A flooded basement can provide the worst experience in your home especially when it was least expected. It can occur because of torrential rain, leaking roof, a broken pipe or flooded water from outside. Water damage caused by a flooded basement can result in a weakened structure or growth of molds if left unaddressed. Although you need to take care of the problem as soon as possible, it is important to ensure that is safe to do so. Never step on the flooded water as it poses the risk of shock or electrocution. Here are five things you should do if your basement is flooded.
1. Pump Out the Water from Your Basement
If you are up to the task, you need to drain the water from your basement. This can be done using the necessary equipment, which can be accessed for temporary use from a construction rental store. Alternatively, you can seek help from water removal services as they offer safe and quick removal. However, they might take some time to get to your home if the problem is widespread.
A wet/dry vacuum can be used to deal with floods that cover a small amount of space or less than an inch deep. Using this equipment, the water in your basement can be sucked into a tank that can hold up to five gallons of water. A sump pump or a submersible pump is used to deal with moderate or large floods.
2. Clean your Basement
It is important to protect yourself by wearing protective clothing since floods pose a number of health risks. Some of the protective clothing include rubber boots, gloves, and overalls. A facemask and protective eyeglasses can provide protection against harmful gases. Unless you are certain that everything has dried out completely, it is important to avoid any electrical equipment since they can cause shock.
Now that you are prepared for the cleanup process, start with any mud or dirt that was introduced by the floods into your basement. Hose off all the dirt sticking on furnishings and walls. Remove any water that remains behind after cleaning using a wet/dry vacuum.
3. Remove any Damaged Items
Although you will salvage most of your items, it is important to know that some of your most valued possessions will be damaged beyond repair. They need to be thrown out especially if raw sewage found its way into the basement. Some of the materials that need to be thrown out include canned goods or foods, carpet deeply penetrated by sewage, wall materials soaked in water, insulation materials, furniture coverings and other paper goods that cannot be sanitized properly. Valuable or savable items that can be salvaged need to be cleaned properly and dried out to prevent any sources of moisture that can lead to mold growth.
4. Sanitize and Disinfect Your Basement
It is necessary to sanitize your basement as well as all the salvaged items. It is important to ensure there is enough ventilation when using any cleaning supplies so that your basement does not act as a death trap for harmful fumes. Only use recommended products to wash all surfaces clean and rinse them thoroughly afterward. Also, remember to clean the interior cavities and make sure they are completely dry before being closed.
5. Dry out Your Basement
Lastly, you need to ensure that everything in your basement is dry and that there are no sources of moisture remaining. All wet items that were salvaged need to be fully dry before they are brought back to the basement. Expose your basement to free airflow by opening all the doors and windows. If you are on a tight budget you can use fans to minimize the level of humidity. However, the industrial blowers are one of the best alternatives you can use. Turn on your basement heater to the highest setting if it was not affected by floods to evaporate all the water left on the surfaces.
It is important to ensure your flooded basement is completely dry and all items are free from any moisture. This helps prevent growth of molds and removes unpleasant odor emanating from the basement. Sanitizing and disinfecting the entire room helps kill bacteria and germs that might have been brought in by the flood. Items that cannot be salvaged should be thrown away to avoid recurring mold in your basement. If you are wondering about the best way to deal with a flooded basement, then you should consider contacting a professional to help you out.