Basement flooding can occur for a number of reasons: a heavy storm or rapid snow melt; storm or sanitary sewer backup, an elevated water table, burst pipes, or even from disaster or fire cleanup. Regardless of how the flooding occurred, by following the below steps on water damage removal, you will be on your way to safely and effectively cleaning up the mess.
- First and foremost, take health and safety precautions. Because you don’t know what’s floating around in the water, protect your health and safety by putting on protective clothing and gear that includes gloves, boots, and a mask or goggles.
- Water conducts electricity, so before going down into the basement, make sure all sources of electricity to the basement are disconnected.
- If you don’t already know the cause of the flooding, locate the source and do what you can to stop any more water from entering: unblock drains, shut off water valves.
- Open doors and windows to get air circulation and ventilation going.
- Extract the water. Take whatever steps you can (see #3) to get water moving out of the basement and away from your house. You can do this yourself with a water pump and wet vac. If the water is deep or potentially contains toxic substances, contact a professional to come and safely remove it.
- Once the water is extracted, run fans and a dehumidifier to start the drying-out process.
- Remove wet or damaged items, including carpeting, rugs, and furniture. Toss whatever cannot be salvaged and set aside belongings that can be saved with cleaning and disinfecting. Wet drywall that has soaked up water needs to come down.
- Continue the drying out process. Floors, walls, ceilings, cracks, crevices are all subject to mold growth. Minimize the chance of that by thoroughly drying out the entire space, cleaning, and disinfecting.
A flooded basement should be treated like the emergency that it is. As long as there is standing water in your basement or the flooded area has not been thoroughly and properly dried, cleaned, and treated, your health and safety and the structural integrity of your home are at risk.