What do you do if you have water in your basement?
There are few things worse than discovering a wet basement as a homeowner, or worse basement flooding that’s gone beyond just a little water. There are several things you can before to start drying out your basement, before you call in a basement waterproofing company to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
- •As soon as see water, stop and make sure to shut off any power around the area, including electricity and gas. Never enter a wet or flooded area while the power is on. If you aren’t sure how to shut these areas off, call a qualified electrician before entering the basement to make an assessment and start work.
- As soon as you notice water, take action. If a rain or storm water is the cause of the flood, wait until it’s passed before getting to work.
- Keep yourself protected. Regardless of the water source, wear boots and gloves and a protective mask if necessary. If you are dealing with basement flooding and not just water, hip or chest waders may also be useful if they are available. Take care when walking and moving around the flooded area, it will likely be very slippery
- Verify the source of the water. If a burst pipe is the cause of the flood, shut off water to the basement.
- If your basement has a floor drain, check it to ensure it has been clogged and is causing the basement flooding Keeping your drain open and clear of debris will help drain standing water from your basement.
What do you do if you have water in your basement?
Now that you’ve coved the safety basics and worked to determine no more water is getting into your basement, you can try several things to dry the area yourself. If the basement flooding is moderate to severe or you see mold or mildew starting to develop, it’s time to call professional basement waterproofing specialists.
- Being removing water from the basement. There are several options depending on the amount of water. You can use a sump pump, a pool pump, a wet/dry vacuum or a mop and bucket. Sump pumps are located in the lowest part of a basement and work by sending water away from the home after a flooding. Without a sump pump, water can come up through the ground and enter the home causing flooding in not only the basement, but other parts of the house as well. After most of the water has been removed, soak up the remainder with towels or sponges.
- Remove damaged items out of the basement to dry in a well-ventilated area. If weather permits, a sunny place may lend itself as the best option. It’s best not to dry out items inside the basement, which is already damp. You should give items at least 48 hours to dry. If they are set wet after that time, it is best to discard them as they may begin to develop mold and mildew. try to save wet cardboard boxes, since they can be especially susceptible to bacterial growth. Salvage the contents of the boxes if you can and discard the cardboard containers to be safe.
- Don’t touch electrical items. Any electrical equipment like televisions, stereos or lamps, should not be touched, even with the electricity disconnected. It’s best to let electrical items dry in place and refer to an electrician or qualified repairman to determine the amount of damage.
- Carpeting should be removed as soon as possible. Carpeting can prevent the floor underneath from drying if it’s not removed quickly. Although it can be difficult to adequately dry out these materials, sometimes wet carpeting can be saved. Consult a restoration specialist or a carpet cleaning contractor for recommendations. If carpet isn’t dried properly, it can quickly begin growing mold and mildew. When you have your basement, waterproofing specialists evaluate the area, they can recommend the best floor covering for your basement.
- Give it time. Your basement may take several days of drying time. Get as much ventilation into the area by opening windows and doors. Place fans around the room for air circulation and to speed drying time. You can also rent a dehumidifier if you don’t have one already.
- Wash down floors and walls to remove any dirt left behind by the water. Remove any wet or damaged drywall and insulation to prevent the spreading of mold. After the floor and walls are dry, use an anti-mildew spray to discourage mold and mildew from developing.
- If you have flood insurance, call your home insurance company and report the flood. Confirm your coverage limits, deductible amount, and claim procedures.
Many times, it is safer, faster and easier to call in professionals. You may want to ask for help if the water was more than several feet deep or if you see mold or mildew developing. If you’ve taken steps to dry your basement and it damp, or if it has flooded in the past and you don’t know what caused your basement flood, it’s a good idea to get a professional opinion. Depending on your specific situation, you might want to consult a plumbing contractor, a basement waterproofing company, a disaster restoration specialist or a combination of specialists. If your home insurance company is involved, may check to see if they have a specific vendor that they recommend for flood mitigation.
After your basement has been dried, it is highly recommended you waterproof it. There are ways to do this yourself, but when in doubt, call in the pros. Many things can go wrong if you attempt to waterproof your basement on your own. Especially if you don’t have the proper training and experience. You can damage your basement if you are not familiar with how to use the proper tools.
As mentioned, you may think you fixed the problem, yet you haven’t, and water could continue to slowly leak into your basement. This mistake can cause structural damage and mold growth. It can even attract pests into your home.
For the health and safety of your family, as well as, the value of your home. Waterproofing your basement is an excellent investment for your home.