Flooding and Your Basement
A flooded basement hits like an oncoming train. Whether the problem stems from a broken pipe, failed sump pump or the result of a heavy downpour that found its way inside, a flooded basement needs to be dealt with immediately to prevent long-term damage.
When dealing with basement floods, there are some things you can and should do immediately, some things you might want to consider doing in the future and times when you should really call in the professionals.
Flooded Basement: Safety First
Safety should always be a priority. Entering a wet basement can be dangerous and even deadly. Before stepping into a flooded basement consider the following:
- Is there a risk of electrical shock? If it's safe to access the main breaker box, turn off the power before you enter the basement. If the breaker box is located in the flooded basement, contact your local power company or a trusted electrician to help first.
- Do you smell gas? Gas leaks are deadly and dangerous. If you smell gas, get out of the house and alert your utility company.
- Is the flood water contaminated? Sewage, chemicals and other pollutants in flood waters pose a health risk to humans and animals. Avoid contact with contaminated flood water and any items that may have been in contact with contaminated flood water.
- Is the flooded basement still structurally safe? If there is any question regarding the structural integrity of the flooded basement or the house above it, do not enter. Call for professional help.
How to Clean Up a Flooded Basement
If it's safe to enter, there are several things you can do to begin cleaning up your flooded basement. Before you dive in, remember the first rule is always safety. Wear protective clothing, safety glasses and gloves as you clean and inspect the basement. Make sure the space is well-ventilated, which also speeds the drying process.
Retrieve and remove: The quicker your personal items can be removed from water, the better the chances for repair and restoration. You need to get items out of the basement and dry off any remaining dampness to reduce the likelihood of mold growth.
Extract water: If the water is just a couple inches deep, you may be able to remove it using a wet/dry vacuum or portable sump pump. Both of these items can be rented rather than purchased. If you're wading through several inches of water or more, though, you'll likely need to call in professionals like those at SERVPRO of Sarpy County.
Remove rugs: Any area rugs need to be removed and dried out immediately. If possible, hang area rugs outdoors to dry or opt for a professional cleaning. If the basement was carpeted, you may have to remove the carpet. Water can damage not only the carpet fibers but also the glue, backing, padding and underlayment, leaving the carpet at higher risk for mold. However, do not attempt to remove tacked-down carpeting yourself, leave it to the professionals.
Run a dehumidifier and fans: To prevent the development of mold after a basement flood, it's essential to keep the level of humidity as low as possible. If the weather is favorable, open any and all windows you can, then run a dehumidifier and fans to increase ventilation and lower the humidity levels.
Clean and disinfect: After the water is extracted and the basement thoroughly dried, the whole space needs to be cleaned and disinfected. Carefully wash and sterilize anything the flood waters touched that you were able to salvage.
Keep an inventory list: As each item is removed from your flooded basement and treated for water damage, add it to an inventory list. Keep a record of all the details regarding what was damaged in the flood, and hold onto estimates and receipts from any restoration or repair procedures. These documents will support any insurance claim you plan to make.
SERVPRO has been helping homes and businesses cope with water damage for more than 54 years. When your basement floods, call SERVPRO of Sarpy County to handle the water extraction, drying and any necessary mold remediation.
Who Should You Use?
Who should I use?
Emergency situations usually call for quick reaction. In cases where a home or business structure in Plantation is being compromised by unhealthy and/or unsafe conditions, SERVPRO of Sarpy County is the-fast-response you need to get relief. Chaotic situations can be handled or endured in an orderly fashion with professionals and the right tools applied. When you must choose your clean-up/restoration specialist, you are likely considering a few important things:
- Convenient location
- 24/7 availability
- Latest equipment
SERVPRO of Sarpy County is the answer.
In a problematic and possibly chaotic situation, remember, we’re here to help. SERVPRO of Sarpy County are business owners, homeowners and renters just like you so we understand the initial needs. Our promise to you is to provide the same quality and integrity based service that we, as your neighbor, may also need in the future.
Fire Damage Prevention and Pet Safety
Fire damage in Sarpy County can harm animals just as it can harm people. At SERVPRO® of Sarpy County, we love our pets as much as you love yours. We could not stand to see them injured or killed in a house fire.
SERVPRO of Sarpy County shares these pet safety ideas with you:
- When you design your fire escape plan, practice with your pets
- If there are fires outside, bring pets inside. If you have to evacuate, you will be ready to bring the pets with you
- Know where your pets hide. You may not have time to hunt for them in an emergency
- Animal-rescue groups and other organizations have pet stickers that you can put on your windows and doors. The stickers tell firefighters how many pets you have, and what kinds
- Prepare evacuation kits for the pets. These kits can be large plastic bins. Put in copies of their vet records, extra leashes and collars, toys, and food
SERVPRO of Sarpy County reminds you to call the fire department once you are safely outside the Plantation home. Smoke damage and fire damage can destroy lives.
Storm Preparation is Key
At this point most of us living in the Sarpy County area know how to handle the big winter storms. We rush to the grocery store to get milk and bread because we are all convinced we will be in our house for days on end! The storms that bring feet of snow to our area, no school for days, and state of emergency to keep nonessential personal off the roads. You could lose power, which could cause food spoilage or frozen pipes… and let’s not forget if there is a quick warm up right behind it, you could experience flooding. The nice thing about these larger storms is that they give us time to prepare.
BUT what about the smaller storms? The ones that only bring a coating, inch or two of sleet, snow or ice? The ones that they always say won’t cause much of an impact?
Did you know these smaller, less significant storms can actually cause a greater impact to your home and business? Why? Because we don’t prepare as much. We are told they won’t be as big so we tend not to stress as much and let our guard down. Four wheel drive can plow through anything right… wrong!
So... what can you do?
- Have a list of your vendors and an emergency ready profile (ERP) completed on your business as an additional add to your continuity plan. It saves you time, in the event this “insignificant storms” turns out to be a really big deal.
- Just because there is a storm coming, your business operations cannot come to a halt. Set clear expectations for those in authority as well as non-critical employees in the event an emergency does occur. Is your emergency plan communicated by text, email, or phone call? Is everyone aware of this? It may also be beneficial to subscribe to and send out public transportation updates so no employees are left stranded at your office. Likewise is it acceptable for your employees to arrive late or leave early to ensure their safety?
- With smaller storms we tend to not walk the perimeter of our business to inspect for damage or ice accumulation. By not doing this, it can lead to larger issues down the road or worse, a customer becoming injured. It is always a good practice no matter how large or small the storm might be to inspect your property and document everything. You never know when your insurance may need that information.
24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service
SERVPRO of Sarpy County is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.
We Answer the Phone Ready to Help Call Today - 402 - 291 - 3355
We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Sarpy County has specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration-in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.
What to Expect
When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.
Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:
- Your name and contact information
- Your insurance information (if applicable)
- The street address of the water-damaged home or business
- When did the flooding or water damage occur?
- What caused the water damage (if known)?
- Is there electricity available (on-site)?
Why You Should Hire SERVPRO of Sarpy County
SERVPRO’s Premier Water Removal Service Can Prevent Long-term Damage to your Sarpy County Home
It pays to hire a professional water removal service in your Sarpy County home following water incidences such as burst pipes or ceiling leaks. Professional water damage restoration services such as SERVPRO have the necessary equipment, trained staff, and the technical know-how to control the damage before it can cause any long-term effect.
SERVPRO technicians prioritize water removal from your Seattle home to limit moisture exposure to the structural components. Moisture has different effects on different materials. While some porous materials such as carpet, drywall, and fiber-fill insulation can soak up the water and can be damaged severely, non-porous materials such as glass, plastic, or sheet metal do not absorb much moisture.
What Factors Affect the Extent of Damage to Your Seattle Home During Water Cleanup?
One of the most important factors affecting the extent of water damage to your Seattle home is the exposure time. The longer the surfaces are exposed to the water, the higher the damage. SERVPRO techs understand the importance of time during water damage restoration and aim at reducing the exposure by quickly removing the standing water from the property. SERVPRO uses state-of-the-art equipment to speed up the water removal, including-
- Truck-mounted extractors
- Self-priming trash pumps
- Electric submersible pumps
It is equally important to remove the residual moisture from the structure as well. SERVPRO techs use air movers and different types of dehumidifiers to accomplish this goal.
How Does Smoke Impact Your Fire Damaged Home?
Certified Technicians at SERVPRO Efficiently Remediate Smoke and Smoke Residue Damage
A fire incident can potentially ruin your home. The fire can cause structural and cosmetic damage that takes a long time to restore. Apart from the flames, one of the most significant factors causing extensive damage is the smoke and soot during a fire.
The smoke residue adheres to the exposed surfaces of your home and causes discoloration and even structural damage. Understanding the behavior of smoke during a fire can help you understand the restoration process better. The temperature of the smoke itself and the temperature of the surrounding surfaces affects the extent of the fire damage.
The temperature of the smoke
Smoke rises away from the fire and is carried to different places by a process known as convection. Fire produces heat, and as a result, the air above the fire becomes hot, expands and becomes lighter. The lighter air moves up, and its place is taken by the denser cold air. The process generates air currents called convection currents. It is due to these currents that the smoke rises to the top.
Now, as the temperature of the air increases, the pressure it exerts against the surfaces increases as well. What it means is that hotter fires produce a hotter smoke that is forced against the surfaces. The smoke particles in such fires can go deeper into the surface pores and cause extensive damage. SERVPRO professionals understand the theory behind the smoke and design strategies accordingly.
The temperature of the surrounding surfaces
Hotter smoke moved toward colder surfaces. As the hot smoke migrates to the colder surfaces such as outside walls, closets, and unheated rooms, these are damaged the heaviest. It can be surprising to see how much smoke residue finds its way into drawers and closets. SERVPRO technicians can use multiple techniques to clean surfaces that are heavily damaged by smoke and soot.
A fire incident can be quite a traumatizing experience, but it is essential to seek professional help as soon as you can. Technicians have a better chance of successfully restoring your home if they can get to work before the damage becomes permanent.
Why SERVPRO? The Difference is in Our People
When it comes to disaster recovery, we may not be the only game in town, but there’s a reason why so many homeowners and businesses choose SERVPRO to recover from water, fire, mold, or flood damage. The difference is our people!
We invest in our employees
SERVPRO invests in having the best employees in the business. We have always put a high priority on educating our team. That need is more important than ever today. SERVPRO is an IICRC certified firm with certified technicians, which means customers can expect the very highest in standards and protocol to be used in their home or business when disaster strikes.
IICRC training and certification
The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) certifies and sets the standards for the cleaning and restoration industries and those standards are high. Our SERVPRO professionals study IICRC standards and best practices in water restoration, fire restoration, mold remediation, carpet and upholstery cleaning, and other cleaning and restoration courses so they are well-prepared to handle any disaster in any situation and know how to approach the restoration process quickly and effectively.
Employee certification training
The Employee Certification Training by SERVPRO is a voluntary, self-paced program designed for SERVPRO franchise employees to further their knowledge and training. Certification is awarded after successful completion of course materials and an examination. Modules for training include:
- Crew Training
- Fire Restoration
- Water Restoration
- Advanced Structural Drying
Ongoing, comprehensive training for our crew
Our training program doesn’t stop at just IICRC and Employee Certification Training. We also offer:
- Initial Franchise Training
- Continuing Education Classes
From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s Corporate Training Facility to regular IICRC industry certifications, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. If your property suffers water, flood, storm, fire, or mold damage, know that you’re in great hands with the professional SERVPRO team.
3 Basic Steps to Repair and Restore Your Roof
The first thing experts do is examine the damage. Whether you have missing shingles or just broken or cracked ones, either problem can allow water to seep into your building's interior. As a result, several items may need to be torn out:
- Roof support beams
- Ceiling tiles
Removing water damage is vital. Taking care of this step quickly can help you avoid secondary problems such as mold growth. The sooner you call the technicians, the smoother the cleanup process will go.
Flood water, particularly that which has run into your building through a roof leak, is considered contaminated water. It can contain dirt, debris and bacteria. It is necessary, therefore, to not only dry out the affected area but also to disinfect it so that microscopic organisms in the water don't lead to further rot or bad air quality in your building. Technicians may use special machinery and industrial cleaners to sanitize the space.
Once all traces of damage and filth are gone, the restoration stage can begin. Specialists rebuild the interior portions that were destroyed, replacing walls, ceilings and insulation. Then they repair the damaged roof so that it can get back to protecting your building.
Even a small roof leak can cause serious damage to your commercial building. A professional team that has the knowledge and experience to handle the cleanup process from removal to restoration is essential for getting your roof back to normal.
Water Damage Cleanup at Omaha-Area Assisted Living Facility
Our team used the rover to extract water from the carpeting while wearing full PPE.
When an Omaha-Area assisted living facility experienced water damage recently, they knew to call the SERVPRO of Sarpy County team. Our crew arrived within the hour to begin the cleanup process. We began by sealing off the affected area to prevent contamination spread to the unaffected areas of the facility and to ensure the residents were not impacted.
Since the facility houses high-risk persons, our crews wore full PPE and utilized a dedicated access point to the building to better protect client health and well-being.
The facility manager was very pleased with recovery process, commenting "that's why we always call your team".
If your property is affected by a disaster, such as fire damage or water damage, call the trusted professionals at SERVPRO of Sarpy County at 402-291-3355. We are always here to help.