It’s an all-too-commonly dreaded occurrence to descend the steps to your basement and find that it’s been flooded. If you live in an area prone to floods or heavy rain, it might not even be the first time you’ve found your basement flooded. But cleaning it up, assessing, and correcting the water damage is a time-consuming task that can be daunting for any homeowner, especially for insurance purposes. So, in this post, we’ll look at best practices for the cleanup of a flooded basement.
Help! My Basement Has Flooded! What Should I Do Now?
First of all, it’s important not to panic. Having a calm, calculated approach to the problem at hand will increase the chances of successfully solving it. This is especially important because a basement can become flooded for many reasons. The flooding contents will determine how the cleanup occurs and what hazards you should avoid before entering the basement.
Step 1: Check for Any Hazards, Only Proceed If Safe
Depending on the layout of your basement and the nature of the flooding, you might be susceptible to electric shock. The flooding might have caused structural damage that could cause harm to yourself or your property. More commonly, raw sewage might leak into the floodwater. This poses numerous health risks and requires appropriate decontamination.
Only enter the basement at your own risk if it is safe to do so. Make sure to wear protective equipment, such as overalls, rubber boots, a face mask for harmful gases, safety glasses, and gloves.
Step 2: Pump Out Excess Water (Slowly)
If there is widespread flooding in your area, you may not be able to access a professional pumping service for a few days. During this time, though, your basement can continue to sustain damage. So it’s a great idea to do it yourself, depending on the extent of the flooding.
If you have a small flood that’s less than 1″ deep, you can use a wet/dry vacuum to deal with it. These are available at hardware stores. However, heavy rain or other outside sources of flooding require a submersible pump. You must allow the pressure of water to equalize outside and inside the basement. So pump slowly, removing no more than two or three feet of water (or less than a third) at a time.
Marking the water level and returning after leaving it overnight will allow you to see if the flood has receded from your property. If the level is the same, you can continue to pump. Keep an eye out for any structural damage or cracks in the basement. If you spot any, stop and leave the basement. This could likely mean that water outside the basement is straining the walls inside.
The next step is to clean, sanitize and disinfect – but this is best left to a professional company, as the process is quite involved. You must remove dirt and debris and sanitize to prevent the growth of mold and mildew. You’ll also need to dry out any damaged property and decontaminate raw sewage. For most people and their families, it is not worth the risk.
The Bottom Line: Contact a Professional Water Restoration Company ASAP
Although an experienced, well-prepared homeowner can deal with some flooding, sudden, intense flooding will likely take anyone by surprise. Professional water restoration companies are ready, with equipment and safety measures in place, to deal with flooding and help restore your basement and property from water damage.
Kraft Roofing is your expert family-owned water restoration company. We provide various construction services, including roofing and storm damage treatment, for our customers all over southeast Texas. Our focus remains to exceed industry specifications and practices. So, we promise top-quality services at fair, honest prices. We also provide free inspections and estimates! If you have any questions, please give us a call at (281) 816-7101. You can also send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.