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Rainy weekend leaves metro companies busy bailing out basements

LEAWOOD, Kan. -- All of the rain had to go somewhere.

An underwater weekend, part of a five-day stretch of steady rain in the Kansas City metro, left many homeowners calling for help with their wet basements.

It's a cause and effect nobody wants in their home, as witnessed in a large Leawood home near Mission Road.

One side of the house's unfinished basement has a few inches of water standing. The cellar's other side has a crew of three workers using shovels and a jackhammer to remove the concrete floor, part of the procedure to restore the house's foundation.

"We've gotten 40 calls already this morning. That's a lot for us," said Ross Renne, who operates Grant Renne and Sons Foundation Repair.

Renne's family business has been operating for 145 years, and he's the fifth generation of his family to help bail out flooded basements. Renne demonstrated how soaked soil can expand and push against the foundation and walls of a basement, which often leads to cracks that allow water to seep through, leading to a soggy mess.

"Water can get into your basement three ways: over your wall, through your wall or underneath and through your floor. We've been seeing that last option a lot lately," Renne explained.

The family that owns that Leawood home asked not to be interviewed. They're frustrated after seeing rainfall, which has come since Thursday, create standing puddles in their basement.

That leaves companies like Renne's to soak up the water and to prepare the home for more water, which could be on the way, according to weather experts.

"If it's worse rain than we've already had, we'll probably have more people experiencing water issues," Renne said.

Renne said the local water table is already soaked, and if more heavy rain comes, more homeowners will be in need of a basement bailout.

He emphasized that panicked people should employ a professional to handle their foundation repairs, and once that basement repair company is called, homeowners need to be proactive in soaking up as much water as possible.

Renee said allowing the water to sit can cause additional damage to the home's floor and walls, as well as potentially attracting insects and, eventually, mold, which could make people sick.

"A shop vac will help. A squeegee where you can push the water toward the floor drain. Even putting out some towels to divert it that way, or even if you're taking on a little bit of water, to soak it up on the tiles themselves and just wash those," Renne said.

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