No matter how prepared you are, some things just can’t be predicted, and basement flooding is one of those things. Walking into your basement and finding it flooded after a bad storm can leave you feeling helpless and unsure of what to do next. If you’re not sure what to do when your basement floods, don’t panic. Take a deep breath and read on to learn how to handle basement flooding step-by-step.
Do Not Enter a Flooded Basement
You need to know that you should never enter a flooded basement. If you have any electrical appliances or wiring in your basement, you are at risk of electrocution. Before you go into a flooded basement, you should make sure the power to your home is off.
If your circuit breaker is somewhere other than your basement, you can do this yourself. If it’s in your garage, or if your home is older and has outdoor fuses, you should immediately turn your power off. On the other hand, if your circuit breaker is in the basement, you should call an electrician to help you get the power turned off.
Get the Water Out Quickly
Only after you’ve turned your power off should you go into your basement or worry about figuring a way to get the water out. But once you are able, getting rid of the standing water should be your next major priority. If you’re only looking at a small amount of water, you may be able to soak it up with towels. Any towels you use on your floor should be washed and dried immediately afterward to prevent them from growing mold or mildew.
If there is more water on the floor than you can reasonably soak up with towels and mopping, your next option is a wet vac. This approach will allow you to remove all the water from your basement much easier and faster than soaking it up with towels. If you don’t already have a wet vac and don’t want to buy one for water removal, you can always rent one from your local hardware store.
Sometimes flooding is so severe that even a wet vac can’t get the job done on its own. In these cases, it’s best to call a professional who specializes in what to do when your basement floods.
Dry Out the Basement to Prevent Mold
After removing the standing water from your home, there’s still a lot to do. Most importantly, thoroughly dry the area and any possessions that got wet. First, you should remove any of your essential possessions that may have been damaged or are at risk for mold and mildew. It’s best to move any shelving or furniture that you can to somewhere else (generally the garage). You should also relocate any damp books, papers, or anything else you might have stored that got wet.
If you have carpet in your basement, be aware that it’s not usually salvageable after being soaked by flooding. If it’s too wet, it may be wise to tear out the carpet and padding quickly before it has the chance to grow mold or mildew. On the other hand, you should scrub tile, linoleum, and similar floor options as soon as possible to prevent mold from growing and spreading.
Once you’ve removed everything from your basement, you can work on airing it out entirely. If possible, open doors and windows to help improve circulation. To speed up the drying process, you can place fans throughout the basement.
If you want to make things go faster, you might consider buying or renting a dehumidifier from the hardware store when you pick up that wet vac. The combination of fans and dehumidifiers will significantly improve airflow and speed up the drying process. You will need the basement to be completely dry before assessing the damage and making repairs.
Contact Your Insurance Company
The last thing on your mind is probably your homeowner’s insurance, but you must contact your insurance company as soon as possible after basement flooding. You’ll want to get a claim sooner rather than later, especially if there is a chance your insurance will pay for the repairs or help replace any damaged possessions.
You should also check to see if there is a specific service provider that your insurance recommends that you use if you are unsure of who to call. They may be able to recommend multiple places, depending on if you know what caused the flooding or if you need to diagnose the source and repair damages.
Call Professionals to Assess the Damage
It can seem overwhelming when you need to figure out how to go about water removal, saving your possessions, calling your insurance, and finding a water damage restoration company to help repair any damage. But when flooding happens and water damage is involved, time is of the essence if you want to prevent mold, mildew, and other water damage.
Whatever you do, don’t wait. The longer you take to address basement flooding, the more damage you’ll deal with in the long run. More importantly, if you’re not sure what caused the flooding, a professional can help you get the problem diagnosed and fixed, whether it’s a clogged floor drain, a failed sump pump, or something else entirely.
Contact Pride Cleaning & Restoration today at (314) 463-4411 for a free estimate and get your basement back in working order in no time.