Water damage in basements is a fairly common problem. Accordingly, there are many different companies and services that will clean up and repair your basement. A flood can be a costly experience no matter how it is approached, so there are some things that need to be considered before you begin repairs.
What’s Actually Happened?
The first thing to consider is what damage has actually occurred. This can vary greatly depending on your situation. If you have an unfinished residential basement with nothing in it except a water heater, your estimate to repair is going to be straight-forward. However, if you have a finished basement with drywall, electric, and furniture, the process is going to be more complicated. It’s important to consider the complete amount of damage before you begin fixing anything.
For instance, if you didn’t consider the possibility of mold on wooden studs and only replaced the drywall, because that’s what’s visible, you’re going to have problems down the road. Another thing to keep in mind is that if the water that your basement has been flooded with has been contaminated with sewer water, you need to re-run all electric that was under water. This is because fine particulate contained in the sewer water can get under the wire sheathing dry, and catch on fire. This will be an easy-out for your insurance company should anything ever happen. Re-run the electric and keep a record of it.
The Legal Stuff
Your insurance company will hopefully be an important part of the clean up process. Homes in some areas of the country are required to have flood insurance. But not all homeowners policies carry it, so it’s a good idea to know what you’re covered for and what you aren’t. Regardless of what your policy covers and if you’ll be working with an insurance company, I recommend taking a lot of pictures and thoroughly documenting everything that has happened.
If you ever plan on moving out of your house, the potential buyer has the right to be informed of any water damage that has occurred. So to help save yourself a lot of money on the re-sale, make sure that you can prove the repairs were made properly and the risk has been suitably mitigated.
For the DIYer
Now let’s look at some numbers. If you plan on doing it yourself, expect to spend about $1000. This includes a pump, fans, dehumidifiers, and everything else you’ll need to get the job done. However, I only recommend this route if you’re already familiar with the process. There are many things that can make the job dangerous such as electricity, gas or fuel, and the water itself. Make sure to address these items before continuing to DIY.
Trust the Pros
If you’re going to hire professionals, it’s important to shop around and get a few estimates. Also, make sure that you know what you’re getting for the number that they give. Is it only for water removal? Or does it include all of the necessary repairs? A good ballpark figure to start with is $1000. This would cover water removal from a clean water flood, in a relatively small basement. It will cost about the same as it would to do it yourself, but you’re saving yourself the hassle of worrying about the potential hazards involved.
If you’ve got a finished basement of a substantial size, you can expect to spend significantly more. $15-20,000 would not be an excessive price to pay for a completely re-done basement. Things can get more complicated if the flood was caused by a hurricane and damage is widespread. Costs will be driven up by the fact that there is a shortage of both labor and materials.
Looking to Upgrade
Also consider what you can add to your basement to possibly prevent this from happening in the future. The most obvious thing to add is a sump pump, which will automatically pump water out of your basement. The pump itself is fairly cheap, but the installation is expensive because they will need to punch a hole in your basement floor. Another possibility is to change the landscape around the house.
Look at the grade of the land and natural features surrounding your house. Is there anything that makes you particularly susceptible to flood waters? If this is the case, there are ways to address those issues such as storm drains and basins. They will be significantly expensive to install, but may be worth it depending on your situation.
Our expert contractors have served homeowners successfully for decades in Fairfax, VA. To learn more about how to care for a flooded basement or to prevent flooding using residential waterproofing services, please call us or contact Dirt Connections online.