4/27/2010

Is it safe to leave the home with water in the basement? - Reader Question.

water in basements can make it hard to leave the home
This question can be a tricky one for many homeowners. When is it alright to leave a home if/when I'm in the process of flooding or leaking? The goals are to stay safe and get the water out of the home.

Small leaks and seepage can be controlled, and shouldn't necessarily control your routine. Towels, sand bags and wet vacuums can all help keep these under control. Submersible pumps (sometimes called Floor Suckers) can also help to keep this in check.

If the water is coming in from multiple areas, too quickly for you to handle, then leaving the home probably isn't a good idea.

Floods consisting of feet of water in the basement can in fact happen over night. Letting your home sit with this much water can be dangerous for your first floor and for your electrical wires running through your home.

The question's answer boils down to loss. Will your stuff be ruined? By my leaving am I putting my home in danger?

If you're planning on going on vacation and don't have any moisture/water/flooding protection in the house, sadly to say leaving while your basement is flooding might be a bad move. In order for any emergency service companies to come and help, you have to be home.

Puddles and small leaks are another matter.

Flooding is a natural thing that happens in many parts of the world, but if it's happening to your basement often (so much so that you have to even think about leaving the house with water in the basement) then it might be time to have a full waterproofing system installed. You don't have to choose between your life and bailing out your basement.

Some basic guidelines:
*Few inches or less in the basement = generally safe to step out of the home

*anything more than that - especially a few feet = generally not safe to leave.

Safety issues:
*Water could be high enough to short out electrical box
*Water could turn off heat and hot water in the home
*Water + Electricity = Death = Make the safe call and call a professional to come and help.
*Long periods of water in contact with dry wall, insulation or wood can cause rot and mold - this is a huge issue for people with respiratory illnesses or complications.


Related Reading and Links
Read about the Top 6 Basement Mistakes that contractors and homeowners make. See what other readers have asked in Safe'n'Dry Basement Blog's Reader Questions Section
Ask Jacob A question Directly on Pioneer Basement's Help Forums!
Image copyright www.heimer.com

3 comments:

Nyc mold removal said...

Thanks for the guidance...when a disaster of this level strikes you tend to lose the presence of mind and don't know where to start so this should start as a handy help.

Jacob @ Safe and Dry Blog said...

and to top it off, it's not something that's really taught to people. It's ether learned from previous history or it's not. With the series of storms and showers coming through the North East many homeowners who've never had water in the basement were now calling and asking "what do I do?"

ASAP Waterproofing said...

Very good points in your article.

Sometimes it is safe to leave your home if there is not too much water in the basement.

But, you have to be careful because any moment that can change. We have seen cases when people just see a minor leak from a wall, which turns out it's a pipe.

Then, out of nowhere the pipe burst open and they had a real problem on their hands!