Flooding in your basement can be one of the most destructive things to deal with when it comes to your home. If you store a lot of things down there, even a small flood from a leaky pipe can force you to throw a lot of things away. Here are a few steps and tricks you should follow if your basement floods.
If your basement floods, the first thing you are going to need to do is turn off the electricity in your basement. If you aren’t sure how to do this safely, call an electrician to do it for you. If you turn it off on yourself, make sure you have a flashlight or spotlight that is powerful enough so that you can safely make your way around the basement in the dark.
Before you pump the water out or call a plumbing company, take photos of the flooded basement on your phone or with a camera. These will be essential if you plan to file an insurance claim, but they are always good to have even if you don’t. Take several photos and videos of the flooded area from the inside and outside of your home. If you file a claim, these photos will be very useful for the adjuster when they are assessing how much you should be paid.
Once You have taken photos, you can begin the water removal process. When it comes to removing the water, you have two main options. Your first option is to rent a wet vacuum or gasoline-powered water pump. There are industrial tool rental groups all over the country that have this kind of equipment. If you don’t feel comfortable removing the water on your own or you cannot find a water pump rental company in your area, there are professional water removal and water damage restoration companies that can do it for you.
After removing the water, you want to get rid of anything that got wet and could attract mold. This includes bedding, clothes, paper products, cardboard, and more. If the flooding was caused by a natural disaster, you may have to get rid of more than just these kinds of items.
Flooding that is caused by a hurricane or terrible storm can contain debris, sewage, chemicals, and other dangerous substances. When this water surrounds appliances and belongings, you have to remember that it isn’t just water and that all of your belongings have now been partially or fully submerged in a mixture of water and other substances. Unfortunately, because of this, you will have to throw away most of the belongings that were damaged by the flood, even if they look and seem okay.
After you have removed all of the water and thrown away anything that you can’t keep, you should begin working on drying your basement out. For this, you can use dehumidifiers and fans to remove the moisture from the air and anything you are keeping. This will also discourage any potential mold growth by moving the air around. If you use dehumidifiers, they will work best when placed about six to eight inches away from the walls.
If you have any important paperwork or valuable documents that got wet during the flood, you can throw them in the freezer to reduce the possibility of mildew and mold growth while you work on fixing the basement. Once you have sorted everything out with the basement, you can come back to the papers and salvage what you are able to.
Jenn Walker is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast, and avid beach goer operating out of Southern New Jersey.