Sump Pump Disaster: Floods Can Happen

Sump Pumps are necessary plumbing fixtures in many homes. In most cases, the sump pump will do its job of keeping water out of your basement. Unfortunately, there are a few instances where the sump pump might not be able to keep up with the water demand. Without a backup power device, you could have problems resulting from power outages during major storms. If you do have a basement flood, it is important to know what to do. Instead of frantically trying to recover, having a plan will help you stay calm and get the clean up done properly. Here are some tips:

  1. 1. Disconnect power. If the flood in your basement is close to the outlets or wires, the power needs to be shut off. If it is already off due to a power outage, then unplug everything and get the cords off of the floor. Learn how to turn off the power to certain areas of your home and mark the location of the breakers on the box. With preparation, you can better manage emergencies like basement floods.
  2. 2. Move items. Anything that you can move, move. Move electronics and memorabilia first, because they are damaged by water the most. Carpets, furniture, and other items should be moved next.
  3. 3. Inform your insurance company. While you might not need to file an official claim, it can be helpful to let them know what has happened. Insurance companies also have tips on preventing more damage. Their knowledge can be helpful during the emergency and can help you better prepare for the next possible problem.
  4. 4. Get rid of the water. As soon as you can, move the water. You might be able to use a large broom to sweep the water into the sump pump drain (if there is room). Otherwise, a shop vac, bucket and mop, water pump, or collection of towels can be useful. You might become overwhelmed with the idea of moving that much water, but just take it slow and steady. You will be amazed how quickly the water will move.
  5. 5. Dry it out. Lingering water can create damage like mold and mildew. In order to prevent these problems, you need to dry out your basement. If the weather allows, it is helpful to open the windows to circulate the air. Place fans around the basement and get a dehumidifier, too. The best way to remove the remaining moisture is to attach a hose to the dehumidifier and have it empty into your sump pump drain. It is also helpful to change the towels repeatedly if there is any remaining visible moisture seeping into our basement.
  6. 6. Disinfect and deodorize. After you have removed the moisture from your basement, there still could be lingering bacteria and mold. It is vital that you disinfect your basement floors and walls before the bacteria make your family members ill and before the mold can grow. Your insurance company can recommend a good cleaning product. Otherwise, simple household bleach is a good option; especially if you have floors and wall that can handle a tough cleaning product, but remember that bleach can also create damage. Clean around the sump pump and the drain, too.
  7. 7. Watch for further mold growth. Since we are human, we are prone to making mistakes. It is important that you continue to watch your basement for further mold growth and mildew smells. If you find that the cleaning requirements are more than you can handle, contact your insurance company and ask them for recommendations. You might need to file claim. Most communities have cleaning companies that specialize in cleaning up after floods and other disasters.

If you need service for your sump pump, call Scott English Plumbing.  We have been providing plumbing service to Orange County residents for over 15 years, and we can take care of your sump pump needs.