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Flood damage in Colorado Springs occurs more often then people can imagine. The biggest difference in flood damage and water damage from a burst pipe is insurance coverage. Most flood damage from rain is not covered by your home owners insurance and water damage from a burst pipe is almost always covered by insurance. FEMA wrote a great article on heavy rain flood risks
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Do You Think Your Basement Is Safe From Flood Water Damage?
NOTE: Nobody should go into the basement once water begins flooding in since there may be an electrocution hazard.
If you lived in Colorado Springs and surrounding areas in May of 2015, then most of you will remember the record rains we got during that month and into the month of June and the entire basement flooding’s that were the result of the record setting rains we received.
At AmeriDri we might get 5 or 6 flood damage calls per week if we have heavy rains, but last year in May of 2015 we were receiving an average of 108 calls per day throughout the month of May and into the month of June. 99% of these calls resulted into basement flooding.
Most homes in El Paso County have basements and basements will always be prone to flooding. Flood damage is NOT the same as water damage from a burst pipe. If were talking about cost then the main difference is your insurance company almost always pays for water damage resulting from an interior pipe break/burst, overflow of a toilet or washing machine backup, etc.
Flood damage from heavy rains is not covered by your insurance, unless you have actual flood insurance.
To bring things into perspective, during last May’s heavy rains, we dried hundreds of homes and we were able to get three of those homes insurance coverage only because we were able to prove that the sump pumps failed and were not able to pump the water out of the basement and on one claim I argued that the water ran across a concrete slab and not the dirt before the water entered the basement.
If you rent a home or apartment you will need to ask your renters insurance agent if your personal property is covered if there is a flood in the property you rent. Check out this blog post on renters insurance.
Basement flood damage can lead to serious mold problems in the home
If the cleanup and drying procedure is not done properly, and within a few days of the flood, mold growth can and will be something you will end up with. The average homeowner is not equipped to accomplish this gigantic task without help, so hiring a professional flood damage contractor is usually the best choice. Some older homes in certain areas have drain plugs in the basement floors that allow water to drain into the sewer system. Only someone who is familiar with the process should remove the plug, and the drain should be immediately replaced to prevent gas and sewage from backing up into the home. Most homes in El Paso County have an actual floor drain that should drain most of the water unless it gets clogged, which is almost always the case since small items on your basement floor will flow towards the drain and clog it.
Basements have always been prone to flooding since water always seeks the lowest level available. When the basement under a home has a basement waterproofing system that is installed properly, ground water and run-off water does not typically present a flood risk to the home. It is only when heavy rain within a short time occurs that water can overload the system and cause basement flood damage. Improper grading around the home that does not direct water away from the foundation can also result in basement leaks.
Unfortunate owners of flooded homes have come to realize just how much it costs to fix the problem. Flood insurance is also costly, although adequate insurance may not even be available to residents of non-flood prone areas. Dealing with all aspects of a flooded basement promptly is extremely important. The cleanup and drying out process should be accomplished as soon as possible to prevent the growth of mold. Insurance records show that floods are the most common disaster in America, so it is important that homeowners are aware of ways to deal with a flood if one should occur in their area.
There is nothing worse than waking up to a flooded basement. Most people use their basements as storage areas or laundry rooms. Therefore, it is expected that if the water is not removed immediately, there will be a lot of damage to personal possessions. Here are a few tips to help any homeowner deal with a flooded basement in the best way possible.
Flood Damage Health And Safety Advice
For the homeowners who are in doubt about entering the basement, it is prudent to wait for a professional before attempting anything. To keep his or her personal health and safety as well as that of the family, the individual should consider doing the following things.
First, there is a risk of electrocution, if water has flooded in the basement. Therefore, try to turn off the electricity to the house. Some breaker switches are usually installed in the basement. So, it’s advisable for the owner to assess the risk of turning off the power or waiting for a professional to do it. The same case goes for the gas line. In the event of gas leaks, the owner and his/her family should leave the house immediately.
Secondly, if the basement has flooded as a result of a burst sewage pipe, there is always the risk of pollution. Remember, the water can contain bacteria that can easily transmit disease. Therefore, before attempting to clean out the water, the individual should always wear protective gear. It is always best to hire a professional when sewage is the cause of the flood.
Also, during the water removal process, there is likely exposure from various chemicals such as those being used for the cleaning process. Therefore, the house should be adequately ventilated to minimize the exposure as much as possible. On the other hand, disinfection is necessary before and after cleaning out the flooded water to prevent contracting diseases. AmeriDri uses containment and negative air scrubbers to keep all chemical off gassing away from the other areas of the home. AmeriDri also uses safe chemicals to help prevent dangerous off gassing.
Although most people might ignore this step, keep in mind that structural integrity of the house might be affected by a basement flooding disaster. Therefore, for those who are worried about any structural damage such as weak walls, calling an expert is the best idea.
Take lots of photos, and documentation for the insurance company, to account for the overall cost of damage. Even if this is not covered by your homeowners insurance company you will still want to document all work. Secondly, choose a restoration company that will act immediately to prevent further damage to your basement from the flooded water.