Uninvited water in a basement is more of a problem than a nuisance for most people. A flooded basement can be a disaster, especially when life is throwing curveballs.
No matter what the reason, flooding basements can be a serious problem for your home ‘s safety, health, and structural integrity. It is crucial to act immediately in a flood basement situation. This will help save your home and prevent further damage.
While flood preparation is not something most people consider important, it is essential to have a list of things to do in case of an emergency. These are the first steps you should take to clean up a flooded basement.
1. Address safety and health concerns
Keep pets and children out of basements. Water might contain dangerous chemicals or fecal matter depending on where it comes from. When entering a flooded basement, wear boots, gloves, coveralls or goggles to protect your eyes.
Before you enter your basement, make sure all services have been turned off. The main breaker panel should be turned off, and the gas valve at the outside meter must also be closed. To stop a burst pipe or running water tank, domestic water may need to be shut off at the street. Do not try to figure out how to end services. Ask for assistance from your neighbors or service officials if you are unsure.
2. Stop Flooding the Source
It is possible that the flood source is not obvious, particularly if it has been happening for a while and there has been a lot of water build up. First, turn off your domestic water supply and then unblock the drains.
Let nature take care of the air purification and begin evaporation. You can open your windows and doors to let fresh air flow through the soaking basement. If you own fans, or rent them, they can be used to blow air through your basement. No matter how hot or cold the air is, air movement is the best drying method.
4. Take the water out
This can be more complicated than you think and may require mechanical assistance such as a pump or wet vacuum. You might have a failing sump pump and need to replace it or a blocked passive drain and auguring. You must ensure that water you are disposing of is safe and cannot be returned.
Flood damage remediation is not possible if basement contents are still wet. These could be items that you have stored, or materials that were part of the finished area such as carpet, drywall, or insulation. They should be removed and dried in another location, or discarded.
The entire area should be dried and disinfected. To protect your structure and stop the growth of harmful mold , bacteria, and spores, it is important to dry everything thoroughly. These potentially deadly pathogens are always present in basements. They will quickly multiply in damp, dark, and warm environments.
5. Contact Your Insurance Company
Make sure to contact your insurance company. Flood damage should be reported to your insurance company immediately if you have flood coverage on your all-perils policy. Your insurance policy may cover all costs associated with flooding in your basement and may even pay for the hiring of a contractor to handle these important and difficult steps.
After you have completed these crucial first steps to clean up a flooded basement make sure that you contact a professional water damage restoration specialist.