Draining a Flooded Basement
When faced with a flooded basement, it is often hard to determine what to do first. Rather than waiting a day or two to tackle such a difficult job, it is essential to begin cleaning and draining immediately. Leaving a flooded basement – or any flooded room – in your home means exposing yourself to damage from a number of angles. You risk a heavy mold infestation the longer you wait to clear floodwater because of the questionable nature of the water and the environment that it creates. Floodwater is often backed up sewage but even excessive rainwater can be unclean. All mold damage requires is a dank atmosphere and organic material to feed off of, which is what floodwaters create in your home. Too much water can also damage the structural integrity of your home, weakening wooden supports, warping and destroying drywall, and seeping into the foundation if it is improperly drained.
If you are attempting to drain your flooded basement alone, there are a few things that you can do. Contracting a professional water restoration company might be advisable if you are uncertain of what to do. To begin removing the water, turn off the power in your home or if you can, shut down the power in your basement. Electricity and water is very dangerous. To deal with the floodwater, you usually require one or more small pumps. You can obtain these from your local hardware stores. The larger the pump and the larger diameter the drain house, the faster you can pump out the water, but you should decide what size you require. You can fit these pumps with normal garden hoses or a larger diameter drain hose. You should route the drain hoses away from your home – avoid draining directly outside your house walls. When pumping out your basement proceed slowly and methodically in order to ensure that you do not create uneven pressures within your basement. If water accumulation or flooding is a frequent problem, installation of a sump pump in your basement might be a good idea. You can contact a water restoration company for an estimate if you think you need one. If there are several feet of water in your home, it may be possible to ask your local Fire Department for help draining the water.
Once the portable pumps have removed the water from your basement, all that should remain is large puddles and dampness. Try using a wet-vac, a shop broom, or a large floor squeegee in order to remove most of this remaining water. Consider using a disinfectant to remove some of the foul smell as you are undertaking this process. Also be aware of your power cords and outlets when using electricity in a flooded room.
After the room has been cleared of the puddles, the area will still be damp. Not only should you use fans and dehumidifiers in order to remove the water from the air and the surrounding areas, but also remove any damaged furniture and furnishings. These will all have suffered damage if the water levels were high enough and leaving them in the room will only promote mold growth. When using dehumidifiers, you should run them constantly in order to achieve the best results. Always check the catch pan for the collected water and make sure to empty it when full. Sometimes dehumidifiers will have check alarms to alert you when the catch pan is full. Larger units may also include a drainage port that you can connect a drainage hose to. The goal for draining a flooded room is to remove all the water and water damaged items from the area. Sometimes it is necessary to strip the drywall, cut out the carpets, and remove anything that was submerged.
If you have water damage from a burst pipe, flooding or any other source, call Restoration Local 24/7 at 1-888-443-3110 for a free estimate!