Basement flooding is a potentially dangerous situation if you do the wrong things. Here’s exactly what to do the next time your basement floods so that you and your family stay safe.
- Turn off the electricity and gas in the basement area. Do not touch the water if the power is still on. Call an electrician or a basement company if you aren’t sure how to shut off power to these areas.
- If the basement flooding is due to bad weather, wait until the rain stops before taking action. Otherwise, you should react immediately.
- Wear boots and gloves to avoid electric shocks.
- If the water is coming in from a burst pipe, then shut off the water in the basement.
- Check the floor drain for clogs, if applicable.
- A wet vacuum, sump pump, or even a mop and bucket can be used to remove the water.
- Move any damaged belongings away from the basement and let them dry in an open area. Let them dry outside if it is sunny. Some items may take up to 48 hours to dry. If they are still wet, then you should through them away.
- Don’t move any electrical appliances such as televisions or lamps. They can store a charge and cause a shock. Let them dry where they are and do not touch them for at least 48 hours.
- Any wet cardboard boxes should be thrown away or else bacteria can grow.
- The carpeting should be removed as soon as possible so that the basement floor can fully dry. Sometimes the carpet can be dried, but most of the time it simply mildews and lessens the air quality.
- Open the doors and windows (weather permitting) for several days. You can also put fans around the room and get a dehumidifier as well.
- Wash the floors and walls, and remove any wet drywall.
- Spray the floor and walls with an anti-mildew spray.
- If you have basement flooding insurance, then report the flood to your home insurance company.
When to Call the Professionals
If you see mold or mildew spreading, or if the water was more than 6 inches deep, then you should get a professional opinion. A basement waterproofing company can assess the basement flooding situation and come up with solutions to prevent it from happening again. They also can spot damage in areas that you may not know about (or want to crawl around in).