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Don’t Let a Basement Flood Ruin Your Summer!

Advice from the Plumbing Experts

flood cleanup new york

Summer is a great time to head to the pool. However, you don’t want a flood to create a pool of water in your basement.

Most basement floods are caused by an excess of water pressure in the soil surrounding your foundation. The cause of that pressure is usually intense. It can be the result of saturating rainfall or a concentration of water directed at the base of your house from gutters and downspouts. Improper window installation can also lead to flooding.

Eventually, that water pressure will cause cracks in your home’s foundation, walls, and floors, which could lead to ongoing water and flooding problems. So, how do you prevent these problems? And what should you do if you have a basement flood? Here are some tips.

Preventing Basement Flooding

Preventing a flood in your basement begins with addressing home plumbing basics and having a fundamental understanding of the mechanics of your Sullivan County home.

Especially if your basement is prone to flooding, here are some steps you should take:

  • Be proactive. Hire a professional plumber before the worst happens. One of Black Bear’s plumbing experts can identify any flood risks and problem areas in your home by performing a complete inspection of your drainage and plumbing systems, as well as your property.
  • Know your responsibilities. You’re responsible for your household plumbing (and what you put into it), along with pipeline connections up to your property line. Your municipality is responsible for anything that happens between your property line and the sewer main. Make sure you have the contact information for your municipality.
  • Look for and seal foundation cracks. You should seal minor cracks from inside your basement. If you have substantial exterior cracks, you’ll probably need to hire a professional contractor.
  • Regularly check your walls and floors. Water issues can eventually cause structural problems to walls and floors, which increase flooding risks. Look for signs of water damage and deal with them quickly.
  • Maintain your gutters and downspouts. Having efficient roof drainage is a key to managing flooding risks. Clogs, cracks, and other issues with your roof drainage system can speed runoff and cause pooling that could lead to sewer back-ups and water problems inside your house. Water should discharge as far away as possible from your foundation. You may want to invest in downspout extensions. And always discharge water to splash pads or grassy areas of your property rather than your sanitary system.
  • Keep street catch basins clear. Street catch basins and storm sewer grates drain water into the storm sewer. If these basins get blocked, they can cause big problems. Be sure to keep them clear.
  • Check your policy. Review your homeowner’s policy and be clear on what is and isn’t covered in the event of a flood.
  • Have good water use habits.
    • During a storm, avoid high water volume activities (running your dishwasher, washing machine, etc.).
    • Avoid pouring grease down your drains. These materials eventually cool, solidify, and accumulate in your piping system or the sewer main and can cause a sewage backup.
    • Use your toilets properly. Make sure only human waste and toilet paper gets flushed.

Tips for If Your Basement Floods

If your basement does flood, here’s what to do:

  • Don’t panic. Work diligently, but calmly.
  • Contact your municipal water department. Report your flood to your local government. This may lead to more resources being allocated to understanding and fixing the problems in your neighborhood.
  • Contact your plumber. One of Black Bear’s plumbing experts can check to make sure all your plumbing systems are operating correctly.
  • Clean and disinfect. Protect your hands, eyes, and feet during any flood cleanup. Sewer drains can contain toxic contaminants. Mix eight tablespoons of liquid chlorine bleach with one gallon of water to disinfect all surfaces flood water has reached.
  • Throw out questionable items. Take a photo of ruined items for insurance claims purposes, but don’t risk your safety by keeping them in your home.
  • Remove damaged drywall. To minimize the possibility of mold growth, remove all flooded drywall within 24 hours of the flood.
  • NEVER touch electrical items in standing water. Safety first!

Black Bear Is Here for You

Whatever your plumbing needs, Black Bear’s experts are here for you in northern Orange County, Sullivan County, and eastern Ulster County. To see if your New York neighborhood is in our service area, enter your ZIP Code here.

Contact Black Bear today to learn more about professional plumbing services in Sullivan County, New York!