What Do You Do When Your Basement Floods?
You walk downstairs to do laundry and find that there’s water in your basement. What do you do? Do you know who to call? What to do first? Are your belongings ruined by the water? How do you dry out a basement fast? Flooding can overwhelm any homeowner - but don’t worry, we’ll outline how to clean up a flooded basement here!
What To Do When Your Basement Floods
- Never immediately enter a flooded crawlspace or basement. Be sure to assess the situation first. If there’s a large amount of standing water, you should turn off both the electricity and gas before entering. If your circuit breaker is in the basement or you’re not sure how to turn off the power - call an electrician for help. Even after the power is off, enter with caution! If there were any appliances or electrical equipment in the flooded area, you want to be sure it’s safe to enter before you do.
- Find rain boots and other protective gear to wear before entering a flooded basement. You don’t want to come into contact with dirty or contaminated flood water and become sick. If the water is high enough, you may want to consider wearing chest waders as well. But, if the water in your basement is this high, we wouldn’t recommend handling the situation or entering by yourself. Call a flooded basement cleanup company who is equipped to handle major flooding, like SERVPRO of Meriden.
- Determine the source of your flooding. This will help guide your next steps in the cleanup process. If the flood water is due to heavy rains, wait until the storm passes and no more water is entering the basement to take action. If your flooding is due to something like a burst pipe, water heater, furnace, or any other faulty appliances, turn off your water immediately! This may be obvious, but it will help to prevent more damage.
- If there’s a sump pump or floor drain in your basement, try and check them out. Is your sump pump failing? Is the floor drain clogged? If so, try to get your sump pump to work or the drain unclogged to help drain standing water.
- Is your basement finished or unfinished? This makes a large difference in properly drying out the affected areas and what steps you should take. When your basement is unfinished with just concrete walls and floors, extracting water and setting up equipment is usually enough to get the job done. But, if your basement is finished with carpeting or hardwood flooring, the clean up and drying process will require much more work to be done properly.
- Start the water removal process. For minor flooding or puddles of water, you should try and use a wet dry vacuum to extract water, utilize your sump pump, or even use a mop, rag and bucket. If there’s a few inches or more of water, it may be best to call a flood removal company like SERVPRO of Meriden to help. Our advanced equipment can quickly remove all water from your basement - a factor that is highly important to prevent mold growth.
- Dry EVERYTHING out as best as you can. Start by removing wet or water damaged items so they can begin to dry faster and decide what things can’t be saved. Set up fans, dehumidifiers, and open windows to help dry out the basement. If there was a lot of standing water, especially for an extended amount of time, your household equipment may not be able to completely dry the area out. In this case, call SERVPRO of Meriden or another water damage restoration company. We use high grade equipment and measurement techniques like air movers and large dehumidifiers to quickly and thoroughly dry your basement and ensure no moisture is left behind - we have it down to a science.
- Wash and sanitize walls and floors. You want to remove any dirt or gunk left behind from the flood water, as well as help prevent mold and mildew growth. This is especially important if the flood water was from a stream, river, sewer backup, or any other unsanitary or contaminated source. At SERVPRO of Meriden, we spray antimicrobial to sanitize the basement after flooding - a step that may be overlooked when cleaning up yourself.
Most importantly: Take preventative measures so that your basement doesn’t flood again!
If the reason for your flooding was a failed sump pump, clogged drain, crack in foundation, or a burst pipe, be sure to get it fixed. If inadequate drainage was an issue, be sure to navigate water further away from the walls of your home.
Lastly, if your basement is naturally prone to flooding, consider waterproofing it and moving appliances onto cinder blocks or a different floor of your home. This will help prevent them from being submerged if your basement floods again.
What Are The Causes of Basement Flooding?
There’s many different reasons for flooded or wet basements. Many times, it is caused by insufficient drainage around basement walls, heavy rains bringing in rainwater through cracks in the foundation, failing sump pumps, clogged floor drains, burst pipes, appliance hoses letting go or leaking, or a combination of these factors.
Luckily, there are solutions to many of these problems, such as investing in better drainage systems, changing where water runs off from your home, properly maintaining appliances, or waterproofing your basement.
Should You Call A Professional To Help With A Flooded Basement Cleanup?
If the water in your basement is past your ankles, we would strongly recommend calling a professional flood cleanup company like SERVPRO of Meriden. As water damage restoration specialists, we have all the resources and expertise necessary to rapidly remove all water from your basement, dry it out, sanitize, and restore any damaged areas. Fast action is essential when it comes to flooding and water damage to help prevent mold growth, odors, and structural decay.
SERVPRO of Meriden provides all customers:
- 24/7/365 Rapid emergency service
- Free evaluations
- Free estimates
- Direct insurance billing & guidance through the insurance process.