Heavy rains bring flooded basements - KCTV5

Heavy rains bring flooded basements

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Repairs to water damaged basement (Erika Tallan/KCTV5) Repairs to water damaged basement (Erika Tallan/KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Heavy and frequent rains are bringing a nightmare to homeowners and landlords: flooded basements.

Plumbers and contractors are inundated with telephone calls from folks desperate for help. Carpets are ripped out, musty smells are settling in, furniture is ruined and fans are on full blast.

That is the scene in too many homes in recent days.

"I didn't want mold in my house," said Mission Hills homeowner Julia Long. "I guess it was panic mode."

Her home's sump pump had failed, and there was about 6 inches of water on the basement floor.

Martin Meyer, a general contractor with ServiceMaster Restore, said the Long family had to replace the sump pump as soon as possible in order to get the water out of the basement quickly.

Carpet and baseboards then have to be removed. You need to bring in dehumidifiers and air movers to get the mold out of walls and carpet.

"You have about three to four days to try to save your carpet before it takes on the mildew smell," Meyer said. "If you let that go too long, it will totally sour and you'll have to cut it out."

But there are steps you can take before the rains come to protect your home or property, especially if you live downhill or near a creek.

To prevent flooding, make sure your sump pump has a backup battery so if you lose power then you don't lose your sump pump functions.

"Always number one, check your sump pump," Meyer said. "Any time it rains heavy, you're going to want to go downstairs and take a quick look around."

Be sure to remove debris from the water pit and check your sump pump regularly. A sump pump should last 7 to 8 years. It is considered more cost effective to replace a sump pump than to repair one that quits working.

Experts say make sure your sump pump has the capacity for your basement. Some sump pumps couldn't keep up recently.

Long is now hoping the repairs won't take too long since they discovered the flooding fairly quickly.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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