Water damage in your basement is one of the trickier elements of home restoration in OH. It involves various steps to ensure a complete restoration.
If your home in Cleveland has a flooded basement, make sure you turn off any electrical feed inside the house. At this point, before you are able to go down to the basement, you have no idea if you have any short-circuits down there, something which may cause fire hazards, or even threatens your life. If you do not have a circuit breaker up in the house, make sure to install one now, before you are in a situation when you need one.
Once you have turned off the electricity, it is time to assess the damage. Armed with a flashlight, rubber boots, and common sense, you need to find out if the basement is flooded, or you can actually go downstairs and walk the floors of the basement.If the former, then the first thing you should do is to use a powerful water sump pump to extract all the water out of the basement so the water damage restoration can start. If the latter, then you can go downstairs and check on every item, you have placed in the basement.
Now that you have a semi-dried basement, you can start working the water damage restoration for the material and objects in the basement, before you deal with the basement as a structure. Then you can move on to assessing stored furniture, appliances, air conditioning unit, heat pumps, and others.
Depending on the situation when the flood actually entered the basement, appliances in the basement may or may not still work. There is the chance of a short circuit, which often damages the power supply of the individual device. You need a qualified electrician to be able to test every appliance. The good news is the power supply is probably the cheapest thing to replace in a device. The bad news is some appliances can sustain structural damage from floods. Case in point is freezers and/or refrigerators. Due to the nature of these two appliances, their walls have heavy insulation (rock wool, synthetic cotton, or foam). This insulation material has many air bubbles inside. These tend of fill up with water if soaked, thus acting like a sponge. Extracting the water out of these walls is virtually impossible without taking the appliance apart.
Leaving the water inside of these walls for extended periods will cause rust, and eventually will render the whole appliance useless. You are highly encouraged to contact a trained electrician to assist you with water damage restoration to these appliances.
Next, you will have to start the water damage restoration to the basement as a structure. The dry walls may be severely damaged and hence may require some contracting work. A damaged dry wall will eventually fall apart.
Another thing to watch for is the damage done to the basement walls. Chances are, these walls are also insulated with rock wool, and you need to make sure that this insulation is either replaced or completely dry as not to attract mold. The good news here is, unlike refrigerators, basement walls are accessible and you can extract the insulation without tearing down the whole basement. Once outside, the insulations can either be dried and treated, or totally replaced with a new roll.
Contact us to learn more about water damage basement cleanup and repair in Cleveland and surrounding areas.