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What To Do When The Rain Comes In

by: Sue Adler
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puddle Remember when you were a kid and splashing in a puddle after a big rain was the highlight of your day? Fast forward to adulthood and that same image of a child playing in a puddle may bring a smile to your face—unless, of course, that puddle is inside your basement instead of at the end of your driveway. New Jersey is notorious for the dreaded Nor’easter, the collision of warm air from the Atlantic Ocean and cold, artic air in the north and the west that brings hurricane-force winds, heavy rain or snow, and flooded basements all over our beautiful Midtown Direct communities.

If you woke up this morning with buckets of rainwater cozying up to your washer, dryer or hot water heater, here are some tips for sending Mother Nature back outside where she belongs and tending to any damage she may have left behind.

Safety first: The first thing to keep in mind is that electricity and water do not play nice together. Make sure that the electricity is shut off from the main box before you wade into any flowing or standing water. If you aren’t sure whether you’ve properly shut off the electricity to the flooded area, please call a local electrician, the fire department, or related professional.

Water Removal: If you have a small amount of water, a wet-dry shop-vac can be used for removal. If you have larger amounts of water, you can rent a pump from a local home improvement store or call water removal specialists.

Clean up: Now the “fun” of clean up begins. Allow any wet objects to air dry as soon as possible to prevent mold and mildew from forming. Open doors and windows, and if you have electricity in the area of the flooded area, use dehumidifiers and large fans to aid in the drying process. Clean any surface that has come in contact with the flood waters, including floors, walls, appliances and fixtures. Wash first with clean water, followed by warm soapy warm water, and direct the cleaning water to the drain or sump pump. Follow up by disinfecting affected areas and appliances with solution of 8 tablespoons liquid chlorine bleach to a gallon of water. Use undiluted chlorine bleach to flush and disinfect floor drains and sump pump drains. Discard any food items, toxic chemicals or any items that cannot be washed properly – when in doubt, it is safer to discard the item than to risk mold or contamination. Professional restoration service providers are available to come and assist with every step, ensuring that your home is safe, dry and clean.

Assess appliance damage: It is very important to assess damage to any electrical appliance that may have come into contact with flood waters. Call a qualified professional to review the washer, dryer and hot water heater before you plug them in and turn them on.

Moving forward: If your home is susceptible to water damage, consider installing a French drain or sump pump, or look into other water-proofing measures. A qualified expert can help you assess the best course of action to prevent water disasters from happening to you in the future.

The Nor’easter is just a fact of life here in New Jersey. Preparation is the key, and the Sue Adler Team is here to help. If you are looking to buy or sell a home in our area, we can assist you in addressing any potential water-related issues that may arise. We have a trusted list of professionals who can assist you, from the home inspection through repairs. And our service to our clients doesn’t end there, because we know that even with the best possible preparation, water may win the battle of the day at some point throughout the time you live in your home. Perhaps the sump pump has reached the end of its life, the washing machine overflows or the hot water heater leaks all over the basement floor. You might not know who to call for assistance, but we do. We’ve got you covered. The Sue Adler Team is part of your home ownership team long after your closing. Rain or shine, we are yours to count on!

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