Your basement has flooded
. Even after planning for every eventuality. Even after having contractors out to take a look at the foundation of your basement for cracks. If you find yourself in this situation, here are a few tips that may help.
First off, if you aren?t sure of what you are doing, stay out of the basement. Have professionals come in and check everything. If you are comfortable with the situation, you will want to check for any electric wires that are submerged. Be mindful of using any electric devices in a flooded basement as well. If your basement has flooded, turn off the main electrical switch or call the fire department to do it for you. Make sure to buy double insulated and grounded electrical equipment.
If you smell gas, immediately leave the house and call your local gas company to let them know and to switch off the gas. Flooding can cause damage to the pipes and a leak could happen due to that.
Pollutants and chemicals
Flooding can cause sewage to leak into your basement. This is full of bacteria and can transmit diseases. If sewage has been brought into your basement, make sure you wear gloves, a mask and safety glasses when working in the basement. Also, chemicals from household cleaners can cause a health hazard. When you get to the cleaning stage, make sure that the basement is well ventilated and you are wear protective gear.
While not common, flooding in the basement
can cause structural damage. Walls and the ceiling could be weakened from all the moisture. You will want to check the integrity of the basement before doing any heavy work down there.
The Next Stage in Basement Flooding
Once you are prepared for any hazards, it will be time to clean up your basement.
Removing the water
Once the danger of electrocution is out of the way, you will want to get your basement dry as soon as possible. You can remove any standing water with a Wet-Dry vacuum and you may want to get some extra de-humidifiers running. You may need some heavy duty de-humidifiers, which you can rent from a restoration company for a weekly fee. Running your air conditioner will also help de-humidify the air as well.
Keep all the windows closed to prevent any humid outside air from getting in. Set up some fans to keep the air circulating. You want to get the air as dry as possible, as quickly as possible. The dry air will evaporate the standing water in the basement and draw out the moisture in the walls, carpet and furniture. If the basement is dried quickly, the risk of mold forming is lower. It could take up to 2 weeks for the basement to dry completely.
Drill holes in the walls
Moisture will affect the drywall and the paneling in the walls. You will want to consider drilling 1 inch holes between the wall studs behind the wall baseboards. The holes will allow the walls to get dry thanks to the dehumidifiers. The holes will be covered when you reinstall the baseboards.
Depending on how long it takes you to dry out the basement, mold may form. However, mold will stop growing once the basement is dry. You won?t need to take out the drywall if there is a small amount of mold. If mold causes an allergic reaction in you or any family member, you may want to destroy the mold as soon as possible
When you kill the mold, avoid using bleach. Not only will bleach put out harmful fumes, but it isn?t an effective fungicide for mold growth. You can buy safer and more effective alternatives and most local stores. Once the fungicide dries, cover the area with a mold encapsulating paint to keep the mold from growing further.
If you have a major mold problem after the basement has flooded, call in the professionals to clear it up. It may be more expensive than going out and doing it yourself. But an extensive mold infestation will cost you a lot of money in the long run and if you miss an area, the mold will come back with a vengeance.
Once everything is dry and all the work is done, call in a home inspector to check your basement. A home inspector will be able to make sure your basement is dry and that there is no mold present in the basement. Once everything checks out, your basement will be good to go!