Walking down into your basement, only to splash into a puddle of water when your foot hits the floor, is an experience that homeowners dread. Whether your basement is a glorified crawl space, unfinished storage area, or a second living room, it is an important extension of your home. When it takes in unwelcome water, it can quickly become a threat to the entire house’s cleanliness and safety.
Many things may be running through your mind when your basement floods, such as how to clean up the water and what caused the flooding in the first place. But, one of the biggest questions may be: “How much will this cost?”
The short answer is: it depends. The cost of flooded basement cleanup can vary widely depending on a number of factors. Here’s five of the most important to keep in mind from the moment you spot the issue:
1. The Type of Water that Flooded Your Basement
The type of water that flooded your basement determines what kind of cleanup is necessary. Clearing clean water, such as from a leaking indoor appliance, will require less work than cleaning up water that contains sewage or drainage from outside. Not only does dirty water bring in contaminants that take extra work to clean and remove, but it also may require special disposal methods.
2. The Extent of the Water Damage
The flooded basement cleanup cost also rises with the extent of the water damage. A few things contribute to this: the severity of the flooding, how long the water sat, and what was in your basement.
For example, a small puddle of water, spotted within minutes of your washer machine overflowing or fridge leaking is not hard to clean up. It can be taken care of quickly with little additional cleanup. But, if a burst pipe causes your basement to fill with a few inches of water, significant damage is now present. That damage will be more involved, and expensive, to clean up.
What you keep in your basement will also have an effect on the flooded basement cleanup cost. If it is primarily used for storage and contains only boxes of clothes or holiday decorations, the job will be less expensive. But if your basement houses valuable items, such as electronics, furniture, or keepsakes, it will have to be cleaned with greater care and caution.
3. Whether You Have Flood Insurance
If your basement flooded due to a natural cause, such as a hurricane or heavy rainfall, your flood insurance policy will likely help pay for much of the cleanup. If the flood was due to something else, there is a chance your regular homeowners insurance will help offset the costs. But, most homeowners policies have a pretty limited range of flood-related issues that they will cover.
This is why most people located in areas susceptible to flooding like central North Carolina invest in a separate flood insurance policy. If you don’t have flood insurance or your homeowners insurance does not cover the conditions that caused the flood, you’ll be responsible for the entire bill.
4. If Mold is Present, or Could Be
When you live in a humid state like North Carolina, you know that mold is a constant threat. Even a small leak can cause mold to grow, and a flooded basement is a breeding ground for all sorts of mold.
If you catch the problem quickly, you might be able to air out the space and avoid a full-blown infestation. There are a few reasons you might not have been able to clean up the water when you originally spotted it. If the water was dirty or contaminated, or if the flood was the result of a storm that kept bringing new water in, the moisture may have had hours to stand untouched. When this happens, the drywall, furniture, carpets, and anything else the water touches could now have mold spores, even if mold is not visible yet.
If water or moisture remained present for any significant amount of time, you’ll need to call in a professional for flooded basement cleanup. Make sure you choose a company that can also handle mold remediation. They will know what to look for and be able to handle it right away if mold is present. Mold removal is a tricky business, and it’s best left to the experts.
5. How Long You Wait to Call Professionals
The cost to cleanup your soaked basement will also increase the longer you wait to call in professional help. Not only will the water cause more damage the longer it sits, but mold will have a chance to grow, which will complicate and extend the job.
Too many people try to clean up their flooded basements themselves. This can make the problem worse – and more expensive – than it would have been to work with the experts from the beginning. If you’re dealing with a flooded basement, it’s important to act quickly. The sooner you call in professional help, the less damage will be done and the lower your flooded basement cleanup cost will be.
Don’t DIY Your Flooded Basement Cleanup: Work with Trusted, Local Experts Instead
We get it: trying to cut costs by cleaning up after a flood is tempting! But, don’t let things get worse before you call us. At First Call, we are your neighbors and we are here for you! We won’t take advantage of you, but rather, we will make the stress of the situation easier by taking care of everything with professionalism and transparency. From providing honest estimates ahead of time and setting realistic expectations, to taking care of every aspect of the clean up and restoration process, you can breathe a sigh of relief when we arrive on the job.
Don’t wait to call us for help with your flooded basement cleanup! Contact us today for a free inspection and check out our service areas here: firstcallnc.com/contact-us.