Things To Do When Your Basement Gets Wet

2017 and 2018 were two of the wettest years in recorded history in the Northeast Ohio region. According to the National Weather Service Office, the 2018 annual precipitation total for the year was 48.46 inches and in 2017 the annual precipitation total was 48.52 inches. 

For many households in the Northeast Ohio area with older homes and basements that are no longer keeping the water at bay, a wet or flooded basement is a common problem.  The accumulation around the foundation eventually finds a way to the basement of their homes causing damage to the walls, floors, and if not properly sealed, to structural damage to the foundation.

The longer there’s moisture in the basement, the higher the possibility of health risks.  For the protection of your family’s health, here are some steps to take if this spring you find your basement flooded or with water sitting on the basement floor.

Dry it out – The basement and all the items in it should be dried out as quickly as possible.  Use fans and dehumidifiers, as well as open doors and windows.  Even if it’s cold outside, when circumstances allow, open them anyway.  The faster it’s dried the better chance you have of saving possessions and decreasing the health (mold) risk.

Clean it up – The best way to avoid or eliminate mold growth is to immediately clean the things which can be disinfected.  Many porous items (i.e., clothes, carpet and padding, upholstery, wallpaper, drywall, ceiling tiles, insulation, paper, wood products, toys, food) can’t be effectively sanitized.

Mold thrives in and on these surfaces, and the longer they’re wet the more difficult it is to kill all the spores.  This is the time to be ruthless – your kid’s school projects, pictures, and the stuffed tiger may not be salvageable. The Center for Disease Control recommends erring on the side of caution; even dead mold can cause allergic reactions in some people.

Throw it away – Triage is vital and decisions must be made in a timely manner.  Mold spreads fast and the longer you take to get rid of unsalvageable items the better chance it has of taking hold.

Items that can’t be cleaned should be immediately thrown away in receptacles outside the house (including the garage).  If you need to store something for an insurance claim, do so out of the house.  In extreme cases, you may have to temporarily move out while damaged floors and walls are removed by professionals.

Take appropriate caution – Use strong, disinfecting cleaners and wear the proper equipment (gloves, face masks, and protective clothing) while using them.  Try to avoid cross contamination – don’t wear your shoes on the wet, damaged basement carpet and then walk through the rest of the house with them on, spreading spores as you go.

Waterproofing your basement when the problem hasn’t escalated too far is the best time and the right time to do it.  Don’t procrastinate too long, your home is a huge investment for you and your family.


Basement Waterproofing and Sump Pumps

Sump pumps are a necessity every household should have.  Flooding occurs in the basement of our homes when rain, snow or faulty pipes break, and we have a water problem we need to fix right away.

Many homes have sump pups already installed in the basement of our homes, the problem is that we don’t really know whether they are in working order or not.  The buying of a sump pump can be as inexpensive as you want it, or you can pay a nice price for a battery-powered sump pump that can cost you close to $500. There are many sump pumps that offer nice warranties when you buy them, and considering the time and expense you need to spend if you have a flooded basement, the price is really not something to frown upon.

For more about this and other topics, follow the links below.


 

How to prevent basement flooding

That’s doable with a reliable sump pump and backup system, or after a relatively inexpensive fix for cracked foundations, says Roy Spencer, founder and president of Downers Grove-based Perma-Seal.

“My feeling is that all basements should be dry all the time, no matter how much it rains. But in order to do that, you have to do certain things,” Spencer said. “The sump pump is critical, so it needs to be reliable and it needs to be powerful enough. A reliable sump pump is critical. It’s the heart and soul of any waterproofing system.”

If you’re getting seepage, small puddles caused by water running in through cracks in the foundation, Spencer says that is also an “easy fix” that could cost between $400 and $800, depending on the size of the crack to be sealed and how much work has to be done to find it.

For instance, unfinished basements, he said, are typically easier to repair than finished basements with walls and carpeted floors.

Ultimately, Spencer said it’s important to know what caused your flooding.


What You Need to Know Before Buying a Sump Pump

Have a serious flooding problem at home? A sump pump could help. Find out whether one is right for you—and what to consider when buying one.

If you’ve ever wondered, “What is a sump pump?” then you’re lucky, because you probably don’t need one. But for the unlucky owners of wet basements, here’s the scoop: A sump pump sits in the basement, either beneath (in the case of a submersible pump) or above the floor. It pumps out water that collects in the sump basin, discharging it to the outdoors.

You’ll never have to buy one if you purchase a house that never floods. And even if you do buy a house with a water problem, there may be several ways to correct it before resorting to a sump pump and pit. Should you decide to invest in one, put your money toward a model that is high-quality and well-reviewed—in fact, it may make sense to buy two or three!


7 Causes of Sump Pump Failure and What to Do

With all of this rain the past few days, the last thing you need is your sump pump to fail on you. It’s already happened to several homeowners in the area, and fortunately my company has been able to help those people out.

But prevention is always better than reaction.  This article will hopefully shed some insight on how to prevent your sump pump failing on you when you need it most.

If you have a basement in Indiana, then you know all about sump pumps. The problem is that these things fail all the time. While it’s not to say that we have a fool-proof method for preventing 100% of failures, there are certainly some tips you can follow to better your chances of a properly working sump pump


 

Buying A New Construction Home? Read This First

The U.S. Census Bureau along with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development released the numbers for home construction for the year 2016.  According to the figures, there were 1,123,000 houses built in 2016 with a 2% rise over the previous year.

The slight mortgage rate decrease has given borrowers new hope.  Total mortgage rate applications have slightly increase-2.3%-over the last few months, but is a 23% decrease since last year overall. 

Regardless of what the interest rate is, many first time home buyers look to buy a new construction, or a fairly new home. The pitfalls start right away if as a first time home buyer you do not due your due diligence. From interest rates that the bank gives you that do not benefit you, to shoddy construction that will jeopardize your financial situation before you can move into your new home, the hazardous road to owning a home are many.

There are many construction companies that are honest, and try to do great work.  But, there are hundred others that because they are trying to make a profit at your expense, do not care about the construction of their homes.  Contractors pass the buck when something goes wrong with the home. The dry wall contractor blames the main contractor, and so on until owning a new home starts to feel like a nightmare.

When buyers of new construction homes are ready to move in, they find that the home was not what was promised. Drywall cracks, damp basements, roof problems, and squeaky floors are some of the most complained aspects of new home construction. 

Damp basements in a new construction really spells trouble for you.  The roof and basement are big ticket items to fix, so if your new home have issues with them, you have to talk to the builder right away, and have the matter settled.  Look to the warranties, and to the contract you signed.  If the builder is not responsive, seek legal advice.

If you are buying a new home and need to do some due diligence, this  is a nice article for you to start learning what to look for when buying a new construction.