Owning a home is a great investment. And being a homeowner means preparing for unforeseen events that can threaten your home – including a flooded basement. A flooded basement can be caused by a variety of events, such as: B. by an unexpected burst pipe, i.a. flooding Event or even heavy rain penetrating through a window.
For any homeowner faced with the aftermath of a basement flood, you are likely to ask many questions. When is it safe to enter the basement? How do you clean a flooded basement? Who do you call if your basement is flooded? And does household insurance cover floods? To help that Recovery process It's that much easier to use these seven steps to clean your basement and better protect your home from future floods.
1) Make sure your basement is safe to enter
The first step after your basement has been flooded is to make sure it is safe to enter. You should never enter a flooded area while the power is still on. So make sure you turn off all electricity and gas supplies before going into the flooded basement. If you are unsure how to turn off the power, contact your electrician to properly turn it off. After turning off the power, be especially careful when entering the basement.
Look for excessive amounts of standing water, exposed electrical wiring, or signs that the ceiling has been water damaged, such as sagging, cracking, or peeling paint. If the water appears to be over an inch deep, it may be best to wait for the water to drain out to get into the basement. Be aware that standing water can contain harmful bacteria, so be careful and wear protective equipment such as tall rain boots and gloves when entering the basement.
2) Find the source of the basement flood
There could be a number of reasons why your basement was flooded. For example, if a Natural disaster like a flood or a heavy rainstorm caused your basement to flood, it's best to wait for the storm to pass to dry out the room. On the other hand, if your basement has been flooded due to a burst pipe or a pipeline problem, it's important to locate the source of the flood immediately. This will allow you to turn off the water source to prevent further flooding. If you are unsure of the cause of the flooding, it is best to call a professional to locate the source of the water.
3) Remove the water from your basement
Once you have identified the cause of the flooding and made sure the basement is safe to enter, it is important to start removing the basement water. Depending on the amount of water, you can pump water from the cellar yourself. Consider using a sump pump, bucket, or even a pool pump to drain the water from your flooded basement. After most of the water has been removed, you can vacuum up the remaining water with mops, towels, or sponges.
However, if the water is too deep for you or your household to safely remove, contact your local basement waterproofing or water damage remediation specialist. You have the right tools and equipment to remove large amounts of water from your basement.
For insurance reasons, it is important to document the extent of the damage that the flood has caused to your basement. Standard home insurance can cover water damage caused by an unexpected event such as a burst pipe. However, it is a common one Home insurance myth is that your policy covers flood-related damage. Typical home contents insurance does not cover damage caused by a flood event.
If you live in an area prone to flooding, such as Cape Coral, Florida, or New Orleans, LA, you have probably already taken out separate flood insurance. Some repairs can be done in your Flood insurance coverage. However, it is always best to check with your insurance agent about which repairs are covered and which are not.
4) Remove water damaged items
After pumping the excess water out of the flooded basement, you need to remove any water damaged items to dry them out. Whenever possible, it is best to let these items dry outside in a sunny spot or other well-ventilated area of your home. If these items remain damp after 48 hours, it may be in your interest to dispose of them. At this point, they can be more susceptible to mold and mildew if not completely dry.
You should also consider tearing out any soaked carpet to allow the planks underneath to dry. If your basement is carpeted, there may be a greater risk of mold or bacterial growth if you don't remove the carpet in a timely manner. If you have electronic equipment such as televisions, lamps, or exercise equipment in the flooded basement, do not touch them. Leave them to dry in the basement or consult an electrician to determine the extent of damage to these items.
5) Dry the flooded basement
To dry out your flooded basement, open any windows or doors to let in as much fresh air as possible. It's also a good idea to turn on any fans or heaters to dry out the room. Make sure you use a dehumidifier to prevent moisture from getting trapped in the corners of your basement.
Making sure your carpets are properly cleaned or replaced can also help prevent mold from growing. Depending on the extent of the damage, you may be able to rescue carpets and some carpets. For example, if any part of the carpet or rug shows water damage, you can contact a professional carpet cleaning company for a thorough cleaning.
6) Prevent Mold Before It Grows
After you've cleaned and dried your basement, it's important to look out for any damage Signs of mold. In addition to bacterial growth, mold can cause health problems in your home if not treated quickly. Mold spores usually start growing within 24 to 48 hours of a flood, so immediacy is key. You can prevent mold from building up by using dehumidifiers to keep the humidity low in your basement. If it's not raining or excessively humid outside, you can open any exit windows or doors in your basement to let in fresh air or sun to prevent mold.
However, the safest way to protect your home is to contact a professional who can examine your basement for signs of mold or bacterial growth. You can determine if mold has started to grow in your basement and what to do next if remediation is needed. In addition, they can advise on the right precautionary measures to prevent future mold growth.
7) Prevent future flooding
There are several steps you can take to help Protect your home from flooding. You can install a battery operated sump pump to remove excess water from your basement in the event a flood begins. While most sump pumps require electricity to run, installing a battery-powered backup can help if your home's power goes out. You can also seal basement walls with a caulking compound to prevent water from seeping through cracks.
By installing flood sensors, you can be made aware of floods immediately. In the event of a pipe burst in your home, you can tell as soon as the flood starts. Automated shut-off and check valves are other steps you can take to prevent future flooding. An automatic shut-off valve is located near the primary water intake in your home and shuts off the main water supply when a high water sensor is activated. Check valves are built into the plumbing of your home and prevent water from entering the drains.
After a flooded basement, it's important to make sure your home is in tip-top shape and prepared for future floods. Talking to a basement waterproofing specialist can help you determine the best course of action to prevent future flooding. You know the right precautions to properly seal your basement depending on your geographic location or the characteristics of your home.