It happened. The rain came pouring down, and your basement started filling up. And whether you have a fully finished basement packed with nice things or a cement slab that holds boxes of your holiday decorations, you know water in the basement is never a good thing.
Water back-up or flooding in the basement can cause mold, mildew, and other extensive (costly) damage that can threaten your family. This spring, if you get water in your basement, here are a few tips on what you can do.
REMOVE THE WATER
Before any damage done to your basement can be truly assessed, you will need to remove the water. If the water has only pooled in small areas (and it’s done raining) you can clean up those small pools with a Shop-Vac or other water-safe vacuum. However, if there is water filling up your basement, using a pump system is the most effective route.
As you remove water, mark the wall to note how high the water reached. This will help you later on when inspecting for mold.
REMOVE DAMAGED ITEMS
It is not uncommon for those who experience basement flooding to also experience loss of furniture, other household goods, or personal items. As soon as you’ve cleared the water from your basement assess everything in your basement for damage. If the damage seems severe, document it and remove it from your basement for further cleaning/inspection.
If you have a backup of sewer and drain rider in your insurance plan, it may cover some of the cost of the damaged items and other repairs needed.
CLEAN THE FLOORS AND WALLS
Once the water is gone, it’s time to start cleaning! Scrubbing the floors and walls will aid in the prevention of long-term mold that could be damaging to your health. The best way to combat mold is to clean everything with a bleach/water mixture (1:1).
When cleaning with bleach be sure to properly ventilate your basement. Working with bleach can create fumes that are damaging to your lungs and cause adverse side-effects.
LET EVERYTHING DRY
Drying your basement out is the most important part of removing water damage. Industrial-sized fans are the best way to make sure all of the humidity and moisture is removed from the space. However, if you don’t have access to industrial-sized fans, small box fans or other fans and open windows will work as well.
Despite all of the DIY tips, the best way to truly remedy your basement from water damage is to hire a professional team. With their expertise, they will truly be able to assess the problem and take the proper measures to protect you and your family from any potential health issues.