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Chicago Flooding Basements

Sewage flooded this basement in Chicago

Flooding in basements can be the result of over flowing rivers, cracks in foundations, but most flooding in basement in the greater Chicago area is a direct result of sewer problems. Make sure that you are careful about what you flush down the toilet, or wash down the drains. The only things that should go down toilets are septic safe toilet paper and human waste. Avoid putting grease and hard stringy food down the drain, or garbage disposal. Most plumbers in Chicago would suggest not even using your garbage disposal in the sink.

basement flood

Chicago really has an unbelievable history of flooding basements making major news stories since it was even founded as a city. One flood on April 13, 1992 dropped an estimated amount of over 250 million gallons of water in basements throughout the entire Chicago Loop causing an unreal amount of damage and financial loss. The insurance companies providing water damage and flooding insurance coverage to the Chicago residents and businesses probably weren’t very happy that day.

mike did a sewer cleanup jobin Chicago

Now, not every flood in Chicago causes that much damage, or deals with that much water, which is why that is probably known as “The Chicago Flood”. However, there many floods in Chicago basements every day of the here no matter how much rain there is. Rain storms and heavy showers in short periods of times to cause more flooding damage in Chicago especially in the Loop, Bucktown, uptown or Downtown, but there is so much water going through the sewers on a daily basis from so many people using indoor plumbing that there is always a sufficient amount of water going through the sewers to cause a flood in a basement in a hurry.

The Chicago sewer system does not separate rain water from sewage. Chicago is an old big city with an old big city plumbing system, so the water that floods most homes, basements, or businesses in Chicago is not just rain water. Most people don’t realize that water that came up the floor drain, or backed up out of the sink, shower, or toilet in the basement is not just rain water. It can be clear and may not smell that bad, but it is still sewage. It will definitely smell worse the longer it sits and the source of the water damage becomes very obvious within 24 hours as the true smell of the sewage sets in. Sewage water that floods your basement in Chicago should be dealt with immediately which is why 2nd Chance Water Restoration proudly offers its professional mitigation services 24-7 every day of the year.

You should call 2nd Chance Water Restoration of Chicago, if you have had flooding damage due to sewage back up, heavy rain, failed sump pump, or broken injector pits at 630-546-2239 for a free estimate any time.

Most people in Chicago have experienced a flooded basement in their homes, place of business, or storage area. Most people that have been fortunate enough to avoid a flood in their basement know someone close to them that has had a flood recently in their basement, because there are that many floods in Chicago basements. There are millions of people using a public sewer system that constantly needs to be fixed. Owning a basement in Chicago is like signing up for a flood down the road, because chances are that any basement in Chicago has had at least a little bit of water damage due to flooding from either rain, or sewage. Chicago area home buyers and business owners should definitely do their due diligence, when looking to purchase a property, because some people do try to hide water damage rather than have a professional service company take care of it.

Mold growing due old flood damage

You should never buy a property in Chicago that has a basement unless you have been there during or immediately after a heavy rain storm, because that many people try to hide flooding damage in their basement.

Our service pros are master level water damage cleaners and mold removers that have years of flood cleaning experience and certifications in water restoration and mold remediation with the clean trust foundation (formerly known as the IICRC). Call 2nd Chance Water Restoration for a completely free flood damage estimate at 630-546-2239 any time.

Flood damage in basements can cause mold which we explaining in this blog here.

Some mold can even be toxic and cause serious health effects which we explained here.

Have a question about water damage due to flooding in your basement? We have a FAQ page.

Need tips on how to avoid water damage? Check this information out.

Not sure, if we to die service to your area? We probably do, but check out our service area page.

Why do I need flood insurance?

Flood insurance is different than regular insurance for water damage. Make sure that your agent gets you signed up for “flood insurance”, because flooding and sewage backups are the biggest cause of water damage in Chicago area basements. You are over five times more likely to have a flood in your basement, than you are to suffer fire damage making it the biggest risk for your insurance company.

Some of the best ways to avoid flooding in basement include:

1.) regular maintenance on your plumbing and roof

2.) replacing your sump pump every 2-4 years

3.) do not buy the cheap sump pumps

4.) rodding your drains and sewer pipe every year, or so depending on your conditions

5.) avoid flushing baby wipes, paper towels, and feminine products

6.) check your windows, door jams, and foundations for signs of water damage frequently

7.) regularly inspect gutters, down spouts, and window wells to make sure there is no blockage and proper draining

8.) check the backs of appliances and look at the plumbing, or water supply lines to check for leaks and corrosion

9.) make sure windows and doors are closed, when it is is raining especially those leading to the basement

10.) run a slow drip through your plumbing supply lines and into the drains during the winter to keep water moving, so as to prevent freezing of the pipes

11.) keep your cabinet doors on outside walls that have plumbing supply lines in them open during the winter a little bit, because they can freeze even, if the room is 70 degrees. Drafts and poor insulation can lead to plumbing supply lines freezing enough to break in an otherwise warm room.


  1. Industrial strength extraction equipment is brought into the home to physically remove any free standing water and water that is trapped and should be extracted in carpet and carpet padding, and upholstery.
  2. If necessary, carpet and/or padding may be removed, or floated/lifted to enable air flow underneath it for proper drying.
  3. Professional and industrial drying and dehumidifying equipment like industrial size air movers and Low Grain Refrigerant Dehumidifiers are used to dry the affected areas and return the humidity levels in your home to normal with 48-72 hours after the initial water damage emergency.
  4. Special instruments like hygrometers and moisture meters will be used to identify hidden pockets of water that can be trapped in wood, drywall, and other cellulose materials.
  5. Proper water extraction and professional drying techniques help minimize the possibility of secondary damage, potential mold growth and reduces costs to rebuild the damaged areas.
  6. Our water removal service professionals will monitor the drying process daily, and reposition the professional drying equipment that we use as needed.
  7. 2nd Chance Water Restoration will even work directly with you and your insurance adjuster to process the insurance claim and bill your insurance company directly.
  8. 2nd Chance Water Restoration has pro service specialists that have Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) in water restoration and mold remediation. These individuals are highly trained, motivated and prepared for any emergency water removal task that they encounter! Whenever they encounter it.

We have all of our technicians take continuing education courses every year to make sure that we have the best water removal specialists not only in the loop, but in the entire Chicago land area.

We can deal with your homeowners insurance company after your basement floods and bill them directly for the work that we do. You need to call your insurance company, if your basement floods, so that you can get a claim number, which allows us to bill them directly.

Some insurance companies deliberately omit floods, or other “acts of God”, so they don’t have to cover the cost of replacing water damages items, or home material, so make sure to speak to your agent and check your policy, before a water damage disaster strikes. Make sure that you are covered for flooding and other “acts of God”.

The insurance company should send out an adjuster right away to assess the damages. There are times, where they try to put this assessment off, which they shouldn’t, because items and materials damaged by water need to be removed and drying needs to start right away to avoid further damage. Insurance companies will be the first ones to use words like neglect, so they don’t have to pay for additional damages, so hold them accountable and try to get the adjuster to your home as soon as possible, so they have to cover the loss.

Whqether you have insurance, or not, you should call 2nd Chance Water Restoration to get a free estimate on water damage, sewage cleanup, or mold removal at 630-546-2239!

We highly suggest calling John Spears the Plumbing Doctor for all of your local Chicago area plumbing needs at 630-936-1157. John and his well trained chicago plumbers do a great job every time. Seriously check out the plumber’s reviews on yelp.

I hope this information blog on flooding in Chicago basements has been of service to you and strikes you as professional.