What To Do About Basement Flooding
Basement flooding can be a major problem for a number of reasons. Basements are low lying areas that will naturally attract any excess water that may be present, and basements are also used for storage in many cases, which means that they may be left unattended for days. This allows any sort of water damage to gain a foothold and become a major problem before it can be addressed.
Basement water damage can occur as the result of cracks in the foundational walls, usually during times of excessive rain or snow-melt. So what should you do if your basement floods? Sump pumps and pits may be used to channel out excess water from the basement. These units are inexpensive and can provide more than adequate flooding protection if properly installed and maintained.
Basements should also be painted with paints containing sealants, as this can do much to prevent excess water from getting into the basement in the first place. Basement drainage systems should be kept free and clear of obstructions, as this will allow any excess water to drain away before it can become a flooding problem.
You should also remove items and valuable possessions off the floor, keeping them out of range in case the basement floods. Use shelves or pallets to elevate these items, and keep an eye on how high the water may get in the event of a basement flood. Even washers and dryers may be placed on pallets to elevate them if the laundry area has seen flooding in the past. This will prevent the bottom of the appliances from rusting out.
Plastic tubs are recommended for storage as opposed to cardboard boxes, which can become soaked and ruined very easily. Once the water soaks through cardboard, the items inside are fair game for water damage. Tubs may be a little costly, but the upside is that your possessions are better protected.
Basements are also more moist and humid than other areas in the home, which means the stage is set for the proliferation of mold and mildew. Small mold growths may be removed with a mixture of bleach and water or by using commercially available cleaners. Larger growths may require professional mold removal and remediation. Areas affected by mold should have the ventilation improved and humidity levels reduced to prevent the problem from returning.
Dehumidifiers may also be installed in the basement in order to keep humidity levels within acceptable parameters. Dehumidifiers should be maintained and their tanks emptied on a regular basis.
Shop vacs and gas powered submersible pumps should also be used to remove any flood water that does accumulate in your basement. Remove wet items and clean and repair them elsewhere. Unplug all electrical items and shut off the electricity servicing the basement. Most basements have high electrical outlets, but any plugs or cords submerged in water should not be tampered with.