A flooded basement is every homeowner’s nightmare. A major hassle to clean up, it can also result in severe property damage, and be a breeding ground for mold even after the problem is fixed if the area is allowed to remain damp too long. The severity of the flood itself depends on how early the problem is found. Here’s a handy list of things you should do once you notice water in the basement.
- Shut off the power
Do not enter a flooded basement. Electrical devices and appliances are dangerous when wet, or worse, the water could be energized. Make sure to immediately turn off the power in the affected area using your fuse box, unless it happens to be located in the flooded part of the house. In this case, SafeElectricity.org suggests calling your electrical utility company and having them turn the power off at the meter.
- Protect yourself
After you’ve turned the electricity off, make sure to wear protective clothing before entering the flooded basement. American Home Shield recommends boots and gloves as the bare minimum. When properly protected, you should be able to investigate and determine the cause of the flood. It could be that your sump pump isn’t working properly and needs to be serviced. It could also be due to heavy rains and flooding in the area, in which case you should wait for the weather to change before starting to clean-up.
- Remove important items
Chances are there are things in your basement that you can move to keep them from getting damaged. Prioritize the items that are important to you, such as important documents and electrical appliances, all of which need to be unplugged, but, again, only after affected area’s power has been shut off.
- Start removing water
Once you’ve found the cause of the flooding and are able to deal with it, you must remove the water. This can be tricky, especially if it’s quite deep. To remove, you should get a submersible pump. Given that the power will be shut off in your basement, SF Gate Home Guides suggests a heavy duty extension cord and a generator to get you started. The connection must be in a place where no water can reach it. More modest flooding can usually be taken care of with a wet/dry vacuum.
- Start cleaning and drying
Carpeting will often need to be replaced after a flood to prevent mold growth. Move anything porous and check it for mold in the days that follow before putting it back in the basement. Next, thoroughly clean the floors and walls with wet, soapy water. PumpAlarm.com also recommends increasing airflow in order to remove stagnant air. Industrial blowers are recommended, but fans will do in a pinch. Also, make sure to get a dehumidifier going, but make sure to change the pan often.
If you’re in need of immediate plumbing services and live in the Omaha area, consider ASAP Appliance & Plumbing Services. For more information, our website or phone us at 402-252-4124. After hours appointments are available.