How To Handle A Flooded Basement
You run downstairs to get something in the basement and a flooded basement. Everything is soaked, personal items are floating near the couch and you’re instantly overwhelmed with worry about what to do. Your next move after discovering basement flooding is very important. You must always go the route of caution and safety. Stepping into a flooded room to inspect the situation may seem harmless but the risk potential for electrocution is very high.
The Energy Education Council – an internationally recognized leader in providing a wealth of safety, efficiency, and renewable energy information, consider electricity the top priority after discovering a flood. They offer a list of five things to always remember regarding electricity in the event of a flood in a basement.
- Never step into a flooded basement or other room if water may be in contact with electrical outlets, appliances or cords.
- Never attempt to turn off power at the breaker box if you must stand in water to do so. If you can’t reach your breaker box safely, call your electric utility to shut off power at the meter.
- Never use electric appliances or touch electric wires, switches or fuses when you’re wet or when you’re standing in water.
- Keep electric tools and equipment at least 10 feet away from wet surfaces. Do not use electric yard tools if it’s raining or the ground is wet.
- If an electrical appliance has been in contact with water, have a professional check it out before it is used. It may need to be repaired or replaced.
Once you have removed any electrical hazards your next step is to: Remove the Water.
You will want to get this done as quickly as possible and you still want to keep safety first. Water in flooded basements can blend with your home’s sewer system and become contaminated if it hasn’t already been. Wear waterproof boots and gloves when cleanup begins. You will likely need to replace your sump pump if it’s failed but once that is done drainage will occur rather quickly. Next you’ll want to clean up any remaining puddles or wet spots. If you have a wet vac you can use that otherwise towels and buckets work as well. Get this done as fast as possible because the chance of mold infestation increases with time.
All the water has been removed. Now it’s time to Handle Wet or Damp Personal Items.
If you want to make sure your flooded basement drys completely and avoid a mold infestation you need to move everything that is wet from the room and place it all somewhere it can dry out like a garage or shed if possible. After personal items are removed you will want to remove any carpets or rugs that were soaked or damaged. In some instances carpets can be saved but it is often the best practice to play it safe as basement flood waters usually carry a lot of harmful bacteria and pollutants.
Next you want to Begin the drying process.
Airflow in basements is usually not ideal so it is not going to dry without some assistance. Renting some professional air movers or industrial fans is a good idea as well as using a dehumidifier. In some cases walls can be dried completely but even a few inches of water can get nearly 2 feet into your drywall, many professionals say. A wall could seem dry on the surface but be soaked inside. It may be necessary to perform a dry cut and replace the drywall about 24” from the floor to prevent mold growth in the future. Walls are the most commonly affected area in a home when it comes to mold. Frequently growth can start in as little as two days. Any insulation that is soaked should also be removed and replaced.
Do not forget to – Prevent mold growthh.
The Department of health instructs flood victims to scrub all surfaces that came into contact with water with a mixture of 1⁄4 cup of bleach to once gallon of water. Mold infestations can add another costly and time consuming problem if the proper measures aren’t taken.
>Find the source of the problem to – Prevent additional flooding
Once you have everything cleaned up it’s important to take some time and figure out the source of the flooding so you can prevent it from happening again if possible. Did water pool up outside because of poor landscaping or gutter drainage? Check the foundation of your home for cracks where water may have found a way inside, look into sump pump replacements or upgrades. You may want to talk to professionals to waterproof your basement, fix damaged foundations or correct gutter problems or landscaping issues.
Nobody is ever happy about a flooded basement but once they occur if you follow the right steps quickly you can limit damage and save important belongings. If you need assistance at any step along the way or want a trained and trusted professional team to handle the problem from start to finish give KOS Cleaning and Restoration a call. We provide our customers with IICRC certified water damage restoration, and mold remediation services throughout Long Island. Our dedicated team of restoration experts takes pride is salvaging, and restoring as much or your original property as possible. Throughout our history we have developed superior technology and processes with one goal in mind – restoring your property to a healthy indoor environment!
For for information or 24 hour emergency flood water removal service contact the IICRC certified team at KOS Cleaning and Restoration (631) 560-8999. Read our Google Reviews.