Cincinnati Water Damage: Article About Navigating Flooded Basements In Historic Homes
Some of the biggest post flood mistakes are made when a home's basement is filled with water. Many homeowners think it's critical they get the water out of the basement as quickly as possible, but this is very dangerous in historic homes. Before homeowners start draining their basements, they should consult first with Cincinnati water damage experts to make sure the process is done as safely as possible.
If the basement is flooded because of a weather related flood, the amount of water in the basement is going to be the same as the groundwater level outside. Pumping water out won't do any good because the water from outside will continually seep into the basement until it's flooded again and won't stop until the groundwater level recedes.
Pumping water from a basement may seem like an easy task, but it's actually quite dangerous. Not many people are aware that the water in the basement is creating the perfect amount of pressure to balance out the groundwater's hydrostatic pressure. When the groundwater level is higher than the basement's floor, pumping the water out will cause the foundation walls to be pushed in, resulting in a total collapse. If the basement has functioning floor drains and it's still flooded, that's a guarantee the groundwater table is too high to pump out the water.
The water damage experts at Griffin Contracting and Restoration of Cincinnati OH can assist you with any questions regarding fire and water cleanup or sump pump back ups.
In this case, the water should be left alone until the groundwater table lowers and the water can flow through the drains. Basements with a few inches of water can usually be safely pumped, but homeowners should wait until the groundwater level is lower than the basement floor.
Basements that leak and fill with water in older buildings may actually be beneficial in times of flooding. This keeps the foundation walls from collapsing if the outside groundwater is too high. However, as water flows through stone and brick foundation walls, it will carry the mortar with it. Since historic foundations are typically masonry, this is a common problem after flooding in a historic area. Areas with missing mortar will need to be repatched to prevent damage to the home's structure, so homeowners should have their foundations inspected after their basements are clear of water.
Earthen or unused basements in historic homes may seem insignificant until they're flooded with water and the home's foundation is at risk. Before a homeowner tries to pump the water from their basement, they should consult with a professional who can advise them on the safety of this move.