A house with a basement has a lot to offer in today’s real estate landscape. Not only does it add value to your property, but it also provides additional storage space, an emergency shelter, and can even provide access for underground repairs. However, maintaining a basement requires a bit of caution and savviness, which is why every homeowner must know about the basics of basement repair.
Out of all the maladies that could plague your basement, unexpected leakage is the worst. Dealing with indoor flooding is not only exhausting, but can also cost you a lot of time and money – especially if you’re calling in a professional. This is why it’s wise to take some DIY measures for your leaking basement before bringing in the plumber. If you’re wondering what you need to do, then here’s a handy guide:
1. Taking stock of your basement inventory
The first thing that you need to do with a flooded basement is to make all of your belongings safe. Most people use basements for storage or recreation rooms, so it’s important that you immediately evacuate all of your things so that they do not get damaged by the water.
However, do not venture alone into a leaking basement without taking proper measures. First of all, you must turn off your basement’s electricity. Then, dress in appropriate attire, and don’t forget to wear non-conductive rubber boots and gloves while you’re at it. It will help protect you from an exposed charge that might be running through the water due to exposed wiring.
Pro tip: You must sort through belongings that are susceptible to mold if they wet for long periods of time. Fabric, leather, and solid wood items should be at the top of your list.
2. Identifying the leak
Leaky basement repair may be the job of a professional, but it can become harrowing if you do not know where the source actually is. The second step should be finding where the water is leaking from. You’ll need to check a bunch of spaces, such as wall gaps and even foundation cracks. It might be coming from inadequate drainage systems or could even be an improperly installed window well.
The usual suspects also include plumbing leaks from old water tanks, heaters, and even frozen water pipes. Other than that, you might also want to check for broken toilets, overflowing tubs, or faulty floor drains.
3. Are you insured?
Once you’ve assessed the situation, it’s time to call the insurance company and check whether you’re covered or not. If it’s a yes, then find out how you can file a claim.
4. Removing the water
Removing water from a leaking basement is not that hard. Obviously, the sump pump has already failed, so you need to think of alternative measures. You can try doing it with a wet vacuum. You can even use a pool pump or even just a simple mop and bucket.
Pro tip: You’ll need to ensure good airflow and ventilation in your basement for the next three days, so it’s better to start thinking of how you might do that at this point. Fans and dehumidifiers are a great way to improve circulation. You can even opt for HEPA humidifiers. They’re easily available on sites like Amazon.
Pro tip 2: While you’re at it, you must also clean all fully dried items with anti-mildew spray. Yes, this also includes the wall and furniture.
5. Calling in the professional
Repairing a leak in a basement requires professional care, so once you’re done with all the previous steps, you can now call in the plumber. While you can always find many guides to waterproofing your basement online, it’s best not to try your luck if you don’t know what you’re doing. For starters, there are several hazards that are included in this venture that include electrocution and exposure to contaminated water. These professionals know how to tackle such situations in a safe manner, so they’ll definitely do the job properly.
These are all the steps that you need to follow when your basement is suffering from leakage. All of them will help you take remedial actions that will contribute towards a swift, actionable experience when the professional finally arrives!