Categories Insurance Claims, Water Damage

Basement Flooding Caused by a Sump Pump in Indianapolis

This is a real-world flooded basement caused by a sump pump failure near Indianapolis, Indiana.

Our water damage case studies help answer questions about water restoration services, emergency plumbing services and water damage insurance claims.  We hope you find the answers to your questions and if you need help with water damage in the Indianapolis and surrounding areas give us a call.

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Flooded Basement Questions we hope to answer.

What caused the basement flooding?

How to get insurance to pay for water damage?

How did the emergency service plumber fix the problem and how much did it cost?

What water mitigation services were needed to remove the water and cleanup the basement?

Was the water damage covered by the homeowner’s insurance company?

How much did the water damage restoration services cost?

What was needed to complete the water damage repairs?



What caused the Basement Flooding?

When you have water in your basement after it rains 2 inches in an hour or if it rains heavily for a long period of time, typically the water is leaking into the basement because the sump pump is not working properly.

The basement flooding was caused by a sump pump failure.  In this customer’s basement the sump pump failed and a sump pump replacement was needed.  The homeowner did not have a water powered sump pump backup or a sump pump battery backup.  How long to sump pumps last?  Usually it is a good rule of thumb to replace a sump pump every 3 to 5 years.  Below is a picture of the sump pump after it was removed from the flooded basement.


basement flooding caused by sump pump


How to get insurance to pay for water damage?

An insurance company will pay for water damage for many reasons.  A water damage insurance claim can be difficult for any homeowner to navigate on their own because of all the unknowns and inexperience, you don’t know what you don’t know.

Dealing with an insurance adjuster after water damage can be much easier if you are working with a professional water damage restoration contractor.  An experienced water damage company can help you work through the details of water damage insurance coverage and walk a homeowner through a water damage claim process.

Restorex Disaster Restoration specializes in water damage insurance claims and helping our customers decide if they should file an insurance claim for water damage.  We are able to give our customers peace of mind to let them know what type of water damage is covered by homeowners insurance.

Once the homeowner places an insurance claim, Restorex takes care of the question – “How to get insurance to pay for water damage”.



How did the Emergency Service Plumber fix the problem and how much did it cost?

A sump pump replacement can cost anywhere from $800 – $1500.  The sump pump cost is about $150 – $300 depending on the quality of the pump you are purchasing and the rest of the cost is the installation by the emergency service plumber.

An emergency service plumber’s hourly rate can range between $100 – $200 per hour during normal business hours.  If they are called out after hours on the weekends, to make a sump pump repair, the cost can be twice as much.  If our customers can wait until normal business hours to make plumbing repairs we recommend it.



What Water Mitigation Services were needed to remove the water and cleanup the basement water damage?


Finding Water Damage

In order to find the what was wet in the flooded basement we used a Survey Master non-invasive moisture meter.  These moisture meters can read the moisture content of the wet building materials to determine how much was damaged from the water in the basement.  The basement water affected drywall about 6 inches high and the wood stud walls.  This basement had a finished concrete floor (no carpet and pad or laminate).  In our opinion, this is the best flooring for a basement that floods.

The basement was close to 2000 square feet and the entire square footage had basement water damage.

Water Extraction

Every water mitigation project begins with water extraction.  The water extraction equipment used to remove the water depends on the flooring in the basement.

When a basement pump is replaced, it will pump a lot of standing basement water out.  Once the standing water is pump out, we will begin to extract the remaining water with our equipment.

This customer had a finished basement and it had wet carpet and pad.   We used a portable water extraction unit to remove the water from the wet carpet and pad.  The water from the extractor is pumped into the sump pump pit and the basement sump pump removes the water from the basement.

flooded basement water extraction

Material Removals

The materials that get removed can be different on every water damage project.

On this particular project, we performed baseboard removals and removed the carpet and pad from the basement.  After the carpet and pad were removed, we tore out the tack strip that was ruined.

Water Damage Equipment

When the removals are complete, we set water damage fans and dehumidifiers designed to dry out a wet basement.  The equipment we use to dry out flooded basements are specifically designed to speed up the drying process.

We used a XXL Low Grain Refrigerant dehumidifier and a Large Low Grain Refrigerant dehumidifier and air movers distributed around the basement in order to increase the rate of evaporation.  Every water mitigation project needs to have air movement, heat and dehumidification to get the basement structure back to its original moisture content.

The drying process does not stop until all the wet building materials are returned to their original moisture content.



Was the water damage covered by the homeowner’s insurance company?

Yes.  The homeowner’s insurance policy covered the water damage restoration services, including the water mitigation services and water damage repairs.

Does homeowner’s insurance cover water damage from rain?  The answer to this question is Yes and No.  Below are some water damage insurance claims tips:

  • Yes, basement water damage is covered by insurance if the policy includes drain backup or sump pump backup coverage.
  • No, if the water came in through a window, wall, or door.
  • No, if the insurance policy does not include the writer to include drain backup or sump backup coverage.

How much does insurance pay for water damage?  There are some water damage scenarios that can have limits.  In this scenario the customer had $10,000 in coverage.  This was enough to pay for the water damage insurance claim for our customer.

We recommend that any homeowner that has a finished basement, carry at least $10,000 in drain backup or sump pump backup coverage.  


How much did the water damage restoration services cost?

The cost of water damage restoration services varies on every project.

Xactimate is an estimating software that uses individual line items to estimate all water mitigation services and water damage repair services to very detailed accuracy.  Restorex Disaster Restoration uses Xactimate to work directly with our customer’s insurance companies.

This water damage restoration project had 18 line items for the water mitigation and cost approximately $4,700 for the water mitigation services.

The homeowner’s insurance company paid for all the water damage restoration services and our customer was only responsible to pay their insurance deductible.


What was needed to complete the basement water damage repairs?

Restorex did not complete any basement water damage repairs on this project.

If you need help with a flooded basement, water damage or a water damage insurance claim give us a call (317) 315-5071.

Categories Water Damage

Sump Pumps and Basements

What a Homeowner Needs to Know about Sump Pumps and Basements

Basements are notorious for water damage and the cause of many headaches for lots of homeowners….But with a little “Know How” the average homeowner can maintain and protect their basement from substantial water damage.

Bottom Line Up Front – A Sump Pump is the most important piece of equipment in the modern day Basement.

The Sump Pump is what relieves the water pressure from the foundation walls when it rains, so they Do Not Leak. If the Sump Pump Fails, the water has no where to go except into the Basement…. Many professional plumbers recommend changing a sump pump every 3 to 5 years.

“This is the Best FREE advice you’ll get on protecting your basement.”


How Long Does a Sump Pump Last?

The sump pump can last longer that 3 to 5 years, but is it worth the risk?  By paying for some preventative maintenance, you can save yourself the time and hassle of a Flooded Basement and Water Damage Insurance Claim.

We spend a lot of time in flooded basements and there are many of them that could have been prevented by changing the sump pump by a professional plumber.


Failed Sump Pumps Cause Basements to Flood

Flooded basements are a very common type of water damage homeowners experience.  Most flooded basements are caused by sump pump back up or failure.

A sump pump will back up if it trying to run past its lifespan (3 to 5 years) or if the power is off due to extreme storms.  A lot of homeowners will have a battery back up system in case of a power outage.

In our opinion these systems aren’t the best investment because a lot times when you really need them they either are not able to pump out the volume of water or the battery is not good after a few years and cannot power the secondary pump for very long after the power goes out.


Categories Water Damage

Understanding Basement Water Damage


Understanding Water Damage in Basements

As a water damage restoration contractor we see a lot of basements that experience water damage.  In central Indiana we find ourselves standing in a lot of flooded basements.

Many times it is unavoidable but there can be steps a homeowner can take to help mitigate the damage.  It is very important for a homeowner who has a finished basement to have the proper insurance coverage.  Read our article on water damage insurance coverage.



Basements are built deep into the ground and because they are built deep into the ground, they fight against water intrusion constantly.  The foundation walls are concrete. Which is an excellent structural building product but is not a waterproof building product.

This is why a waterproofing system is installed on the outside of the wall, when the house it first built.  The waterproofing membrane can be a peel and stick product or a liquid based product that is sprayed or rolled on the wall.

The contractor gets one chance to do this correctly.  It is very hard and costly to dig up the dirt around the basement foundation walls to re-apply or fix the basement waterproofing if it goes bad.

The waterproofing membrane helps keep the water from coming into the basement, but it doesn’t pump the water away from the walls.  This is why sump pump systems are installed.



sump pump system is a combination of drain pipes that are installed at the bottom of the basement foundation walls, a sump pit, and a pump.

The excess water that is exerting pressure on the basement walls after a heavy rain or snow melt needs to be pumped away so that the walls are not damaged because of the weight or pressure of the water.

In theory, a sump pump system is good because it helps maintain good foundation walls by removing the water pressure.  The bad side of the system is that it relies entirely on one mechanical pump.

Sump pumps typically need to be changed every 3 – 5 years.  The problem is most homeowners don’t know when the last pump was installed.  The safest thing a homeowner can do is install a brand new sump pump and make sure it is sized and installed by a licensed plumber.

If the sump pump is undersized, it will not be able to pump the water fast enough and the water will back up into the basement.



In our opinion these systems are not worth the money.  Number one reason we don’t recommend them because we are cleaning up a lot of flooded basements that have them installed.

Now from a technical standpoint, these systems are usually installed with a 12 Volt Lead Acid Battery, that operate a smaller pump than your traditional sump pump.  These systems are installed just in case you lose power during a large storm.

Typically, during a large storm your basement is fighting against more water than normal and you need all the pump capacity that you can get.  When the power is out, your sump pump battery backup system kicks on, but it is only able to pump water using the smaller pump that is installed with the battery backup.  If the power is out too long the smaller pump will not be able to keep up with the volume of water.

The other limiting factor of the system is the 12 volt lead acid battery only has so much power to give.  If the power is shut down for longer than a few hours you might have water backing up into the basement because your battery is out of electricity to power the pump.



The best way to avoid a flooded basement during a large storm is to use a backup generator to run the sump pump.  If you have a small 2500 to 3000 watt gas powered generator on standby, this should be enough to keep your pump running, until the utility power is turned back on.



All basements should have a small dehumidifier running to keep the humidity down.  Basements are generally cooler than the other areas of the home.  Which means they are susceptible to moisture and mold growth.

When the humidity is high and the surfaces of your basement walls and floor are cool, the moisture can fall out of the air and absorb into your building materials (drywall, wood, carpet etc.).  When this happens the excess moisture, organic materials, and no sunlight is a good breeding ground for mold.



Our recommendation is to buy a dehumidifier that has an automatic pump system.

The auto pump feature allows the water created from the dehumidifier to be pumped into a drain without the homeowner being involved.

A small, inexpensive dehumidifier, we recommend to our customers is a Soleus Air® 70-Pint Dehumidifier with Internal Pump.  This is a good size dehumidifier that has an internal pump so you don’t have to empty the drain pan or manual operate the pump.



We have seen people install many different flooring products in basements.  There are a few products we recommend but a lot that do not work well in a basement.

Do not install any wood based flooring products in a basement.  This includes hardwoods, engineered hardwood, wood based laminate or any variation of wood based products.

Wood and water damage do not mix well.  Basements are very prone to water damage.  Therefore, it does not make sense to install wood based flooring products in a basement.

Carpet is affordable, compared to other flooring options. But carpet and pad also absorb a lot of water when affected by water damage.  Usually a homeowner will need to hire a water restoration contractor if their basement floods and they have carpet installed.

Next we will talk about different waterproof and water resistant flooring.



The only flooring that is technically waterproof in our opinion is concrete and ceramic or stone based tiles.  These products when installed on a concrete slab do not need to be removed when a basement floods.

Vinyl Laminate Plank or Waterproof Laminate Floors do need to be removed when a basement floods.  Therefore, in our opinion these floors are not waterproof but water resistant.

They are great products to install in a basement when considering flooring options.  But they should be removed if you experience a flooded basement.  Read more about waterproof laminate flooring.



Finished basements usually take the form of wood walls, that are insulated with R-19 Batt insulation, covered with paper faced drywall, with wood baseboards and carpet and pad flooring.

Other amenities that can be installed are full bathrooms with sink, toilet and a shower.  A partial or full kitchen installed with a sink, dishwasher and refrigerator.  Or large TV rooms or theaters rooms for the family to enjoy movie night.

All of these amenities come with their difficulties if your basement floods.  A homeowner should check with their insurance provider to ensure the limits on their sump pump backup or drain backup will cover everything in their basement if it floods.



If you are finishing a basement with a fully functioning bathroom, this will require a trash pump system to be installed.  This trash pump is what takes the “sewage water” from your sinks and toilets up to the sewer system.

Much like a sump pump, the trash pump runs on electricity and has a limited life span.  If the trash pump fails or backs up, you not only have water damage but you have sewage damage.

The standard operating procedure for a sewage cleanup is to remove all porous materials that the water touches.  This includes drywall, baseboards, insulation and carpeting.

Most people who have bathrooms in their basements don’t know they own a trash pump, until it needs replaced.

These pumps don’t have to work has hard as the sump pump.  But they do require oversight to make sure they are being changed within their lifespan.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Categories Water Damage

How to Remove Drywall affected by Water Damage?


When drywall is affected by water damage it can hold a lot of water and sometimes fall apart.  If the drywall is not properly dried or removed in a reasonable amount of time, the home could be at risk for mold damage.  Drywall does not always need to be removed during a water damage restoration project but when it does it can be a messy process if you don’t use the proper equipment.

A common tool for water damage restoration companies is a dustless drywall saw, shown in the video above.  The saw is connected to a vacuum that collects the dust while it cuts the drywall.  This can save a restoration contractor lots of time cleaning up a job and save a customer from having a layer of dust on everything in the home.

The drywall saw is set to cut the thickness of the drywall.  Typically 1/2″ to 5/8″.  We set our saw to cut just before the wood studs to ensure we aren’t cutting into the wood that holds the wall up.  When we are finished making the initial cut, we have to come back through and use a razor knife or utility knife to make the final cut before removing the drywall from the wall.

After the drywall is removed, we like to put the pieces into a thick plastic bag before carrying it out of the home.  These bags are typically 6 mil clear poly bags.

If don’t have access to a drywall saw or you are a home owner looking for a DIY approach you can use a drywall saw to make the initial cut and then make the final cut with the razor/utility knife.




Categories Water Damage

Basement Water Damage

Basement Water Damage

Restorex Disaster Restoration helps a lot of customers who experience water damage in their basements. We understand the stresses and anxieties that come with a flooded basement. The video below gives a brief overview of the required steps to properly clean up a basement after it has been affected with water damage.


Basement Water Damage Clean-Up Process

Step 1: Water Damage Inspection

Step 2: Water Removal

Step 3: Removals

Step 4: Drying Equipment Set up

Step 5: Equipment Monitoring

Step 6: Final Evaluation


Water Damage Inspection

The water damage inspection for a flooded basement is to determine the extent of the water damage in the affected basement. The flooring can be visually inspected but sometimes the water can affect carpet pad without showing on the carpet surface. How Restorex Investigates Water Damage.

The next step is to determine if the water affected the walls.  Typically, the water will only reach 1-2 inches throughout the basement.  The walls can show wetness up as high 12 inches.  The paper on the drywall will wick the water up the surface showing the wall to be wet above the baseboards.


Water Removal

The most effective way to clean up a flooded basement is with water removal.  We are able to remove water from basements with extractors.  We use the best water extractors on the market and they can remove water through the carpet and pad.  During extraction we will need to move the furniture and contents in the basement to run the extractor over all the affected areas.



Depending on the extent of water damage we might be required to make removals of certain building materials.  In a basement with water damage, this can include baseboards, drywall and insulation.  Every basement is built differently so it just depends on the initial inspection to decide what is required to be removed.

At this time we would spray a plant based anti-microbial product call Benefect.  This product is a hospital grade disinfectant and will help prevent any microbial or mold growth during the water damage cleanup process.


Drying Equipment Set Up

Drying equipment is used to remove the remaining water from the basement.  Standard drying equipment for water damage restoration projects are Low Grain Refrigerant (LGR) Dehumidifiers, Electric Heaters, and Air Movers.  This equipment provides the necessary energy to remove the water from the affected materials. Read about Restorex’s water damage equipment.



Equipment Monitoring

The drying equipment needs to run for a minimum of 3 days.  During those 3 days we need to stop by to check on the equipment.  During these visits we will make sure all the equipment is running properly and get temperature and relative humidity readings.  These readings tell us if the equipment is creating a good drying environment.


Final Evaluation

After 3 days we will inspect the basement and determine if the building materials have been dried to their original moisture content.  If everything has dried properly, we will remove the drying equipment and adjust the furniture and content back to their original locations.  The water damage repairs will come after the drying is complete.






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