Heavy rain or stormwater, sewage backups, burst pipes, and leaking water heaters – these are some most common causes of water damage in the basement. A flooded basement can cause you to panic and feel helpless, even if you’re a strong-minded homeowner. It’s essential to know what to do when you see your basement floods and some tips to prevent it.
You can do the following simple steps for a flooded basement:
Shut Off the Power to Your Basement
Suppose you don’t want to end up getting electrocuted when you enter your basement. In that case, the first thing you should do before checking anything is to shut off the power to your basement, including gas and electricity.
Unsure how to cut off the power to your basement? Call an electrician before you enter the area to clean up.
Determine the Source of the Water and Stop It!
If the cause of water in your basement is a burst pipe or a sewage backup, you will have to shut off the water main.
If stormwater caused the flood in your basement, you would have to wait until the storm has passed before you start doing the repairs.
Unsure how your basement flooded? Call a professional for help.
Remove the Standing Water Out of Your Basement
Next, pump the standing water out of your basement. Wear protective equipment first, like boots, gloves, and a mask before entering the basement, especially if the flooding caused is a sewage backup.
Use water removal equipment like a sump pump or a specific wet/dry vacuum. They can hold water without causing electrocution. You can also use a mop and bucket to remove any remaining water.
Dry Out Your Basement
Once you’ve removed all the standing water, you’ll have to dry out the basement windows, floor, walls, and any important items. You can do it fast by keeping doors and windows wide open and using dehumidifiers and industrial drying fans to boost air circulation.
Don’t dry out your wet items inside the basement. They should be dried out thoroughly in a well-ventilated area in about 48 hours. If they remain damp after that, you may have to discard them to prevent mold growth.
Throw away wet cardboard boxes as well. They are particularly prone to bacterial growth.
Remove Damaged Items and Clean Salvageable Ones
Inspect all your things and clean out the damaged items — no need to keep anything that can’t be sanitized well with a liquid-based disinfectant.
If you can see any salvageable items, dry and clean them up. Don’t touch electrical appliances stored in your basement, like a washing machine and dryer, televisions, or lamps. Let them dry completely first before using them again.
If there’s carpet in your basement, remove it at once and dry it out to prevent damage to your subfloor or foundation. Any wet material that occupies your walls and floor can cause severe mold growth.
Mold and mildew can grow in your wet carpet if it isn’t dried properly. You may consult a restoration specialist or a carpet cleaning contractor for inquiries and recommendations.
Wash Your Basement Floor, Walls, and Windows
Use a cleaning solution to wash your basement floor, walls, and windows. Remove any dirt left by the flood.
Call a professional if you identify damaged drywall or insulation so that you’ll know what to do to prevent the spread of mold.
Call Your Insurance Company
If you have flood insurance, give your homeowner’s insurance company a call. Verify your coverage limits, claim procedures, and deductible amount. In a lot of cases, your home insurance company will cover large flood damage like this. Have a record of damages in your basement by taking photos right after you see them.
How to Prevent a Flooded Basement in the Future
Here’s what you need to do to waterproof your basement and prevent most basement floods in the future:
Inspect Your Gutters and Downspouts
Your gutters and downspouts should be directing water 5 or 6 feet away from your foundation. Ensure they are cleaned out regularly, especially at the end of autumn after all the leaves have fallen off. When your gutters are clogged, water can flow into and out of your walls down to your basement, causing basement flooding and severe water damage.
Invest in gutter guards if you experience difficulty in keeping your gutters clear. If they’ve already collapsed, get them repaired or replaced instantly to avoid water flowing into your home.
Inspect for Cracks in Your Foundation
If you discover cracks in your foundation, they can cause groundwater to flow into your basement, especially after heavy rainfall. Have a professional foundation inspection every 5-7 years to prevent flooding issues and other serious concerns.
Paint Your Basement Walls and Floors with a Waterproof Coating
Waterproof paints from your local hardware shop usually work best for resisting minor dampness in your basement.
Install a Sump Pump
The best way to prevent a flooded basement is to invest in a sump pump in your basement (or crawl space). It is installed in the lowest part of your basement. Its function is vital as it immediately pumps out any water that enters the basement.
Also, consider buying a generator for your sump pump in case of a power outage.
Have Your Septic Tank Pumped Regularly
One of the most irritating causes of basement flooding and water damage is sewer backup. It would help to get your septic tank checked and pumped every 3-5 years to prevent flooding and backups.
You Must Have Regular Sewer Inspections
Either you have a city-linked system or a septic tank, you should get them inspected every 3-5 years. Even though your sewer line is linked to a larger drainage system, it doesn’t mean that the pipes and other things in your house will not break.
Hiring a Professional
Seek help from a professional restoration company for flooded basement cleanup and water damage restoration. Superior Restoration ensures that everything in your basement gets back to normal.
Call us now! Water Damage Costa Mesa is available 24/7 in emergencies.