“Rain, rain, go away…” During an unusually rainy season, water may seep into your basement through the foundation or basement walls. Improperly graded yards can send water pooling around your foundation. If the sump pump fails due to power outages or mechanical problems, water can accumulate, flooding your entire basement. When flooding or seepage occurs, it’s important to address the situation immediately. Water issues left unresolved can cause greater problems.
Standing water can quickly damage and even ruin flooring, furniture, and electronics. Though appliances like the water heater, furnace, washer, and dryer may not have been directly exposed to flood waters, the added moisture in the air can cause problems. Appliances may fail in the future from rust forming on internal parts.
Floodwaters have the potential to damage your foundation, too. In fast-moving floods, water can put pressure on the basement walls and separate the house from the foundation. Because of possible mold issues created by standing water and excess moisture in the air, the costs to repair damaged foundations escalates the longer the water remains.
You must take proper precautions before you enter a flooded basement. Never wade into floodwaters until you turn off the power and determine if water has reached open circuits. Stepping into an electrical charge, you risk being electrocuted.
A potentially hidden risk is mold. If you do not properly dry out your basement within three to four days, mold spores begin to attach to surfaces and grow. While the evidence of black mold or mildew in your basement may be visible, mold can grow invisibly behind walls or baseboards and release spores into the basement air through the smallest cracks.
An estimated 10 to 20 percent of the population suffer from mold allergies and can experience reactions as mild as a runny nose or itchy throat. But severe respiratory reactions such as wheezing, chest tightness, or shortness of breath are also common. Inhaling mold spores may trigger an asthma attack in asthma sufferers and individuals with compromised immune or respiratory systems can experience inflammation in their lungs similar to that prompted by pneumonia.
Don’t wait. If you don’t know how to properly and safely clean up your basement after a flood, consider contacting an experienced cleanup professional who can fix the issues quickly, safely and effectively. Act quickly to avoid property loss, costly damage or serious health problems.