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Madison homeowners fight water damage

Relentless rain yields expensive repairs

MADISON, Wis. - Madisonians may not be the hardest hit by this week's rain, but homeowners were spending Tuesday battling water damage in their basements nonetheless.

When Madison landlord Dan Pope heard from his tenants about water in the basement of two of his west side properties, his first call was to Certi-Dry, the water removal company. He's not the only one giving the water removal company a call – employee Gerry Pfeifer said at crews were working on at least 10 different homes Tuesday, and all cases were a result of the seemingly relentless rain.

"The phone has not stopped ringing," Pfeifer said.

Pope's two residences saw water damage in their basements largely as a result of clogged gutters and downspouts that were located too close to the exterior walls. Both homes saw a little water damage, but even a few wet carpet spots can add up in cost, according to Pfeifer.

"This job here is probably going to run someplace between $700 and $1,000," Pfeifer said of one of Pope's homes. "Some of the other ones I've seen where the walls are wet, they can get up to $2-3,000."

Pfeifer and his crew spend the afternoon peeling carpets back and drying basements across the city. Even though Madison is in good shape compared to the rest of Wisconsin after the week of rainy weather, he said city homeowners are still scrambling to address water damage.

"Typically when we see floods like this, it's not where it's 3 feet of standing water in the basement. It'll be what you're seeing here, where the carpet's a little squishy," Pfeifer said.

Water damage like that seen at Pope's residences could be easily avoided, according to Pfeifer. He said it's the little things, like checking downspouts and cleaning out gutters, that could have made all the difference for Pope and his tenants.

"Sometimes you're mowing the grass, and you kick the downspout out of the way, and you forget to go put it back on, and then you'll have a problem like this," Pfeifer said. "And before you know it, it's costing you $1,000 or $2,000 to get it dried out."

Relentless rain yields expensive repairs

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