For any homeowner, a flooded basement can be a bothersome task. Depending on the extent of the flooding, it can significantly damage your home and pose health and safety risks to your household.
If you want to restore your basement to its previous state before flooding, consider water damage restoration by a professional immediately to mitigate the effects. Unable to do so can cause undesirable issues such as mold growth, structural damage, and the loss of valuable belongings, leading to expensive repairs and health concerns.
If recent severe weather brought flooding, you must know how to properly deal with a flooded basement. Here are several key tips on the steps to take after a flood before calling in a Water Damage Specialist.
Stay Out Of The Flooded Basement Until Safe
When your basement is flooded, it is not advisable to enter the area. If you discover you have a flooded basement due to an undetected leak or severe weather, call a professional electrician immediately, especially if the electrical panel is in the basement.
Turn off the main power immediately if the electrical panel is in the garage or a different location. Remember that any appliances or devices pose a risk if they come into contact with water.
Identify The Cause Of Flooding
It’s crucial to prevent the basement from filling further and potentially damaging your home’s upper floors. Do whatever it takes to stop the water at the source. Switch off the water main if there’s a cracked or burst pipe.
However, if the flooding was due to a natural calamity, you cannot do much. If you can determine the entry point of the water, you can block the way by placing sandbags.
Remove Residual Water
After switching off the main power and removing appliances or devices in the way, the next task is to eliminate the water to assess the damage.
Check the sump pump to see if it still works. When it’s safe, turn on the sump pump to see if it’s serviceable. If it works, allow it to gather the rest of the water.
In some cases, though, if your basement is flooded, it indicates that the sump pump failed to function. Due to this, consider investing in a new one and using it to drain the lingering floodwater. Note that the pump will not completely remove all the water. You must still use a mop and towels to extract the remaining water.
Clear All Damp Items & Materials
Move all the items that the water has saturated out of the basement. In severe cases, you might also have to remove the flooring, particularly the carpet. Remember that if the water has fully soaked the flooring, it allows mold and mildew to develop, bringing about health hazards for your family.
Dry out the items outside, ideally in a sunny area. Allow up to 48 hours to dry thoroughly. If moisture remains after this time, allow more time to dry them or dispose of them to avoid mold or mildew formation.
Thoroughly Dry The Basement
The water removal is only the start. You must ensure the flooring, walls, and any appliances in the basement are completely dry. Leaving behind even a small amount of moisture will allow mold to form.
The appropriate approach to managing any lingering moisture is to use a dehumidifier or rent an industrial drying fan if available. If you have extra fans, place them around the area to allow the air to circulate and speed up the drying process. You can also use a wet-dry vacuum to eliminate any lingering water. Remember to open the windows and doors to provide adequate ventilation.
However, if you feel the water damage is extensive, consider calling in a professional for water damage restoration.
Sanitize & Deodorize The Space
Once everything in the basement dries, you must sterilize and deodorize the space. During this phase, you need to utilize cleaning products and materials capable of inhibiting the growth of mold and mildew. Make sure to thoroughly wash down the walls and floor to eliminate any dirt or debris left behind by the water.
When applying these chemicals, carefully follow the instructions and safety precautions. You must ensure good ventilation and use the proper personal protective gear, such as gloves, rubber boots, and respirators.
A flooded basement can be challenging for many homeowners, but prompt action will keep the damage to a minimum. If the flooding is serious, it’s best to leave the task to a professional. The main point is to act immediately and keep in mind these pointers which will guide you in restoring your basement to its former state.