Experts warn many Hoosier basements can easily flood

(WISH Photo)

GREENWOOD, Ind. (WISH) — With rain pummeling Indiana throughout Friday, plenty of Hoosiers could be dealing with flooded basements.

Homeowners need to keep a close eye on their basements and crawl spaces these next couple days because even though the downpour may be over, you could still face flooding and potentially tens of thousands of dollars in damage.

For basement restoration companies like SwainCo. Crawl Space and Basement Repair, when it rains it pours.

People called all day Friday, concerned that their walks down to their basement could end with a pool of water.

“There are a lot of homeowners who don’t know,” said Adam Swain, one of its owners. “They’ve not experienced it.”

The common issue is a storm causing a power outage, which in turn prevents a sump pump from working.

Many homes do not have back-up batteries or generators to make sure the rain water doesn’t flood the basement.

“Not too many people are going down to check their pump all the time to make sure it’s working,” said Swain. “Most people find out their pump went out because they have got water flooding their basement.”

Diane McIlwain said she has seen too many basements flood and vowed it wouldn’t happen to her. On Friday, she had a backup battery installed.

“It’s worth it for peace of mind, to know that your house and home is safe and is not going to get flooded,” she said.

But unfortunately experts estimate more than half of basements do not have the proper backup systems to deal with flooding. And if you’re part of that statistic, you’re not out of the woods after Friday’s rainstorm.

Make sure your sump pump is working, your gutters are clear, and extend your downspouts. The flooding could hit in the next day or two, so you should be checking your basement often.

“Monitoring, checking, making sure everything is dry,” said Swain.

And if you’re concerned, you can get a back-up battery installed. It’s a couple thousand dollars that could stop you from shelling out $20,000 if your basement floods.

“It’s a wise investment,” said McIlwain.

If your basement does flood, you do need to be careful. First experts say you shouldn’t touch any electrical wiring. You should hire professionals to help drain it, and then you should also put fans or dehumidifiers on to avoid mold from growing.

Mold can grow a week or two after flooding and can cause you to get sick. So you should check any wood, drywall, boxes lying around and your carpet for signs of growth.

Of course, if you find anything, you should call someone who deals with mold removal immediately.

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