Water Damaged Basements
The Signs of Water Damage
The basements of many houses are at risk for water damage, simply because they are the lowest point of the house, and flood water pours into them. On the bright side, basements prevent the top of the house from flooding by providing a place for the water to go. On the downside, people often store valuables in their basement, including dry food and antiques. The basement of one old couple flooded during a power outage, and they lost fifty years of history. Much of it was recoverable because it had been stored in plastic containers, but some of it had been stored in wooden trunks and was lost forever.
The first step towards recovering from basement water damage, then, is to make sure your goods and memorable are stowed in water proof containers. If you do not want to loose it, then store it high and dry, or in plastic. Anyone with a basement should expect this risk, so it pays to take the precautions necessary to keep damage to a minimum.
If a flood does occur, what are the signs of water damage basement ? The first clue is that your floor is covered with water, although this is not necessarily so. Amost all basements are protected with a drain or a pump, which runs off electricity. In the case of the old couple, the power was out during an ice storm and the flooding was the result of the pump not being able to function. In other cases, the drain might be clogged. If the power comes on and the pump works again, there may not be any water for you to see.
In that case, look for residue on the ground. Water should leave a trace, especially near the pump. Look at anything on the ground, such as a couch or cardboard box. If you look underneath, there should still be water or at least moisture. If anything in those boxes experienced clear water damage, then there is your case.
On the bright side, water damaged basements are not too hard to clean up. They are typically made of concrete and brick, and so all you may need to do after pumping is to mop the slime and removed damaged or rotten material. To that end, consider protecting the stairway to your basement with some sort of water guard, and make sure your pump is in working order. One of the advantages of having a gas generator is that you can operate your pump during a power outage.