If your property is not well equipped to deal with heavy rains, you may start to see flooded carpets in your basement after heavy rains. This can be devastating, but there is no need to worry as in most cases it will be covered by your insurance company.
In that case, you can simply reach out to a professional like ourselves to help you dry it. If it is not covered by your insurance policy, or if you decide you would like to do it yourself, here is what you can do to clean up the water damage that may have caused the flooded/wet basement carpets:
1. Shut off the Electricity
If water comes in contact with electricity it can be bad news, so you want to avoid this if possible. To shut off the electricity you need to locate the main service panel which should contain either circuit breakers or fuses. Most of the time these boxes are not hard to access, as they are usually found in a somewhat low traffic part of your property.
2. Look for the Cause of the Flooding
Flooding has many potential causes, so if you are experiencing something like a burst pipe it is important to stop the water flow right away. If the damages are caused by something like rain, and it is still raining you should path the leak as soon as possible. If you are interested in learning more about patching pipe leaks you can check out this article. If this seems a little bit too complicated for you, you can always hire a professional like ourselves to do it for you.
3. Remove All Personal Belongings off of the Carpet
In order to salvage your personal belongings it is important to move them quickly out of the flooded area. We recommend that you put all of your personal belongings in a safe and dry area where you can asses the damages and try to repair what you can later on. If any of your items are non-salvageable and you’re interested in filling an insurance claim you, will need to document them properly in a total loss report. This will insure that your insurance company will pay for the damages to your contents. If you need help doing this you can use EasyClaimApp and/or give us a call to do it for you.
4. Remove the Water Right Away
We recommend using a specialized water vacuum to remove the standing water from the carpet as soon as possible to avoid any further damage. When doing this you will want to test out various attachments to see which one of them will fit the best on your carpet. Make sure you are getting a firm seal on the carpet so you are reaching the carpet pad where the water is often held. Another thing to keep in mind is what filter you are using. A sponge type filter will work fine for wet vacuuming. A paper filter will clog and disintegrate.
5. Towel down the Damp Carpet
After you have used the industrial “shop vacuum” to remove as much water as possible, it is time to further dry out the property by using towels. Make sure to apply pressure by standing on, and even jumping on the towels to make sure they are reaching the carpet pads also. Once one of the towels you are using gets soaked simply replace it with a dry towel and repeat the process until the towels don’t get wet anymore.
6. Remove the Wet/Flooded Basement Carpets (If Needed)
If your basement carpet has been flooded for a long period of time and has little hope of being revived it is a good idea to just rip it out altogether. Be sure to also take out the carpet pad as that is where most of the moisture will often gather. When you are doing this be sure to be careful not to cut yourself on the carpet tacks that may be present.
7. Implement Air Movers and Dehumidifiers
It may take some time for an area to become completely dried and fans can help speed up that process. Keep in mind that if there is a lot of flooding in your property it is a good idea to use a larger dehumidifier to help dry it out, as the smaller ones will be slower. If you do not have any of this equipment you can rent water damage restoration air movers from us by giving us a call.
8. Cleanup and Sanitize
Once you have dried your carpet properly you may notice that it still may be dirty and not smell good.
We recommend that you wear gloves and a mask if the flood was grey water or black water to avoid any risk of contracting any harmful bacteria or parasites. In addition to cleaning the carpet you should clean anything else that may have been affected by the flood.
9. Address Any Other Parts of Your Home That May Have Been Affected by the Water Damage
Often times if you have wet carpeting in your basement, it is possible that other parts of your property has been effected by the flooding also. For this reason it is important to use a moisture meter to see if there are any other water damaged areas in your property that may need to be dried. Neglecting to do this can cause mold to grow in your property and other potential damages.
10. File an Insurance Claim
There are many reasons why filing an insurance claim is a good idea in a situation like this. You may be interested in getting reimbursed for things like:
– Hotel and temporary housing expenses while the water damage gets cleaned up
– Personal belongings that may have gotten damaged
– Contractor fees if you hired a professional
– Any parts of your property that may need to be reconstructed
Most insurance policies will cover flooding damages in your property caused by a sudden or accidental event. That being said they may have ‘mold exclusions’ limiting their coverage of mold cleanups even if they were caused by the loss. In most cases you will only have to pay your deductible if you file a water loss claim, and this can often be less than what you paid initially.
11. Repair the Cause (If You Haven’t Already) and Take Precautions for the Future
If your carpet got wet after it rained, chances are that you may need to make some further repairs and/or precautions to take to make sure that whatever was causing it is properly fixed. A general best practices is to make sure there is not too much water in contact with your exterior walls. You can do this by keeping your gutters cleaned, and adding a downspout to keep the water several feet from your walls.
12. Confirm the Issue Is Solved and Keep a Lookout
If your property has flooded once, chances are that it could happen again. We recommend you hire a leak detection company to check if there are still any leaks. This will prevent you from testing your property the hard way by seeing if next time your structure floods again after coming in contact with more water. Although it will not always be this obvious, you should be aware of your building’s previous weaknesses and use a moisture meter to make sure there are no new water damages after another encounter with water. Also, if your property has been soaked in water for awhile, or not fully dried out properly, it is possible that there may be mold present. We recommend buying a mold testing kit or hiring an industrial hygienist to test your home for any mold that might have grown out of the floods or from other causes.
Do You Require Assistance? We Are Professional Carpet Dryers
Give us a call anytime 24/7 and we will asses the damages. Don’t worry about the cost because we will work with your insurance company to make sure it is reasonable for you.