Basement flooding occurs without warning and can result in a small pool of water in one corner of the basement or water that is inches deep covering the entire floor. And the damage sustained from water in your basement can range from minor dampness to full destruction of carpeting, carpet pads, furniture, boxes and belongings, electronics, etc. The causes of basement flooding are many: overflowing streams and rivers during heavy storms, a burst frozen pipe, a storm drain blockage forcing water along a path of least resistance, a faulty appliance, a broken sump pump, or even water left over from putting out a fire.
If you find yourself with a flooded basement, regardless of how the flooding occurred, proper cleanout and drying is essential. If you don’t fully dry, decontaminate, and sanitize the water-damaged area, you may risk further damage to the structure itself—from a weakened foundation to damaged dry wall, and the possibility of an infestation from mold becomes very real. By following the below steps, you will be on your way to safely and effectively cleaning up the mess.
- Above all, the first step homeowners should take is to care for their health and safety and that of their family and pets. Always protect yourself by putting on protective clothing and gear: gloves, boots, a face mask, even goggles. Whatever is floating around in the water is not always readily apparent or visible.
- Before going down into a flooded basement, ensure all sources of electricity to the basement are disconnected. Never risk electrocution or fire. If you are uncertain how to do this, get help.
- The reason for the flooding may not be immediately apparent. Locate the source and take steps to stop any more water from entering or flooding the area. For example, unblock drains or shut off water valves.
- Let Mother Nature help. If the weather is clear and dry, open doors and windows to promote full air circulation and ventilation, and allow the sun to work its drying and sanitizing powers.
- Remove the water. Take whatever steps you can (see #3) to get water moving out of the basement and away from your house to an area of open and proper drainage. You may need to rent a wet vac or buy a water pump to get this job done. But, if the water is deep or contains potentially toxic substances or contaminants, contact a water-removal professional to come and safely extract the water. Professionals have the proper training and certification to handle all types of water cleanup problems.
- Once the water is extracted, place fans and let breezes flow through the area to promote drying. Use a dehumidifier to remove as much of the excess moisture from the air as possible.
- Remove wet or damaged items, including carpeting, rugs, and furniture. Toss whatever cannot be salvaged, including drywall that has soaked up water, and set aside belongings that can be saved with cleaning and disinfecting. If you know the water contains biohazards and contaminants, the bulk of your belongings may have to be thrown out.
- Continue the drying out process of the entire area. Pay close attention to flooring materials, walls, ceilings, cracks, and crevices, as these are all subject to mold growth. Clean these areas thoroughly and treat appropriately to avoid mold and mildew and to also sanitize.
If your basement floods, you should consider that an emergency that requires immediate action. Standing water in your basement jeopardizes the health and safety of you and your family, as the structural integrity of your home is at risk. Most homeowners who experience basement flooding rely on a professional water damage company. These pros have the training and equipment to get the job done right, and they do it in as little time as possible so that the homeowner can get their life back to normal.
Warren Cleaning and Restoration provides professional water damage and restoration services. The Warren team can even provide structural renovations if you need to replace floors, walls, etc. Each of their two family-owned and operated businesses (Hendersonville, NC, and Big Stone Gap, VA) serve an approximate 2-hour radius, and are available 24/7 to handle all your basement flooding cleanup and restoration needs. Call Warren Cleaning and Restoration at the first sign of basement flooding.
Water and flood damage often causes mold growth. Feeling desperate? Don’t be because we also offer professional mold removal service, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.