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Basement flooding is one of a homeowner’s worst nightmares. Finding that your basement has become a wet, smelly, disgusting mess is extremely overwhelming, and many homeowners don’t even know where to start in restoring it to normal conditions. Let’s look at the repairs you may need to make and how to keep this from ever happening again.

First, determine the cause of the flood. It may be obvious, if there’s been a major storm or you’re aware that a pipe has burst. Note: while a burst pipe may be covered by insurance, storm damage is typically not covered. If the water is from a burst pipe, turn off the water at the source. Call a plumber to make necessary repairs before you begin to tackle your basement, because there’s no sense removing water while it’s still coming in! If the water came in from outside, determine how it entered your home. Did the basement drain back up? You may need a plumber to seal it and install a backwater drain. Is there a crack in the wall or floor? Did your windows or entrances let the water into the basement? Did your sump pump fail? Make sure it has battery backup and make any necessary repairs or replacements. If the water is due to a foundation problem, that will need to be repaired, as well.

Once you’ve drained out the water and made or scheduled the repairs, it’s time to clean the basement. Get rid of anything that cannot be salvaged, like wet drywall and insulation, and salvage the things you can, like upholstery that can be cleaned or wood furniture that can be restored. File an insurance claim, if possible, particularly because things like electronics will definitely be ruined in a flood. Wipe down the walls and floor of your basement with a good disinfectant, but avoid using bleach to clean concrete. It’s not good on porous surfaces and can be a breathing hazard when used in an enclosed space. If there’s mold, work with a professional mold remediator.

The best thing you can do, though, is make sure this never happens again. Check your landscaping to make sure it’s properly graded away from your foundation. Inspect your gutters and downspouts to make sure they’re not clogged and are carrying water far enough away from your home to prevent basement flooding. If you don’t have a sump pump, install one, and make sure it has the proper battery backup. Repair or replace doors, windows, and window wells that are allowing water to enter your basement, and caulk any cracks you notice that may be allowing water to seep through your foundation. Most importantly, call for professional help from a basement waterproofing company. The experts can tell you whether you need waterproofing, foundation repair, or a new drain system to prevent future basement flooding.

It’s not hard to prevent your basement from flooding when you trust Reliable Basement Services to make the process hassle-free. A family-owned and operated company, we’ve served the greater Chicago area for over a decade. We offer a full spectrum of basement services including crack repairs, sump pump systems, basement waterproofing, basement windows, and floor repair. Our consistently high standards have made us an award-winning Chicago basement waterproofing contractor, so call us at (630) 777-0539 or visit our website.

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