likely to come back if any moisture remains.
- Water is Heavy
- When water soaks furniture, blankets, fabrics, or other household items, it adds its weight to that item. Therefore, picking up or moving any item that is wet poses a risk to the person moving it. It may not look as heavy as it truly is, and the right force may not be applied resulting in bodily injury.
- Electrical Hazard
- Water that has come into contact with electrical outlets, cords, or appliances may become charged. It is important that you do not touch or walk through this water in order to avoid electrocution. The electricity needs to be turned off first.
- Slip and Fall
- Water can also cause surfaces to become slippery. It is important to take every precaution into consideration before entering a room that is potentially slippery in order to avoid bodily injuries.
It is important to handle everything timely and professionally in order to eliminate the risk of disease, the start of mold, or further damage to your home and its belongings.
How to Prevent a Basement Flood
There are several ways in which you can help to protect your home from a flash flood and sneaky water.
- Assessing risk
- Know the flood level and potential for your home. Your local insurance agent should have this information for you.
- Maintaining a functioning sump pump
- A sump pump is a tool that is installed underneath the floors of basements and crawlspaces. It is designed to collect water that tries to enter the home and redirects it back out. Check your sump pump regularly to make sure it is working and plugged in. If you do not have a sump pump, you may want to consider installing one in your home.
- Inspect for foundational cracks
- Visually look at the exterior of your home for any cracks.Many can be filled in and fixed with epoxy, but if leaking continues, it may be a larger foundational issue that would require professional assistance.
- Keep gutters and downspouts clean
- Be sure to position downspouts away from your home or away from any area where pooling can occur. They should be directing water at least 10 feet away from your home. Also, keep gutters free of debris such as fallen leaves and sticks to unsure good flow.
- Landscape for flood prevention
- If there is slope in your yard that is causing water to come into your home, you will want to landscape to combat this. This is not always the easiest task as it requires digging trenches, regrading, placing flood barriers, or even installing a French drain.
- Anchor and elevate equipment such as fuel tanks, air-conditioners, and generators
- Supply lines can tear free in the event of a basement flood and this type of equipment can leak oil into your home. Even a tank that is buried can be pushed by flood waters and effect the safety of your home.
- Install an interior and exterior backflow valve for your sewer system
- When a municipal city drainage system or sewer overflows, it can send contaminated water into your home. A normally functioning system allows waste water to flow from your home to the city sewer. In the case of a backflow, the opposite occurs. Installing the valves can prevent a backflow when the systems become overloaded.
The Do’s and Don’ts Before Help Arrives
Even if you follow all of the preventative tips, you still may fall victim to a large storm. Your sump pump may still fail, you may miss some foundational cracks, the septic system may back up, and a host of other possibilities. If you find yourself ankle deep in basement water, here are a few things to do before SERVPRO arrives. Acting quickly before professional help can arrive will lessen the damage to your home.
- Remove as much water by mopping and soaking up.
- Wipe down wooden furniture.
- Remove cushions, pillows, and upholstery.
- Separate furniture legs from the wet floors by placing blocks underneath them.
- Take out colored rugs
- Gather all loose items.
Additionally, there are a few things to take careful note not to do in the event of a basement flood. Avoiding these key things will ensure your safety and lessen the damage to your property.
- Don’t leave books, magazines, or colored papers on wet carpet, floors, or furniture.
- Do not use electrical household items such as televisions.
- Do not vacuum up any water.
- Do not remove heavy items as water often makes them heavier.
- If the ceiling is wet, keep ceiling fixtures off and remain out of the room if it is sagging.
How SERVPRO Can Help
While every water damage situation is unique, the general process stays the same. SERVPRO follows 6 basic steps when handling your water damage. Below are the 6 steps taken from call to complete restoration.
- Emergency Contact
- Inspection of the damage
- Water removal and extraction
- Drying and Dehumidification
- Cleaning and Sanitizing
In the event of a basement flood, it is essential that you call professional help as quickly as possible. SERVPRO of Golden/ Wheat Ridge/ Evergreen is available 24/7 365 days a year. After the initial call, we are required to arrive at your residence within 4 hours by franchise standards. However, our team averages less than an hour for arrival time. Our response time reduces damage, limits further damage, reduces cost, and eases headache and responsibility from the homeowner.
Why Choose SERVPRO
SERVPRO is an industry leader in flood restoration. We use advanced equipment and techniques to get the water removed quickly and efficiently. The equipment helps to detect hidden moisture, extract the standing water quickly, and deep clean and dry your home and its contents. We are a locally owned and operated family business, so customer care is our number one goal. We live where we serve!
We provide extensive training to our employees and are highly specialized in flood restoration putting great emphasis on monitoring and documenting the drying process until completion.
We are a preferred vendor to many national and local insurance companies making the claims process easy and painless for the homeowner.
Please give us a call for any of your home restoration needs! (303) 279-8055
Or visit our website at https://www.SERVPROgoldenwheatridgeevergreen.com