Steady Rains Take Their Toll on Colorado Basements

Posted by Matt Buchanan

A week of non-stop rain has finally taken its toll on many homes and businesses throughout Colorado. While spring thunderstorms are no stranger to the Rockies, the past several days have seen steady, heavy rains that seemed like they were never going to let up. And when there’s a battle between Mother Nature and your basement’s sump pump, sometimes Mother Nature is going to win.

flooding-coloradoWhile nothing like the flood of 2013, the past week has certainly been a reminder to many of the damaging effects too much rain can have on our communities. Unlike 2013, this past week tested every pat of Colorado. Many Colorado Springs basement floods were reported, and the storms path included much of the I-25 corridor causing flooding damage in Denver and Fort Collins, with areas in the Western Slope also feeling the effects. (image courtesy of KRDO Channel 13)

We’ve received hundreds of calls from homeowners throughout Colorado that have water in their basements and once again the most common issue is a sump pump failure. It’s no surprise, given the amount of work they’ve been putting in their past week, that some simply ran out of gas or otherwise stopped working. In some case, power outages were the culprit.


What should I do if my basement flooded?


If you have not already, you need to call a professional water damage company. Flooding basements can be dangerous. The most immediate danger comes in the form of electrocution. In fact, if your basement flooded and you’re considering trying to enter it, we would strongly discourage you from doing that until the home’s meter has been removed from its socket, thus ensuring no electricity is circulating throughout the home.

FloodingOnce you have called for help and have successfully cut the electricity to the entire house, if you can safely remove items from the basement that are in danger of getting wet you should move those items to a dry place. But before you enter the basement water, please understand that depending on where the water came from, it can be extremely toxic. Especially in instances where the water came from a nearby river and crossed over a large area of ground, it can pick up harmful toxins and other agents that can cause infections or other ailments. Because of this, we always recommend trying to wear water-proof gear or other protective gear before entering a flooding basement.


How should water be removed from basements?


basement-water-extraction-systemThere are a variety of basement water extraction systems we can use when faced with standing water in your home. While these systems can pump out almost all of the water within a matter of minutes, sometimes that isn’t always the correct approach. Why? Because sometimes pumping the water out too fast can cause the basement walls to collapse. Although there is some water inside your home, there is even more water outside. The inside water actually helps balance out the pressure being applied by the outside water, and should that balance be disrupted too quickly, the wall can collapse.

About Matt Buchanan

I grew up in Irving, TX and left for Nashville, TN for college. After college I lived in Washington, DC and then in Cairo, Egypt. After coming back to the states, I spent a couple of years back in Dallas before moving with my wife to Denver!
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