Water main breaks flood streets, damage sidewalks, and can submerge basements. Homeowners are responsible for cleaning up the sopping mess around their homes. Here’s how to clean up after a water main break.
Inspect for Damage and Get the Water Out
Contact your insurance company to find out if you have coverage for damage from a water main break. Take pictures and document all the items ruined by the flooding.
When water is no longer gushing out into the street and the work crews have left, carefully inspect your home—starting in the basement and moving up—for signs of seepage, wet floors, or walls. Check inside cabinets, too.
NEVER enter a wet basement or flooded area that has electrical appliances in it—you would put yourself at serious risk of electrocution. Make sure the power to your home is shut off before entering any flooded area.
If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, you may be able to clear minor seepage with a shop vac. But if the water is standing several inches deep in the basement, you’ll need a pump. You can rent one, or you may choose to contact a professional restoration company. Depending on how bad the break was and how long it took to repair, water could continue to seep into your home for several days, so check until you’re sure no more water is coming in.
If the flooded area was carpeted, take the furniture out and pull out the carpet. Soaked carpeting and waterlogged furniture may not be salvageable.
Wipe up remaining moisture with towels, then prepare to dry out the space. Fans can help dry things up, but you’ll need a powerful dehumidifier to prevent mold formation and get things dry faster. The number of fans and dehumidifiers you’ll need depends on the amount of space you must dry up. Check the dehumidifiers regularly to empty their buckets, or rig them with hose attachments at the connection provided and allow the hoses to drain the water collected into a floor drain or sump pump pit.
Weather permitting, open doors and windows to expel odors and speed drying. Remove and replace damaged drywall and plywood—or have the restoration company do it. It’s essential to get all the wet materials out, or they’ll turn into a breeding ground for mold. Disinfect the area before you rebuild.
After experiencing a water main break, it is suggested to flush all of the pipes within your home. A break can cause sediment and contaminants to get into the water supply. Turn on the biggest faucet in the house and run it until the water runs clean. Then, do the same for all other faucets. Clean the aerators to get rid of any trapped debris.
Cleaning up after a water main breaks includes checking the water supply pipe that carries water from the city supply to your home for damage. Contact Harris Water Main and Sewer for an inspection and water main repair in Brooklyn and other New York City boroughs.