In our previous blog posts, we’ve talked about ways to prevent a basement flood and factors that put you at risk for a flood. But what do you do in the immediate aftermath of a basement flood, and how can you ensure it never happens again?
If your basement flooded recently, keep reading for tips on how to proceed.
- Never Enter a Flooded Basement
Basement floods do more than cause property damage: they can also pose a threat to you and your family members. If you wake up in the morning and come downstairs only to see that your basement is filled with water, call an electrician and the restoration pros at Safeguard Restoration right away.
If your circuit breaker is not located in the basement, shut off the power in your home. Otherwise, any electrical appliances or devices could become dangerous if they come into contact with the water. Your home’s circuit breaker is likely in a convenient location like the garage. If you have an older home, you could have a fuse box located outdoors by your meter.
- Remove the Water
Once you’ve removed electronic devices or other items that were in harm’s way, it’s time to remove the water so you can assess the damage. If your basement is flooded, your sump pump has obviously failed, so you might need to purchase a new one and then use it to drain the water. A pump won’t remove all the water from your basement, so use a mop and towels to clean up the rest.
If you find more than two feet of water in your basement, call Safeguard Restoration to help you dry out the basement instead of attempting to remove the water yourself.
It’s imperative that you remove the water as quickly as possible. The damp environment gives mold a chance to grow, and mold will only compound your property damage costs.
- Deal With Your Damp Objects
If you want to effectively dry your basement, you can’t leave any wet items behind. Remove everything that got wet, from couches to bookshelves, and place them in an area where they can dry out, like the garage. Hopefully, your insurance company can compensate you for the damaged items and the cost of repairing the basement and removing mold. File an insurance claim as soon as possible after the flood.
Along with removing wet objects, you should rip up the wet carpet. Sometimes the carpet is salvageable, but usually the carpet and the padding beneath it both need total replacement.
- Dry the Area
Your basement won’t dry on its own. You’ll probably need to buy or rent fans or even industrial blowers. You can use a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture, help your basement dry faster, and minimize mold’s chances of growing. Safeguarding Restoration can provide these items to restore your basement.
- Take Steps to Prevent Mold Before It Grows
Damp, dark conditions allow mold to flourish. Mold can pose a health threat, and if you discover mold in the weeks after the flood, you might have to remove entire chunks of drywall. Call the professionals at Safeguard to properly clean your damaged area.
Use soap and warm water to thoroughly clean your walls. Along with your dehumidifier and blowers, you can set up a HEPA air purifier that filters out mold spores and allergens. Check the basement every day after the flood, and keep an eye out for mold. If you see a suspicious-looking spot, clean the area with bleach and warm water.
Look at our blog on basement mold to learn more about how to remove mold and prevent it from returning.
- Prevent Future Floods
After the flood happens, try to figure out what caused it in the first place. Did a heavy storm flood your lawn and drain into the basement? Do you have cracks in your foundation? Do you need to replace your sump pump or upgrade it to a newer model? Talk to a professional to learn how to update your basement, fix your foundation, or change your landscaping and gutters to prevent another flood.
Basement floods are nothing if not annoying, but once they happen, you can take steps to save your property and prevent future flooding. Once you’ve taken the steps above, get in touch with Safeguard Waterproofing to waterproof your basement. We’ll do our best to keep you from experiencing a devastating basement flood ever again.