How to Clean Up a Flooded Basement
The moment water gets into unwanted places like a basement, it causes a lot of damage. It ruins not only the house but also your valuable possessions. However, when you act quickly, you can actually minimize the damage and maybe save some belongings. Your success will depend on how long your basement has been flooded. You can probably save your furniture or the carpet. Any electronics that has been in water will be doomed.
Even if you rarely use your basement, you should never treat flood water lightly; however little the water might be. As long as the place is dump, it will cause problems sooner than expected. The location will be ideal for mold to breed. The mold will ruin your furniture, carpet, flooring, walls, etc. Mold also contributes a lot to poor air quality indoors, thus causing respiratory problems like asthma. Preventing mold growth is essential and will help to keep the air at home clean and healthy.
The following steps can be used to clean up flooded basements:
Contact your insurer
If you have an insurance policy that covers water damage, you need to contact your insurance company. An agent will inform you about the day an adjuster can contact you. Make sure that you list the damages and take a videotape or photos as your house gets cleaned. You will need all this for insurance claims, income tax deductions, and disaster assistance applications.
Do you know what is in the water that is flooding the basement? Well, probably not. Whatever it is, be sure to protect yourself and any other person who might come into contact with the water. Wear waterproof boots and gloves. You may also wear goggles or masks if necessary. This idea may seem silly, but it is better to protect yourself than to risk getting sick.
Turn off power
If you are capable of doing it safely, consider turning off the power. This may involve walking through stagnant water, and that may be hazardous. Make sure you don’t shut down the power until you are sure that there isn’t any loose electrical current carried by the stagnant water. If you are not sure about it, call an electrician. You don’t want to cause more disaster than there is at the moment.
Whichever way you look at it, your flooded basement will cost you money. Other than the electrician, you will find yourself calling more people until the day your basement is entirely fixed. Besides, if you happen to have renters or homeowner’s insurance, you may end up paying less than expected.
Find out what caused the flood
Has it been raining continuously for several days and water levels keep rising day by day? Is there a pipe that has broken and has caused water to leak? Has the drain blocked? Whatever the reason, you need to find a quick solution to the problem. Consider contacting professionals to handle the job on your behalf. You might decide to do it yourself and end up messing everything. You will not only waste time and money, but also incur extra expenses when renovating your basement.
Conduct a damage inventory
Once you have switched the power off and it’s totally safe, you can go through the damage before the adjuster shows up. This process will definitely be terrible and heart-breaking, but you will have to do it. Go through each and every item and take pictures of the damage. Begin to remove as many items as you can out of the water.
Remove the water
We recommend using a water damage service to remove water. There are numerous ways to remove the water. If you are worrying about exposed electricity wires or you don’t have power, consider getting rid of the water manually. Use towels, mops, and buckets to soak up the water. If the sewers are not backed up, you may pour the water there. You can also pour it on your garden or any other permeable surface.
You can still use a wet/dry vacuum but ensure that you plug it in an outlet that is very far from the water. Never consider using an extension cord since the connection can short out and shock you. Electricity and water never mix! Another option would be to rent a sump pump.
Dry out the basement
Once you have removed the water, you can use a dehumidifier and fans to dry the area out. If it has stopped raining, consider opening the windows as this will improve air circulation and dry the area faster.
Your basement is now dry, but it’s still not perfect. Once the floor is dry, including the walls, wooden beams, Insulation, etc., consider using a disinfectant to kill any bacteria that might have come with the water. Disinfect anything that was sitting in the flood water.
Prevent the growth of mold
After disinfecting the area, allow it to dry out thoroughly. Consider using any remedy that will assist you to avoid mold growth. If a professional is handling this task on your behalf, they will know what to do. Contractors are experienced and will ensure that mold doesn’t grow. It may seem expensive to hire a contractor now, but the situation will get worse if the job isn’t done well and mold grows. They will also ensure that cross-contamination doesn’t occur to unaffected areas if mold had already grown.
Get rid of the damaged items
This is the most painful part; you are parting with some of your most valued possessions. You may get tempted to throw everything away, but it is okay to keep some of the valuables that can be dried out and remain useful. Use your judgment. If an item looks unsalvageable, then it is okay to dispose of it.
The most essential thing is to get rid of the water. Even though this seems like the obvious thing to do, some people choose to save their possessions first before they can decide to hire a contractor or to do the clean up by themselves. Don’t waste more time. The longer you let the water stagnate in your basement, the more the damage you will accrue. The worst effects will be realized in the long run.