Due to their nature, being underground structures, basements are prone to water damage. But when the storm has already passed and water has already taken over your basement, it's best to take action as soon as possible. You need to dry and sanitize the area as fast as you can. Prevention is always the best medicine, especially when it comes to your home. As little as an inch of water can cause thousands of dollars of damage. Waterproofing your basement is vital, especially right before winter months to prevent snow and sleet from building up and causing damage; waterproofing will also ward away growth of mold and mildew. |
But if it is happening already? What if it's too late and your home is already flooded? health and safety should be your top concern when dealing with basement flooding. Apart from the mess, a flooded basement presents hazards which require special precautions.
You have a couple of options, you can try to deal with everything yourself or you can contact a company that specializes in dealing with basement flooding. If you plan on calling for professional help, call immediately as chances are if your basement has flooded others have too and they will be busy. Time is critical here to try and save as much as you can.
Start by opening vents and windows to let fresh air flow through. You'll want to wear a face mask to protect yourself against mold, mildew and allergens.
If you have carpets in your basement, you and your family will avoid health risks if you remove the carpet entirely. It's highly unlikely you will ever be able to completely dry it out once it's been saturated with water. Tile and concrete floors, on the other hand, are much easier to deal with. Use a mop to soak up as much of the water as possible, then use old towels or cloths to dry up smaller pools of water.
The next step is to salvage everything that you can that has not been affected, submerged or subject to too much water damage. Get anything of value and any salvageable items and bring them upstairs immediately.
Next you'll need to sanitize the floor – water and bleach will work just fine, but use whatever cleaning solution you prefer. Set up fans to help continue to circulate air; investing in a dehumidifier will also ensure the space gets dry completely. Call around and ask your friends and family if any of them have the supplies you need or can help you out first before buying anything. Having your basement flood can be a very unpleasant experience but if you handle the situation quickly and properly there is a good chance you can get out of this situation without too big of a "hit in your wallet" and saving a good portion of your belongings from your basement.
Dry them off the best that you can and definitely do not plug in or use any electronic devices that may have taken on some water for a few days until you are sure they are completely dried out. This will give you your best chance of these items still working.
Once your basement is clean and dry, you will want to consider going back and looking at waterproofing solutions to prevent future flooding.
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