What to do if your basement floods?
Welcome to Quality Foundation Repair a Best in Omaha and Better Business Bureau Accredited business. Are you experiencing a flooding crisis? You can get started by following these simple tips outlined below.
Basement flooding can occur at any time. It can happen to anyone who has a basement, even if it has never flooded before. While most often flooding occurs during big rains or rapid snowmelts in the spring, it can occur even during the dry season.
There are a number of reasons why basements flood. Flooding can occur by seepage or flow through walls, foundation floors, from surface water sources and/or by a sanitary or storm sewer backup. Remember when following these steps that no matter your situation please be safe and seek out a Better Business Bureau Accredited business to inspect your home.
- Turn off the electricity. Water, electricity, and human skin do not play nice together, please steer clear and turn off the electricity to your home before proceeding into the basement. Since it will be dark down there, you’ll want to have a battery-operated flashlight.
- Pump the water out of your basement. Using a gas-powered water pump, pump the high water out of your basement. The water pump will probably leave a little standing water on your floor but will allow you to get back into your basement. You can then try to fix your sump pump and have it pump the remainder of the water out or you can use a wet/dry vac. Remember to remove your vac’s filter if it has one as it’s not made to get wet and will be ruined by the water.
*Note: If the water is 4-5 foot deep pump the water out slowly because is some instances to fast can cause walls to collapse.
- Remove all your wet items. This is a painful but necessary part of the process. Move everything out of your basement to a dry location. Your garage or even your yard to dry out will work out best.
- Clean the walls and floor (unfinished basement). Use warm soapy water and clean the walls and floors, be sure to give them a good scrub down to remove any dirt and grime. If you have soaking wet carpet, you’ll want to pull it up and let it dry separately by moving it into the garage or outside. You will need to pull up and throw away the padding since it acts like a huge sponge and holds a lot of water. Create a tent with the carpets to help air travel over and through both sides. We recommended using a fan to assist in getting air flowing through your wet carpets.
*Note: Carpet pads are not too expensive to replace. It is highly recommended you don’t try to salvage your carpet padding.
- Clean the walls (Finished basement). There is a big difference in how you address finished basements or any area that has sheetrock or insulation. You should cut out all sheetrock an inch higher than where the water level was and remove any wet insulation and sheetrock from your home.
*Note: Remember to always wear proper safety attire during any cleanup. Such as gloves, dust masks, eye protection and to have garbage bags at the ready.
- Get the air moving and remove excess moisture. Once all the water is removed from the basement you’ll need to get some airflow moving to remove the excess moisture. Industrial blowers work the quickest, but if you are tight on money, then you can use fans, but they need to be powerful and close to the floor.
- Remove the excess moisture from the air. You’ll also want to get a dehumidifier working to remove the excess moisture from the air. It is recommended to keep it running for a week or so. Be sure to change your dehumidifier pan regularly, as a flooded basement will create a lot of air moisture and the pan will fill quickly or simply get one with a hose connection.
- Look for mold and kill spores. After a few days, you will know if you have mold either by seeing or smelling it. You’ll want to hit any moldy areas with a bleach solution to kill the spores.
*Note: If you have excessive mold and/or black mold contact a professional otherwise read this article on proper mold cleanup and always wear a dust mask. Click here: Mold-Removal
- Re-install your carpet. After we have given you your free estimate and the proper repairs are made you can have your carpets re-installed. You’ll want to rent a carpet cleaner to clean them as well. Then bring your furniture and other belongings back to the basement.
- Keep a dehumidifier and air cleaner in the basement. We recommend having a dehumidifier in your home it will keep moisture levels in check creating a dry environment that naturally prevents mold and musty smells.
- Find the right water control solution for your home. Even a single basement flooding experience is one too many. To avoid such a disaster, contact your local Basement Systems contractor (company) today to schedule a consultation and get ant estimate on waterproofing your basement. Every home and basement is different and unique as are the issues that created the excess water in your home. It’s always good advice to have a professional take a peek. Try avoiding (DIY) do it yourself systems as they are only bandages and often lead to bigger problems.
Ultimately you’ll want to avoid cleaning up after a basement flood by having a drainage system installed with a pump & pit alarm – monitor and optional battery backup pump. When the inevitable happens and you’re forced to dry your basement after a flood, the 11 steps above will help prevent mold spores and keep your indoor air quality crisp and clean.
We hope these tips help you. We know its never easy dealing with any household flooding or foundation issues. However, if you live in Omaha or surrounding areas of the midwest you have a friend in the basement industry. After all the proof is in our name (Quality) Foundation Repair your foundation and basement specialist.