2 Tips to Avoid Coming Home to a Flooded Basement
At Advanced Carpet Cleaning in Bel Air, MD every summer we get frantic calls from homeowners returning from vacation to a flooded basement. While there is no way to guarantee this will never happen to you, over the years we see the same causes again and again that are easily preventable.
The #1 cause we see of basement floods every summer is a pipe leak somewhere in the home. Even the tiniest leak can cause catastrophic damage if unstopped for a long period. Two frequent culprits are toilet and ice maker supply hoses. Running right behind these are washing machine hoses that burst when no one is home.
Years ago we had a customer whose neighbor was travelling throughout Europe for the summer. This neighbor was very private and had no one checking her home while she was away. Apparently early in her trip her home experienced some sort of leak as described above, and the water ran unabated.
When she returned months later her entire home was contaminated with black mold, which can be highly toxic. She lost all her possessions, just as if she had a bad fire. The home had to be gutted, decontaminated and rebuilt.
The worst part about a loss like this is how easily it could have been prevented. Whenever you leave your home for an extended period it’s very easy to shut off your water main supply valve. This one step would have prevented that woman from experiencing a catastrophic loss. Remember, your home can be rebuilt but there are surely possessions you have that are irreplaceable. Things like wedding and family photos, prized collections and your favorite clothing items and furnishings could be lost forever.
But of course there are other ways homeowners experience floods. Shutting off your water main will prevent internal sources of water, but what about when the water comes from outside the home? Even if you have a standard sump pump you can experience a loss if your home loses power.
In this case you can have a sump pump installed that has a battery backup. If your sump pump is more than 10-15 years old, or you live in an area that experiences frequent power interruptions you may want to consider this option. Although the initial cost is a few hundred dollars more, it’s worth it for the added peace of mind.
These two preventative measures can prevent you from having to make that frantic call about your flooded basement. Just a few simple steps can prevent so many headaches and heartaches. Enjoy your summer vacation, and we hope to never get this sort of call from you!