Basement floods are a pain for home owners. If you had one happen to you, you are bound to have this happen at least once in the future. The troubles of having to deal with the rain that floods the basement and having to clean the mess up is not something you would want to do. Here at Drain1, we understand that trouble more than anyone else. Through the countless experiences we have under our belt, we compiled some tips to follow.
Do not enter the water:
You do not know if there is electricity is running through the water, and what is under all the muddy and murky water. Do not take the risk of electrocuting yourself. Furthermore, the water can have bacteria and other harmful substances mixed in with it, so it is best to be careful.
Disconnecting the power, remove electronics, furniture and other items:
If possible, do it quickly and with your safety in mind. Disconnecting the power is the first step, and everything else should be done after. You could potentially lose thousands of dollars, so getting rid of items that are savable should be your priority.
Identify where the water is coming from:
In preventing more water from entering, or slowing the flow, you have to know where it is coming from. It could be from a broken or damaged pipe, a sewage backup or groundwater leaking into your basement. The plan moving forward depends on what the source is, and identifying it is important.
Counteracting the water flow:
Turning off your water’s shut-off valve is the first step, regardless of where the water is coming from. However, if the broken pipe is underground, it requires special tools that you might not have. A sewage backup on the other hand will require you to not flush toilets or have water running. You can ask the local sewage authority for help as well. If it is groundwater, you are kind of out luck, cause you cannot stop it. Calling for professional help is a must.
Getting rid of the water:
There are several ways to approach this issue. You could do it manually with buckets and mops to clean the basement as much as possible. This is a doable method even if it is a sewage leak or broken pipe. However if the issue is not fixable by yourself, and seems out of reach, it is best to call a plumber.
Drying out the basement:
It is important to get the basement dry, for the longer it is wet, the more damage it causes. Therefore, use fans and a dehumidifier to dry out the area. If there is no rain outside, open windows to allow for air circulation and faster drying.
Disinfecting the basement:
When the area has dried out, including the wood beams, insulation, drywall you may have installed in your basement. Use a good disinfectant to remove any bacteria that could have gotten through the sewers and toilets. Also, disinfect all areas that got covered by the flood waters. Including the walls and wood and furniture that sat in the flood water.
Preventing/removing mold growth in the basement:
The moisture that is left behind and the material your house is made of can allow for mold to grow. Therefore, it is important you put a stop to that. The steps mentioned in ‘disinfect’ can help with this, but if you still see mold growth, you can use solutions like vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, borax and others to remove them.
Dispose of damaged items responsibly:
It is inevitable to have damaged or destroyed items in the basement, and the quicker you get rid of them, the better it is for you and your house. You can dump in your local landfill site, or figure out using your city/towns waste management website to throw away your electronics.
This should help anyone wondering how to deal with basement floods. If you haven’t had one yet, you should be ready and expect one eventually. If you would like to know more, or get help with preventing or cleaning up a basement flooding, please contact us!