We all know that Seattle winter rain is no joke. But then SPLASH…suddenly your basement has flooded in Seattle and you are freaking out. And if you are a recent home buyer, you might even be raging at the former owners. You’ve never had a flooded basement before, and during the holiday season no less…
In the last twenty-four hours, we have received calls from a lot of our clients who have never had any issues with their basements. Suddenly all of this rain is soaking more than the Christmas spirit. Here are some tips and tricks to help you survive the next couple of days and get your house back in order.
Your Basement Has Flooded in Seattle – Tips For Dealing With A Watery Mess
Here are tips and steps to take when facing a flooded basement in Seattle… and to prevent future flooding. If you are reading this in a panic, take a deep breath and know that it can be resolved. Just proceed methodically and safely, step-by-step, and with the right tools. In brief:
- Get everything to higher ground
- Find the water’s source and stop it as best you can
- Get the water out
- Start drying the basement
- Assess the damage
Step One: Get everything to higher ground as quickly as possible
A flooded basement in Seattle is a recipe for disaster. We do not have termites in the PNW, but we do have mold. Lots of mold. And the best thing you can do right now is to get everything out that might be impacted. Paper goods are probably doomed if they are already soaked, but clothing might be spared. Get it all out to triage the flood itself, starting with finding the source. You can do laundry later.
(And with patience, you might save some precious books, too. Check out this WikiHow on drying books when the crisis has passed.)
Step Two: Figure Out the Source of the Problem
The most common cause of a flooded basement in Seattle is clogged downspouts. But plumbing issues are a common cause, too, especially a clogged undersized drain and/or dysfunctional sump pump. During heavy rains, professionals are swamped. Your best bet is to get handy and do the work you can rather than just waiting for assistance.
Step Three: Stop the Water From Getting Into the House
If your basement has flooded because of plumbing issues, you may not have the necessary tools. But if the water is coming directly from outside, you can do a lot to stem and redirect the flow. In some cases, your basement may flood just from a leak in the wall. You can plug leaks yourself with hydraulic cement or polyurethane caulk, for less than $20.
If the water is flowing from outside, buy sandbags and block the entry points for the water. If your downspouts aren’t completely clogged, you can get some tubing extensions to push the water further away, and then create more long-term solutions when the crisis is over.
Your driveway might be at a slope where a normal rainfall is not a big deal. But it might be the reason your basement has flooded in Seattle winter rain. Cases like that may require some serious landscaping to prevent future basement floods. You might need to create a small berm (to block water) or swale (to redirect water around the house). Making sure there is adequate soil for drainage around the house is also important.
Step Four: Get the Water Out of the Basement
You will probably need to get a shop vac if you have a couple of inches of water hanging out on the basement floor. If it is more substantial, you can always go rent a pump. And of course, take ALL the precautions you can when dealing with water and electricity.
Step Five: Start Drying Out Your Basement
Get fans, dehumidifiers, and heaters running. It can take days and days to dry out a flooded basement, and even still you may need to replace some drywall to prevent it from rotting and molding. Hence…
Step Six: You May Need to Remove Carpet and Drywall
Some basements will flood so badly in Seattle that the only choice is to start over, and you should probably make that call in a matter of days after the disaster. Mold can take over so fast here, especially from grey water (or, even worse, black water).
As you can see, an ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure when it comes to fixing a flooded basement in Seattle. This is why it is so important to keep gutters clear after autumn and make sure your downspouts extend far enough from the house. But if all of this is being said in hindsight, Team Diva is here to help with if you need a referral to a contractor or specialist with basement flooding in Seattle.
Also, check out ToolBox Diva’s “How To Properly Restore Your Water Damaged Home” blog. Timisha is an Experienced Handy Woman and DIYer, LOVER of Power Tools and Obsessed with the color BLUE. Check out her blog as she remodels her home and teaches others how to do it on a Shoe String Budget.
Meanwhile… to lighten the mood let’s revisit an oldie but good video about removing leaves from your gutters.
Basement Has Flooded in Seattle And I Need Some Humor
And to keep the spirit light let’s watch a video by DonnaTella Howe and Kim V. Colaprete about cleaning your gutters. Cause dirty gutters is the number one reason why basements flood in Seattle. We get a lot of debris into our gutters and we rarely take the time to clean them out during the Fall. Be a DonnaTella Howe, put on some lipstick, climb a ladder, and clean out those gutters.
Other Home Maintenance Blogs to Reference
The cost of maintaining a home should be a critical part of your home buying and/or selling plan. We often overlook this aspect of homeownership. A little home maintenance prep work in the Fall will help all of us become better stewards of our homes. And hopefully, keep your basement from flooding in Seattle in the future!