Water Flooding in Basement – What are my First Steps?

The big question: “Does Insurance Cover Water Damage in my Home?”

In Michigan, typically, insurance does not cover outside groundwater that comes indoors. (*some policies excluded) The first thing to do after you have water damage is to check with your insurance company and see if the water removal and cleanup will be covered and if that’s the right option for you. If insurance doesn’t cover the damage, many homeowners are in a frantic bind trying to resolve the situation themselves.

We strongly advise you to call for professional help as soon as possible because water damage can lead to problems quickly. Here’s 5 Reasons the Pros Should Handle Your Flood Damage


  • We have a team to finish the job in probably a few hours.
  • Our equipment and products will extract water, dry structures, and sanitize your home efficiently.


Get Professional Water Restoration Help

If you can't call a professional right now, Here are helpful steps for DIY how to get water out of your basement:
  1. Take Safety Precautions

    • No Live Power
    • If you have standing water in your basement, make sure there is no live power that may shock you as you step into the water. As you know, electricity and water don’t mix.

    • Contaminated Water
    • Be aware that outside groundwater is considered contaminated water. Murky groundwater is not safe to be standing in or around without protective gear. See note below

    • Protection Equipment
    • Because of the contaminated water, personal protection equipment should be used (gloves, boots, goggles, extra clothes to cover all skin, and mask, if necessary) Your basement is already flooded, so make sure to protect yourself from a hospital trip because you’re not being safe.

  2. Remove Items

  3. In your protective gear, remove all cardboard that has been affected. Cardboard breaks down very easily when wet and traps tons of water. Eliminate all cardboard material from the basement. Then, remove as many wet valuables and items as you can, and move them to a dry place (outside, driveway, garage, friend’s house, in extra parts of the house, anywhere you can think of).

  4. Extract the Water

  5. Once the site is safe, extracting water with a sump pump or wet vac will be your best resource. You could settle for a carpet cleaning machine. Unfortunately, these personal machines don’t have enough power to dry structures like we do, but this will get you by, depending on how much water you are dealing with. There might be too much water for you to handle alone. Please call your local water disaster restoration company for help.

  6. Remove More Material

  7. If the water came in from outside, it is contaminated water, so all materials will need to be removed like drywall, trim, carpet, and padding. Yes, everything the water affected NEEDS to be disposed of. The outside water poses too many problems to take a risk.

  8. Get Your Basement Dry

  9. Set up air movement (fans strategically everywhere) and a dehumidifier after all the water has been extracted. It is very important you get the whole structure of your basement dry because mold can begin to grow after 48 hrs. You don’t want to mess around with growing mold.


    Outside Water is Contaminated Water

    According to the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration, ground water ranks as the highest of 3 category levels of water contamination. This means that flood water is “grossly unsanitary” and is rife with bacteria and other unsafe ingredients. ServiceMaster uses strong sanitizing agents to greatly reduce the potentially negative health effects of this water.


    Get Professional Water Restoration Help

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