Ankle Deep in Rain Water
Here in Colorado, we take life to the extreme. There are the mountains to ski in the winter and hike in the warmer months. Rivers spit kayakers and rafters downstream. There are rocks to climb and boulders, and so much more here in our state. However, living in Colorado also means living in sometimes extreme weather. In the spring and summer months rains fall heavy onto our soils. One minute it is a healthy shower and the next it turns into a flash flood.
Being in the foothills here in Ken-Caryl, Lakewood, and beyond means sloping topography. If your house is situated in any position where water is directed towards it, whether that be your house is at the bottom of a hill, or your yard may just have some slope to it, your house is at greater risk of flooding. The following article will explain risk factors for basement floods, what we can do to prevent them, and how to help if you become a victim to storm waters in your home.
The Flow of Water
Water will always follow the path of least resistance. It will flow down with gravity, and into any small crack or hole it embarks on. It can drip its way into basement walls, framing, floorboards, and up through the foundation of homes that are not well protected or that have improper drainage systems. During rains and especially during flash floods, water sneaks its way into many Lakewood and Ken-Caryl homes and turns nice, dry basements into flood zones.
What are the Dangers of Basement Floods?
There are many risks to having unwanted water in your home. Even though it may seem harmless (often the water is clean and clear looking), it is likely to contain toxins that are harmful to the health of you and your family. As water makes its way over the ground and into your basement, it pulls along with it anything in its path. The contaminants in the water pose the greatest danger, but there are many that are involved with a flooded basement. The following is a list of these dangers.
- Pulled in Toxins
- Manganese and iron are two heavy metals that are found in high concentrations of ground water. Yards and gardens often contain fertilizers and pesticides that can soak into the water. Chemical spills or leaking fuel tanks can also get into the traveling water. Animal feces and many other natural and human-induced chemicals can be found in ground water.
- Mold can start to grow and spread within 48-72 hours after water enters the home. Allergens and irritants that are harmful to human health are produced by molds. Any source of the water must be fully addressed before the mold can be remediated because it is likely to come back if any moisture remains.
- Water Adds Weight
- When water soaks furniture, blankets, fabrics, or other household items, it adds its weight to that item and they become heavy. Therefore, picking up or moving any item that is wet poses a risk to the person moving it. It may not look as heavy as it truly is, and the right force may not be applied resulting in bodily injury.
- Water that has come into contact with electrical outlets, cords, or appliances may become charged. It is important that you do not touch or walk through this water in order to avoid electrocution. The electricity needs to be turned off first.
- Slippery Surfaces
- Water can also cause surfaces to become slippery. It is important to take every precaution into consideration before entering a room that is potentially slippery in order to avoid bodily injuries.
There are many ways in which you can protect your home from a potential flood. The following are the key ways to help mitigate your risk.
- Be sure to have a functional sump pump in your home. A sump pump is a common household tool that is installed underneath the floors of basements or crawlspaces. It collects water that tries to enter the home and redirects it back out. Check your sump pump on a regular basis to make sure that it is working optimally, and always check to see if it is plugged in. If you do not have a sump pump in your home, consider installing one.
- Know the flood level potential for your home. Every home is different depending on its particular structure and location. Your local insurance agent should have and provide this information for you.
- Look out for any foundational cracks and repair them.Most foundational cracks can be resolved by filling in with epoxy that you can pick up at your local hardware store such as Home Depot. However, if it continues to leak after epoxy has been applied, it is likely a larger problem that would need professional assistance.
- Anchor and elevate equipment. In the event of a basement flood, supply lines can be torn free from things such as fuel tanks, generators, and air-conditioners. Oil from these can leak into the home. Even a tank that is buried can be pushed by flood waters and affect the safety of your home.
- Maintain your gutters and your downspouts by regularly cleaning them. Debris such as leaves and twigs can clog the gutters and downspouts creating blockages. Your downspouts should be directing water at least 10 feet away from the home so pooling cannot occur near it.
- Landscaping your yard is also essential for flood prevention. Watch for areas that are directing water towards your home such as a small hill. Once you have identified the areas of work, you can proceed to do things such as digging trenches, regarding the land, placing flood barriers in appropriate areas, and even installing a French drain can help.
- Interior and exterior back flow valves for your sewer system is also a simple yet effective line of prevention. When there is flooding in your area, municipal city drainage systems and sewers are also at risk of overflow. They can send contaminated water back into your lines and into your home. Installing valves can prevent this type of back flow when the public systems become overloaded.
What to do before help arrives
Even if you follow all of the preventative advice to a T, you still may find yourself with a flooded basement. We cannot always prevent disaster from striking, so it is good to know what to do if you fall victim to creeping water. You will always want to call in the professionals, as we have described in the dangers category of this blog. Before they can arrive at your home, here is what you can do to help mitigate the damage.
Mop and soak up as much water as you possibly can.
Wipe off all of the wooden furniture so they cannot be further damaged.
Upholstery, cushions, pillows, and blankets should be removed from the area.
Put blocks between the legs of furniture and the floor.
Removed colored rugs carefully.
Gather loose items that may be in the way or cluttering the affected area.
Additionally, there are things you do not want to do before the help arrives. Avoiding these key things with help to keep you safe and limit the damage to your home and its belongings. Always leave the hard stuff or anything you are not comfortable with for the professionals.
Do not leave colored items out in the wet area.
Do not use household items that use electricity such as TV’s.
Do not remove anything that is too heavy for you.
Do not go into a room with a wet and sagging ceiling.
What we do
We follow 6 basic and standard steps when dealing with a water damage situation. Following the 6 steps ensures a quick and uniform process, so the homeowner and the team at SERVPRO know what to expect each time.
- Emergency contact
- Inspection of the damage
- Water removal and extraction
- Drying and dehumidifying
- Cleaning and Sanitizing
Why SERVPRO of Lakewood Ken-Caryl
SERVPRO is an industry leader in flood restoration. We use advanced equipment and techniques to get the water removed quickly and efficiently. The equipment helps to detect hidden moisture, extract the standing water quickly, and deep clean and dry your home and its contents. We are a locally owned and operated family business, so customer care is our number one goal. We live where we serve!
We provide extensive training to our employees and are highly specialized in flood restoration putting great emphasis on monitoring and documenting the drying process until completion.
We are a preferred vendor to many national and local insurance companies making the claims process easy and painless for the homeowner.
Please give us a call for any of your home restoration needs! (303) 973-4664
Or visit our website at https://www.SERVPROlakewoodkencaryl.com