Flooded Basement? How To Start The Cleanup

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A flooded basement is one of the most frustrating problems a homeowner can discover.

Luckily most flooded basements aren’t incredibly dangerous or irreversibly destructive. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be expensive and heartbreaking. They’re also very common.

Young children turn on the hose for a water fight and leave it draining into a window well. A pipe bursts or is damaged by construction or other factors. Heavy rains, flash floods, burst dams, and other outside water can find itself pouring into your basement.

It can happen almost anywhere, to anyone.

The steps you take to clean up a flooded basement are particularly important because they can minimize the damage, preserve your possessions, and help you to stay safe throughout the process. Take a minute to read up on the steps of flooded basement cleanup so you’ll be ready in case it ever happens to you.

How to Start Cleanup on a Flooded Basement

  1. Safety Check. First and foremost you need to be sure that there isn’t a risk of electric shock, gas leak, structural damages, or raw sewage in your home. If it appears to be a burst pipe or outside water then you’re probably safe to enter. In the event of an earthquake or something that would threaten structural damage, you may need clearance to enter. Wear thick boots, gloves, eyewear, and breathing masks.
  2. Pump Out. For small floods, you can use a wet/dry vacuum, but for more than a couple inches of water, you’ll need a heavy duty submersible pump. You can hire a company to do this or rent one from a construction or home improvement facility. Drain the water into an outside drain, watching carefully that the water level doesn’t rise and looking for any cracks.
  3. Trash. Some items will likely be damaged beyond repair, such as paper or small wood items, cardboard boxes, electronics, etc. These can be removed immediately. If sewage caused the backup then nearly everything will have to go due to bacterial risks.
  4. Remove Dirt. Using a shovel, scrape and haul out any dirt and debris by depositing into buckets and dumping outside. Rinse with water to loosen dirt, as it will be much easier to get out wet than dry. Rinse everything thoroughly.
  5. Sanitize. Using chlorine bleach, scrub every area of your flooded basement to prevent contamination and future mold. Bring in fans to dry once you have sanitized all surfaces and objects, and be sure that all moisture has evaporated. Follow up days and weeks later with more bleach mixture to ensure no moisture is left to create mold and decay.

Does your home insurance cover you in the event of a flooded basement? Check your insurance policy today and call Bear River Insurance for supplemental, affordable coverage.


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What Does Renters Insurance Cover?

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A shocking number of renters don’t secure renters insurance. Often it can feel like just one more expense on top of an already long list of bills to pay, especially if you’re saving up to buy a home. Renters insurance can sound pointless and unnecessary.

Why would I need to insure this tiny apartment? Because renters insurance provides so much more security and insurance for your property, protecting you in the event of an accident, disaster, crime, and more. Plus, it’s more affordable than you might think.

Why Renters Insurance?

Home insurance makes sense – if something happens to the structure you’ve built or bought it could be devastating. But if you don’t own the structure, it’s not your responsibility right? Correct. What about all the stuff in the structure, though? That’s yours, and your responsibility. You likely own around $20,000 worth of property in your rental, so losing it could be expensive and tragic.

In addition, you’re responsible for things that happen in your rental, like injuries or accidents. Renters insurance is vital in the event of legal action or injury for guests. And did you know most rentals actually require their renters to have renters insurance? It’s because it’s best practice to protect everyone involved.

What Does Renters Insurance Cover?

  • Theft – if your stuff is burglarized, which is more common in a rental by the way, replacement can be covered by your renters insurance. Your policy will protect your property no matter where it is. That means you can be covered if you lose something on vacation!
  • Damage – if your property is damaged by a covered event, such as fire, earthquake, tornado, burst pipe, or other event then you can get replacement paid for by your renters insurance policy.
  • Liability – if someone is injured on your property, such a slip-and-fall, dog bite, or other accident then you could be liable to be sued. Renters insurance protects you against some of the legal costs and can cover medical payments for injured parties. Hopefully you’ll never encounter this but trust us, it’s expensive.
  • Living Expenses – sometimes your rental is deemed unlivable due to a disaster or other damage. Renters insurance can cover the costs of a hotel, food, transportation and other costs that might come up if you need to leave your rental for a period of time.

Your personal renters insurance may even cover more than this, depending on where you live and the type of policy you choose. One thing is certain – you should have a renters insurance policy. Bear River Insurance can give you an affordable renters insurance policy that protects you and your property. Just in case.


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