A flooded basement can bring on a host of long term problems if not dealt with properly
Basements are very useful additions to a home and serve many purposes. They can be used as a storage area, a game room, or it can even be remodeled and converted into a cozy, spare bedroom. Basements also serve as shelters for homes that are located in areas that have tornadoes. No doubt they are useful, but when the weather changes or when there is a hurricane, the basement is no longer a safe place to go to. Because the basement is located below ground, any floodwater that happens is bound to get into your basement.
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First and foremost, do not step into the basement unless the electricity is off.
Everyone knows that water and electricity do not mix, and stepping into water that might be exposed to open electrical wires will most certainly cause electrocution and possibly even death. If the main fuse box is located in the basement and it is not within reach, see if you can use a long object to turn off the switch. If you cannot, then your only choice at this point is to contact an electrician. Likewise, if you smell any gas, then try to shut off the main gas source. Then open up the windows, do not smoke or do anything that might cause sparks, and contact your local gas company.
Once it is okay to go back into the basement, then you need to prepare to tackle on the water removal job. Wear gloves, a long-sleeved shirt, pants, and waterproof boots. Wearing a face mask is a good idea, too. Open up the windows to get proper air circulation. With a pump or a Shop Vac, you will then need to drain the water until every last drop is soaked up. Once the water is gone, use fans or a portable air conditioner to encourage positive airflow and to help dry up the basement.
You will then need to check any of your belongings to see what can be salvaged and what needs to be thrown out. If you had any paperwork or photos, you might be able to save them yourself by allowing them to air dry, but you will most likely need to contact a company that specializes in document drying to dry up the documents and photos. Items made of plastic, steel, or other non-absorbent material can be dried and disinfected. Clothes, curtains, or other items of cloth will need to be washed.
If the flood waters happened to bring in sewage, then you will most likely have to throw items, such as rugs, clothing, curtain, or other textiles. Water from the sewer is filled with bacteria, viruses, and other toxins, and unless you plan on calling a restoration company that can properly disinfect these items, then you will need to throw them out. Make a strong solution of bleach and hot water or a disinfecting cleaner and wipe down your walls and the floors. If the basement is carpeted, then you will need to rent out a commercial-strength carpet cleaner to make sure all the dirt and bacteria is cleaned up.
For the next few weeks, you will need to check on the walls and the floors in the basement. There is always the chance that not all of the moisture was dried up, and mold growth could be the result of that.
It is a nasty job, but these basic steps and info can make it a lot quicker and safer project.
Adyan Corkern is a writer for water damage atlanta and water damage miami.
By: Aydan Corkern
Watch this video about basement flooding: