So it’s late afternoon on Saturday and I am preparing for the party of the year. I have been anticipating it for a month. At the same time the weather channel is predicting rain with flood warnings out the kazoo, but I won’t be defeated. This is the kind of party that starts off wild and ends up with half naked people running around doing Jello shots off of each other.
If you don’t know what a Jello shot is click on the link above for a full description. Anyway I don’t usually party like that, but this once a year event is not to be missed. Could I stress more how much I wanted to attend? But the roads were looking like this:
And the local news was reporting that many of them were washed out and that high winds were knocking trees down all over the area. We were strongly cautioned to stay inside, but that still wouldn’t stop me. Then I went into the basement and this is what I found:
This was not a pleasant discovery and believe it or not I actually hemmed and hawed about dealing with it right then, until I noticed that the water was encroaching on my home heating system. I went into freak out mode and no one I called knew what to do. Then I made a costly error. I called Service Master, who while helpful referred to a company that will do emergency water evacuation, for a huge price and before I knew what was happening they were taking my credit card info and sending some expert dudes to my house. I was assured this was my best option and by the time they got here I was so disturbed I would have signed anything just to make the water go away. This was a bad financial decision and now I am going to tell you what I have learned from it.
In most counties where flooding is a problem people pay taxes and a portion of these taxes go to the Fire Department:
If you have a flood in your basement and the water is encroaching on your heating system the Fire Department will come and pump the water out especially if the water is over 3 inches. When I eventually called them, they told me that even though I probably didn’t want to hear it, I was lucky. Some people they had gone to help had over a foot of water in their basement. So before you go spending a truckload of money or giving out your credit card number call your local Fire Department and see if they will come and help you.
Next I learned that you can go to a home store and purchase the following items: A shop vac, a sum pump, a couple large fans and or a dehumidifier an extra large deep bucket and enough tubing for the sum pump to carry the water out onto the street. This will only work if you are a do-it-yourself type with a window that opens out from the basement.
Next what you want to do is set everything up, have the guy or girl at the home store show you as much as he or she can about how the sum pump works and how to attach the tubing etc, make sure you measure how much you will need to get it out to the street or at least far away from your house and your neighbors houses as possible, if you can find a street gutter aim it there. Then plug everything except the fans and humidifiers in you won’t use them until much later. Please be sure to keep electrical sockets off the ground and out of the water.
Now begin the water evacuation process. Keep the empty bucket next to the shop vac, vacuum up as much water as you can, sometimes it will only take seconds for the vac to fill. Try to get one that turns off automatically otherwise the water will overflow and run back out on to the floor or worse it will short out the vac and you will have to buy another one. Once the bucket is full submerge the pump into it and empty it then quickly transfer the pump to the empty bucket where the water that remains in the tubing will pour out, then suck as much of that water out as possible and begin the process again.
Once the water stops coming in you can begin to set up your fans and humidifier to dry the whole room. After that and only after that should you consider having someone come in to treat your walls for mold or in my case, remove the drywall which will be ruined by the flood anyway. Then get a trusted plumber or other qualified professional to come in and fix the problem so it doesn’t happen again.
So instead of going to a fabulous party I learned how to get ripped off and then rescue myself by innovation. I hope this never happens to you. Believe me buying the items I mentioned will cost you hundreds less than hiring an emergency company to come and do it for you.