Did you know most standard homeowners’ insurance doesn’t include flood protection? Yet, 14.6 million homes are at immediate flooding risk in the United States.
Even the most prepared and experienced homeowners can find themselves standing waist-deep in a flooded basement with a bad roll of the dice. Whether it’s caused by a sudden weather event, or simply a busted pipe, knowing how to deal with the aftermath of a flood is vital to maintain the safety of your home and minimize any further structural damage.
My Basement is Flooded. What Should I Do?
Assessing the Danger and Immediate Hazards
The first thing you should do before assessing the damage is to assess immediate danger. Before you enter your basement, consider any environmental and electrical hazards.
If power is still turned on, make sure you turn it off in your basement, if safe to do so. Electrical devices and appliances can be dangerous when submerged in water. If you’re unable to access your breaker box without standing in water, contact an electrician who can help you safely turn off the electricity to your basement by accessing the meter.
After the power is turned off, put on safety equipment and clothes before entering the basement. This can include waterproof boots, gloves, and protective clothing to protect you from sewage or anything else carrying harmful bacteria. Depending on how long the water has had time to sit, you might have growing mold and should wear a face mask as well.
Begin Flooded Basement Cleanup
Once it’s safe to enter the basement, the next step is to make sure the source of flooding has been stopped. If the flooding is due to a weather event, wait for the weather to pass. If there’s a broken pipe or appliance, either turn off the water flow or repair the problem altogether.
The next step is to clear the water. Open any windows or doors the water can spill out of and use a wet/dry vacuum to remove excess water. Use ceiling or box fans and a dehumidifier to dry any remaining water that can’t be removed and improve air circulation to prevent mold.
Avoid using pressure washers or gas/propane heaters to assist in water removal and cleanup in a closed area as these kinds of products can produce carbon monoxide within the home.
Repair Anything Broken or Affected by the Flood
Basement flooding repair should be the very last step after the basement is completely dry and you’re no longer at risk of flooding.
Anything affected and destroyed by the flood will need to be replaced, such as appliances or rotted drywall or flooring. The carpet may need to be ripped up and replaced if mold has begun to spread or if the floor beneath the carpet failed to dry properly.
Wash and sanitize furniture, surfaces, floors, and walls as harmful bacteria from the flood may have spread to these areas. Afterward, spray with an anti-mildew and mold solution to prevent any further growth.
Use these tips and tricks to fix a flooded basement efficiently and effectively – without putting your property at risk of further damage.
Not interested in DIY? Hire a professional! Here at A+ Restoration Services we are a true ONE STOP SHOP! From water cleanup, to restoration, we are here for you 24/7 – servicing the Indianapolis Metro Area.
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