Fast action can minimize a rising, rank situation — and the money it'll cost to repair.
1. Don't ever, ever step into standing basement water. "You could be shocked or electrocuted," says Rooter Plumbing. Who wants to venture into that murky mess, anyway? Turn the power off or call an electrician to be safe.
2. Then stop the flow of water. How you do that depends on what the source is:
-Broken or malfunctioning pipes - Turn off your water's shut-off valve. If you don't know where that is, scope it out now — before the worst happens. Some valves are buried in the ground and require special tools to turn off.
-Sewage backup - Stop flushing toilets and running faucets. Your local sewage authority may offer pumping services or let you submit a reimbursement claim. If you have a septic system, though, it's on you. Call the septic company to have your tank pumped ASAP.
-Groundwater - Sorry, that's bad news. You can't turn off Mother Nature. The good news: Groundwater flooding might not stink as badly as sewage. Get references for a waterproofing pro or a structural engineer because you could have a foundation problem. That tiny wet spot in a basement can soon became a full-on flood causing thousands of dollars in carpet damage – not to mention the cost to repair the structural issue that allowed water to seep in in the first place.
3. Find a plumber with a high-capacity pump. This is not a job for a DIYer. It needs to get done fast. You need a professional-grade pump. "The longer that water sits, and the longer your drywall spends under water, the more long-term damage". The more damage, the more it costs to clean up.
4. Make your smartphone earn its keep. Take photos and video, then back them up in the cloud, so you'll have them for insurance purposes.
Source: Excerpts from House Logic