Wet Basement! Now What?

By this time of year, most of us are getting tired of winter and rejoice at those early signs of spring. Even spring showers are a welcome change from snow – unless of course, you notice that following those spring showers you’ve got a leaky basement or crawlspace. And if you are dealing with a wet basement, you will have to act quickly to mitigate the damage.

Here are the steps we recommend taking if you notice water in your basement.

Step 1 – Stay Safe

A wet basement poses safety hazards, and it is best to avoid going down there while it is still wet. If you absolutely have to go to the basement, wear rubber boots and never handle anything electrical. Do not attempt using a wet-vac unless there is a dry outlet to plug it into. If the water is very deep, you may need to call your hydro company to shut off your service.

Step 2 – Determine the Source of Leakage

If you have a wet basement, you will need to call a contractor – but which contractor you call will depend on where the water is coming from. If the cause is a burst pipe, or faulty water heater or boiler valve, then you will need to call a plumber.
If the water is coming through leaky basement windows or through the foundation, you will need to call a basement repair company.

Step 3 – Dry out your basement

Once it has been determined that it is safe to go into your basement, you will need to have it dried out. If it is only wet in one area, you can usually do this yourself with a wet vac and a dehumidifier. Take a look at your eve troughs to make sure they are working properly, as they prevent rain water from entering your home. If the basement is completely flooded, particularly after a heavy storm or the thawing ground, it is best to leave this job to the professionals.

Step 4 – Get rid of items that will attract mould

Unfortunately, a leaky basement often means that you’ll end up losing some of your possessions – but trust us – it is better to get rid of a few things than to have to deal with mould problems on top of everything else. Items like paper, cloth, and leather can attract mould within a few days, so do not delay this step!

Dry out things that can be dried out and discard the rest. Remember that you will also have to get rid of things like carpet, drywall, and warped wood trim.

Step 5 – Take preventative measures

Now that your basement drying out, you will want to take what preventative measures you can to prevent another incident. These can include steps to prevent outside water from coming in – such as making sure that your gutters are clean and the downspout is far away enough from the foundation, as well as ensuring that your plumbing is up to date by replacing your old water tank.

Step 6 – Get your basement waterproofed

Finally, if the cause of your wet basement was a leaky foundation, it is important to hire a reputable basement waterproofing company to address the problem. Conterra Foundation and Repair Ltd. specializes in exterior basement waterproofing, and we can seal the outside of your foundation to help prevent future leaks.

Remember, dealing with a wet basement isn’t fun, but it is important to deal with it quickly to prevent the situation from becoming worse. If you have a leaky foundation, the Conterra team can help – so even those spring showers can be a welcome sight again.