How Bad Is Basement Flooding?

Basement flooding is a fact of life in many parts of the country. Sump pumps and French drains are potential solutions to reduce or prevent some water from entering your home, but what happens when these systems fail or are overloaded? Once water enters your basement, damage can occur quickly. Water has the potential to wreak havoc even in unfinished spaces. Even worse, the extent of the damage following a flooding event may not be apparent until much later. If you've recently experienced a basement flooding event, then it will pay to understand the probable signs of trouble so that you can address them as quickly as possible.

The Ticking Time Bomb of Water Damage

Surprisingly, the long-term effects of water damage don't disappear once the floodwaters have receded. Pumping your basement deals with the immediate effects of standing water, but it does little to stop the impact of moisture elsewhere in your home. The spread of moisture throughout a house can be an especially troubling problem in humid environments, where water may quickly begin to saturate surfaces other than the basement floor and lower walls.

As moisture spreads through nearby surfaces, it creates the perfect environment for mold to gain a foothold. Most homes contain the spores necessary for mold growth, and colonies can quickly begin to grow and expand once they receive the proper ingredients. Moisture is the one part of the recipe that mold spores are typically missing, and mold can begin to spread like wildfire once moisture is present. This makes any flooding event a potential catastrophe waiting to happen.

Evaluating the Situation

The best way to prevent additional damage and stop the spread of growth is to evaluate your home following even minor flooding events. Running fans or dehumidifiers in the affected space can help to quickly soak up moisture, but this only works if that moisture is contained. Check adjoining areas for water infiltration and carefully examine the basement ceiling as well. Although water will always move to the lowest level possible, warm conditions and humidity can allow moisture to spread to walls and the ceiling.

In addition to the growth of mold, water can damage wood studs or ceiling joists. Damage of this type can be especially dangerous if your basement is finished or partially finished. If your basement uses wood stairs or you have wood shelving units, these should also be checked for damage and moisture. Anything that can be easily moved should be removed from the basement and allowed to air out completely.

Dealing with Damage

Quickly dealing with water damage is your best option to prevent the growth of mold and further damage to vulnerable surfaces in your home. If you aren't sure about the damage that your basement may have suffered following a flooding event, then you shouldn't hesitate to contact a water damage specialist. These professional contractors can perform a thorough evaluation of your basement to locate any potential hidden water damage and offer recommendations to restore damaged areas.