On Your Side: Prevent flooding inside your house

Published: May. 5, 2022 at 9:40 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Some homeowners deal with flooded basements and standing water in crawl spaces after all the rain across the Ozarks.

Springfield homeowner LaDonna Morris says she had gotten a new sump pump last year, so she wasn’t too concerned.

Instead, Morris woke up to a surprise that her basement was flooded, which would cost her around $7,000 to repair.

”I checked my insurance, and on my old house insurance, I had a sump pump waiver, meaning they would cover it if the sump pump didn’t work or caused it to flood,” Morris says. “Well, I changed insurance companies a couple of years ago, and they were supposed to put that on, and they didn’t, so now it’s a totally private pay.”

Morris is no stranger to flooded basements, having gone through them in 2015 and 2017.

“I just thought not again,” Morris says.

James Bartley is the field supervisor for Bixler Corporation, known for cleaning up after floods like this.

Bartley says the first thing to do is take out the water as fast as possible, so there isn’t additional damage.

“The longer the water sits, the more it spreads,” Bartley says. “The more it spreads, the further up the walls it can go, or it can affect furnishings or anything else.”

After that, Bartley says it’s essential to dry out the sheetrock, so no mold sets in.

“Pull their baseboards,” Bartley says. “We try to punch holes in the walls where they’re wet and get air movement on the walls where it circulates.”

Westlake Ace Hardware’s assistant manager Bob Bowman says more people have been coming into the store looking to buy sump pumps.

Bowman advises buying one that has a switch to turn it on and off, rather than a circulating pump.

“You don’t want to just pump it out of a basement window or just outside of a door because it might be able to run back in somewhere else,” Bowman says. “You want it to actually drain away from your house.”

Even if you don’t have a basement, Bowman says it can still flood underneath your house and cause damage.

“Every once in a while, go underneath your house and take a look and see,” Bowman says. “Didn’t know there was water under there. It wasn’t supposed to be. It’s supposed to be dry and dusty, you might say. Keep your foundation vents open this time of year, especially so if there is some moisture in there, it might help ventilate and dry it out.”

Morris says despite the costs, it was vital for her to get it taken care of immediately.

“The carpet starts to smell, and it’s not a pleasant thing,” Morris says. “It’ll rot, and you have to replace the whole carpet. Plus, the furniture down there would be soaked longer, and you’d have to replace some of the furniture. So it’s not a great experience.”

Another thing to prevent flooding, Bowman says to make sure when you’re guttering that it’s pushed out to the yard and away from the foundation of your home.

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