What a storm yesterday! With very little warning some parts of Southern Ontario were hit with a record rainfall that caused serious flooding. Here are some helpful tips for people who are dealing with flooded basements after yesterday’s storm. Special thanks to the Canadian Red Cross for providing many of these tips.
- It’s important to contact your insurance company before removing anything from your home or doing any work to the affected area. They may require an inspection or photo documentation of the flooded area.
- If necessary, contact the appropriate utility or service company to have your service restored (i.e. electricity, gas, cable, phone, etc.).
- Use extreme caution as you enter your home. Protect yourself by dressing properly, including rubber boots or sturdy boots, safety glasses, hard hat, rubber gloves and a dust mask.
- Use pumps or pails to remove standing water, then a wet/dry shop vacuum to mop up the rest only if the water has not reached your basement electrical outlets.
- Do not use flooded appliances, electrical outlets, switch boxes or fuse-breaker panels until they have been checked by a qualified electrician.
- Have your central heating system checked by a qualified technician before use. Replace any parts that have been damaged or soaked. Replace filters and insulation inside furnaces, water heaters, refrigerators and freezers if they have been wet.
- You may need to consider replacing the whole appliance, depending on the severity of the damage.
- If water has reached the bottom of your water heater, do not try and light it yourself, call a qualified professional. Your tank will be inspected to ensure it will function properly before the technician restarts it.
- Clean or replace footing drains outside the foundation when clogged. Consult a professional plumber for advice.
- Flush and disinfect floor drains with an all-purpose cleaner or unscented detergent and water.
- Rinse and clean all floors after consulting with a professional cleaner. You may need to replace flooring that has been heavily soaked.
- Dry carpets within the first two days. Hire a qualified professional for large carpeted areas. Throw out carpets soaked by sewage, as they are unsalvageable.
- Clean all affected interior walls with all-purpose cleaner or unscented detergent and water.
- If you have a a finished basement, you will likely need to remove drywall or paneling and any insulation, up to the water line. Allow stud work to thoroughly dry before replacing damaged materials.
- Remove residual mud and soil from furniture and dry it off. Consult a furniture restoration professional to see if any upholstered furniture can be salvaged.
- Remove cushions from covers and dry separately.
- You may need to replace particleboard furniture entirely if it has been saturated by floodwater.
Direct Energy has years of experience helping homeowners recover from disasters and ensuring their heating, cooling, and water heater needs are quickly back to normal. If you have any questions or require service give us a call at 1-800-266-3939.