OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — The sound of large fans is in the air in Kansas City-area basements.
Last week’s cold stretch has home rescue professionals working overtime bailing out metro homes, where homeowners had water pipes freeze and burst. Temperatures last week fell well below zero.
FOX4 spoke with eight water damage repair companies, half of whom were too busy to take our phone calls. Those companies are underwater in their own right, still answering phone calls for help after numerous homes suffered in last week’s frigid conditions.
Overland Park resident Tony Jacobson discovered a big mess in his neighbor’s basement on Wednesday. He said it was cause for panic. Jacobson was house-sitting for his neighbors while they traveled out of town for the holidays.
“There was water everywhere,” Jacobson shrugged.
Jacobson figured a couple hundred gallons of water flooded the home’s lower level. He scrambled to shut off the water flow to the house. He and the homeowner quickly called for help.
“I’ve had it happen at my house. Once you have the water off, and you have the water off the floor, you can see the light of day. It’s not as catastrophic as you would think,” Jacobson said.
Companies like Enviro Dry, where owner Jason Short and his crews bail out desperate homeowners, said the phones have been flooded with calls.
Since Thursday, he said he’s received nine calls from homeowners who are underwater. That doesn’t sound like a big demand, but Short said it is for his company, and it’s enough to keep him and his crew hopping.
“This has been the worst freeze we’ve seen for two and a half years,” Short said Thursday.
Short’s workers shut off the water as soon as they can to avoid further damage. Then any flooring or drywall that’s soaked up water has to be replaced. Short said basements can take a few days to dry up, even for a basic job.
Short said some cases involve homes that take on water for a few days before homeowners realize it’s there.
“We’ve got water that has come down, depending on when it was found. It may be a few hours, so we can catch that. If it’s been a number of days, you can have mold growing as well,” Short said.
Short said his company is beginning to experiment with water alarms that will warm a homeowner of flooding, even if they’re out of town.
A basic bailout bill can cost a homeowner at least $2,500 unless insurance helps pay. He also recommends that clients contact their homeowner’s policy provider before calling for help.