Cleaning a Flooded Basement

Unfortunately accidents can happen and your basement can be flooded, even if it is unfinished or just finished. The reasons are many and diverse.

Sometimes the storm downspouts or/and gutters are clogged or too old, rusty and having holes, in other words, they are compromised. Naturally that the rainwater will flow along them and on the exterior walls infiltrating easily into the basement of your home.

Photo by Vertical Construction Group LLCBrowse basement photos

But sometimes the situation may be more serious, requiring large expenditures to remedy it. When the water table is too high any storm or heavy rain can cause problems. The soil around your home becomes saturated and water has to drain somewhere. Usually there is no problem. The water will overflow to the surface of the backyard or lawn.

However, if the house foundation insulation is compromised or there are cracks in the foundation water will easily find its way inside the basement. A sump pump can remedy this unpleasant situation, but sometimes basement flooding can happen suddenly, perhaps before installing this pump. Your house settles in time, and may occur cracks in the foundation, thus giving free way to the water, inside your basement.

How to deal with a flooded basement?

Let’s see together the steps that should be done to remedy this situation.

Choosing Your Tools

Of course the first step to do is to remove the water. If the amount of water infiltrated inside is small, then you only need a bucket and a mop.

However, if the amount of infiltrated water is quite large and continues to grow, then it takes a more serious approach.

First of all, you should purchase or borrow a portable sum pump, wet vacuum or a wet shop vacuum to help you to remove the water. In fact, there is no need to buy these tools, if you don’t have too often this unpleasant situation. There are many places where you can borrow them. All you need is to look in the phone book or online where you can find equipment for rent.

However, before renting or buying you should determine which type of equipment is appropriate for your needs.

a) Sump Pump: – It requires an outlet and a long hose, because the basement is flooding you cannot use the existing basement drains to remove the water through a basement window, far away from the house.
b) Wet Vacuum: – It is an effective device, but is good only when you are dealing with a small amount of water, because it has a small volume and you to empty it very often.
c) Wet Shop Vacuum: It can definitely hold more water, but it is quite difficult to empty, not to mention that is also heavier than a wet vacuum.

Water Removal

Water removal is not a tricky thing if you have the right equipment. It is wise to start with the area that can be the most affected from the flood and if the water sits too long.

However, you can start from the highest point of your basement where the water has the lowest level and work all the way until you remove all the water.

Drying the Basement Area

If it is hot outside and the rain has stopped, you should open the doors and windows to allow the moist air to escape. If ventilation is good, the drying process will go fairly quickly.

However, once all the amount of water has been removed from the basement floor, you should begin drying the room as quickly as possible, not to allow moisture to infiltrate behind drywall. Turn the heat on to accelerate the drying process. If your heating system has been affected by the flood you need to bring inside some electric heaters. They will evaporate the humidity into the air and a good ventilation will let the humid air to escape. Therefore, consider using several powerful fans to work together with the heaters. This will prevent the occurrence and growth of mold and mildew.

Using a dehumidifier is another smart and efficient option. However, in this case you need to keep all the doors and windows closed. Only in this way your dehumidifier will work properly. The only downside is that a dehumidifier container should be emptied often and requires your attention to see when it is full.

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