A typical summer weather report starts “Parts of the isthmus in downtown Madison flooded as a storm causing flash flood warnings rolled through the area.” Near-east-side intersections seem to be at an increased risk for urban flash flooding during our heavy storms. However, even homes in the suburbs can get hit with water damage from rain and debris. If it happens to you, you will need a plan.
After a flood in your home, your family’s health and safety should be your top concern. Aside from the mess, smells and waterlogged possessions, a flooded basement can present hazards. Depending on the source of the water, bacteria, and disease from raw sewage and other pollutants can enter your home. Flooding can also affect electrical and gas systems in your home, creating the possibility of fire hazards and electrical shock.
If your home floods, one of the first things you should do to protect yourself and your family is to shut off all the electricity to the areas that could be flooded. Even if the floodwaters have not reached the outlets, eliminate the risk of someone getting electrocuted. If the floodwaters are already close to the electrical entrance box, call the power supplier in your location and have them disconnect the electrical supply to your home. Be very careful when dealing with electricity during a flood.
While you should know how to turn off the electrical breakers, take the time now also to investigate how to turn off the water at the street. You never know when you’ll need this insight.
Regularly checking your sump pump can help you prevent flooding in your home. Clean the pump and pit, and test it by pouring water into it. Make sure that the discharge hose is delivering the water for several feet away from your home to a well-drained area that slopes down from your house. If the outlet is too close to the foundation of your home or is on flat ground, the water can drift back towards the house and drain down into the foundation. Or better yet, call a professional water damage restoration team in to inspect the system and help you manage future risk.
Sewer backups usually occur when stormwater enters the sanitary sewer, causing the system to overload. This overload causes backflow into the house, usually through the basement. To prevent this from happening in your home, have a technician plug or cap all sewer openings in the basement: floor drains, sinks, showers, toilets, etc. An ounce of prevention can be worth more than a pound of cure.
Take the time now to plan for a future disaster. Think out where to take your important papers and belongings. Irreplaceable items such as family photo albums, high school yearbooks, tax records, and other financial documents, personal DVDs or videotapes, and household inventories should be placed on high shelves or in plastic, waterproof containers. Better still, important paperwork should always be copied and stored in a safe offsite location that is less likely to be affected by water damage.
In Madison Wisconsin, the restoration team that specializes in water damage restoration is Certi-Dry. Their professionals will remove any remaining water and debris, sterilize the area, affected furniture, and items, then clean and dry the affected area. Additionally, the team will hunt down leftover moisture and water to prevent mold and mildew, triggering problems for people in your home with asthma or other health conditions.