When someone talks about cleaning up their basement following a flood, it doesn’t necessarily mean that an entire area was stricken with a flood. A “flooded” basement could be caused by a storm, by a sump pump that stopped working, or a burst pipe or any number of other reasons.
A flooded basement could be full of water, sewage or a combination. Water can come in through the walls or the plumbing or from an overflow of water from other sources.
What should you do if you’re faced with a flooded basement? Call a basement waterproofing professional before you step foot into a basement that is full of water. Along with an electrician to shut off the electricity, they will ensure that your basement is safe to enter. Water and electric just don’t mix.
Any waterlogged appliances such as a water heater, furnace or washer or dryer will need to be dried out and tested to see if they able to be salvaged. Chances are the water will have damaged them — either beyond repair or they may be able to be fixed, but you will need to work with a professional to determine that.
The standing water will need to be drained and the source of the original water will have to be determined. If your sump pump isn’t working you will need to replace it and in the meantime may need to rent or borrow one to help remove the standing water. Don’t pump the water out of the basement until the water outside is lower than the water inside your basement.
After the water has been removed, the clean-up of mud, dirt or other debris will need to be started. You will also need to remove items from the basement including furniture, carpet or other items you may have stored down there. Put all of those items in a clean, dry place. Depending on the level of water, the length of time it was in contact with your belongings and whether it was water or sewage, you may be looking at replacing those items.
Basement walls and floors and items that cannot be easily removed will need to be completely dried and your basement waterproofing professional will need to determine what additional steps would need to be taken in order to prevent any mold or mildew growth as well determine the right steps to waterproof the basement and prevent your basement from flooding again in the future.
Open the windows, set up fans, invest in a dehumidifier to help with the drying out process. Bottom line: It is crucial that your basement be inspected and treated so no mold grows and to prevent any further water issues.