How to Clean Up A Basement Flood

Imagine walking down to your basement to pick up something only to find a pool of water waiting for you.

While this can be quite shocking, it isn’t a strange occurrence. There are different reasons why your basement is now flooded.

But

before you begin to think about

the possible reasons for such an occurrence, you should get your basement cleaned up without any delay.

To aid your cleanup process,

we’ve itemized the steps that you can follow below that can make the process of cleaning your basement flood much easier, faster, and efficient.

Hardwood Floors

Let’s get started…

Steps for Basement Flood Cleanup

When it comes to cleaning a basement that is flooded, you have to consider the level of flooding. How many inches high is the flood? If it is over 2 inches, then you need to hire the services of water damage restoration professionals. If your home is insured against flooding, then you need to inform your insurance company so that you can file and claim your insurance.

If it is less than 2 inches, then you can clean it up yourself. However, before you begin, ensure that the flooding has ceased or the source of the water is turned off. This will help reduce the possibility of being affected by harmful bacteria in the flooded area that can put your health at risk.

Once that is done, do the following…

Step 1: Turn off Electrical Power in your Home

Do not step into the basement without turning off the electrical power in your home. This is done to prevent you from being electrocuted. The outlets or wiring in your basement might have come in contact with the water thereby conducting electric current within the water.

Therefore, to avoid this, turn off your home’s power via the circuit breaker. If you don’t know how to go about it, then you need to get a competent electrician who will help you with this issue.

Step 2: Protect Yourself

All sorts of hazardous materials such as raw sewage, pollutants, chemicals, etc. can be found in floodwater. Therefore, despite the water source, it is recommended that you wear waterproof boots, protective clothing, and rubber or plastic gloves before entering the basement area.

If mold is one of the hazardous materials that you will be dealing with, then it is recommended by The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that you wear goggles, gloves, as well as face mask. Visit to see the face masks and respirators that are approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). All these items of protection can be gotten from your local hardware store.

Step 3: Dry out Your Basement

At this point, you need to remove the water. You must you do this as soon as possible to prevent the formation of mold: Mold requires only 48 hours to form.

The choice of item that will be used in removing the water depends to a large extent on the flood level. You can use a sump pump if the water is much because using a wet/dry vacuum will take much time. The vacuum is good if the flood level isn’t much. And, do not forget to wear required shoes before working here.

After you have completely removed the water, fasten the process of drying the area with large fans by placing them strategically in the area.

You can also get a basement dehumidifier that will aid in removing excess moisture. This, in turn, will further prevent the formation and growth of mold. Some of them have an automatic drainage control feature that saves you from such trouble in the future. Such products also monitor the level of humidity.

Step 4: Take out any Wet Materials, Belongings, and Furniture

The flood would have made a good number of the items wet. Therefore, to ensure that they are also preserved and that they do not serve as areas that will encourage mold formation, you need to take them outside to an area that is well-ventilated.

Ensure that you remove wet insulation and drywall. Carpeting should also be removed so that the floor can get dried.

Electrical wiring that the flood came in contact with should be uninstalled and removed as recommended by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA). Do not forget to take pictures of the property that got damaged, so that you will have evidence to claim your insurance.    

Step 5: Clean Floors, Walls, etc.

Do a thorough wiping of the floors and walls to get rid of the dirt that might have remained. Once the area is completely dry and you have carried out step 4 above, clean all the surfaces with detergent and water. This is also a way to prevent mold infestation. Sometimes, you might have to hire the services of professional mold remediation.

Step 6: Take Action to Waterproof your Basement

Now that you have this experience, you need to take precautions to prevent a reoccurrence. A basement dehumidifier and sump pump are some of the items that you can use to waterproof your basement.

If you don’t know which waterproofing equipment to use, simply contact a nearby professional that deals with Basement Systems waterproofing. They can easily recommend items that you need and will suit your home nicely.

If your home area’s flood risk is high, then you need to install a flood vent. With a flood vent, your home will be protected during floods as the vent prevents the buildup of hydrostatic pressure that is known to damage foundation walls.

Reasons for Basement Flood

Now that you have dealt with the flood, it is good to know why it got flooded so that you can prevent such in the future. Here are some reasons:

  • Water leak from plumbing failures like a damaged water heater or burst pipe
  • Groundwater or rainwater seepage that leaks through the foundation walls
  • Backed up water from a blocked flood drain
  • Backed up water from a public drainage system that is overwhelmed
  • Saturated soil water sent back as a result of hydrostatic pressure

Conclusion

With the steps above, we trust you’ve been able to clean up the flood in your basement. If the water is above 2 inches, it is best you hire professionals rather than doing it yourself.

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