Water Flooded Basement: How to Clean Up of Basement Flooding
What do you know about rain…and sewage backups, burst pipes? You must be experienced, especially if they turn your wet bar into a soaking wet bar and your ping-pong table into an island. Every homeowner with a basement imagines that horror. If it happens to you, don’t retreat into a fetal position on your couch and hope for a miracle, no matter how much you want to. You can deal with the soggy disaster and save your water flooded basement. Here’s how.
THINGS TO DO RIGHT NOW
Don’t wait until you’ve reached the fifth stage of grief before addressing a flood. Fast actions can minimize a rising, rank situation – and the money it’ll cost to repair.
- The first thing to do is really DON’T.
Don’t ever step into standing basement water. You could be shocked or electrocuted. Who wants to venture into that murky mess, anyway? Turn the power off or call an electrician to be safe. Don’t do anything with your own efforts.
2. Find the source and stop water.
Broken or malfunctioning pipes
Turn off your water’s shut-off valve. If you don’t know where it is situated, scope it out now – before the worst happens. Some valves are buried in the ground and require special tools to turn off. Find it!
Stop flushing toilets and running faucets. Your local sewage authority may offer pumping services or let you submit a reimbursement claim. If you have a septic system, though, it’s on you. Call the septic company to have your tank pumped ASAP.
Sorry, that’s bad news. You can’t turn off nature. It’s nonsense. There is a good new: Groundwater flooding might not stink as badly as sewage. Get references for a waterproofing pro or a structural engineer because you could have a foundation problem.
- Find a plumber with a high-capacity pump.
This is not a job for you. It needs to get done fast. You need a professional-grade pump. The longer that water sits, and the longer your drywall spends under water, the more long-term damage. The more damage, the more it costs to clean up.
- Make your smartphone your helper.
Take photos and video then back them up in the cloud, so you’ll have them for insurance purposes.
SOME OF THE CLEANUP TO SAVE MONEY
Once the water is pumped out, the rest can be a DIY job. Just make sure to protect yourself with:
- Rubber boots
- Eye protection
- A mask (especially if you’re dealing with a sewage backup)
- A nose plug if the smell is really bad
Then suck up the remaining muck with a wet-dry vac. You’ll also need an army’s worth of paper towels and plastic bags to dispose of the mess. Obviously, you’ll have to say goodbye to all rugs, carpets, and upholstery, which will soak up floodwater contaminants and bacteria, regardless of the flood source. Sometimes, they can be cleaned and restored by professional cleaners.
DIY restoration steps to clean your water flooded basement:
- Open all windows and doors, and run large fans and dehumidifiers.
- Scrub water-contaminated walls, floors, cabinetry, or hardware with a soapy solution. Ventilate again.
- Make a bactericide by adding 1.5 cups of bleach and a few drops of liquid soap to a gallon of water. Spray on the walls; let air dry.
- One more thing: bleach doesn’t kill mold and mildew. It kills the bacteria that they feed on, but doesn’t destroy the nasty fungi itself. Use soap to zap it. Otherwise, use professional assistance.
But Don’t Feel Like a Wimp if You Want to Hire a Pro
In fact, all specialists you ask will recommend you to hire a restoration service, as long as the company you hire is trustworthy and affordable. Water flooded basement needs much attention and efforts. A small flood might cost as little as $500 to pump out and dry, but a large flood can cost up to $10,000. Don’t be afraid of prices! You can find cheaper. But never trust a company that puts a guy in a truck and think a high-powered fan is good enough to dry a basement. Improper technique, like not allowing the home to dry for long enough or failing to properly treat drywall, puts your home at risk for mold or mildew in addition to the flooding damage. So just be sure to do your homework on who you hire.
Don’t Assume Insurance Will Cover Your Repairs
The first call you make when your basement flooded must be to your insurance company. There can be a problem. Standard home insurance often doesn’t cover all types of floods, especially groundwater. To know it for sure, call your insurance agent right now and ask. But the best scenario is no flood at all.
5 Things To Do So You’ll Never, Ever Flood Again
Of course the best thing for your water flooded basement to recover is prevent it. Obviously, you cannot keep everything under your careful control. But you can try. Thus, here are a couple of advices to help you to control the situation and prevent the biggest disaster you may ever have.
- Install a leak detector and high-water alarm. These small devices notify you before a small leak becomes a disaster, either via an audible alarm or a text message.
- Insulate your pipes. Thawing pipes are one of the leading causes of basement flooding.
- Maintain your backwater valve. It prevents sewage from seeping from the septic or sewer system to your home.
- Consider a sump pump. Every basement should have one of these flooding saviors.
- Flush and dump with caution. Dumping anything besides waste and toilet paper down your toilet or drains is a big no-no – from tampons to grease. These clog the system, causing backups.
Finally, try to consider all facts and arguments you have to decide to call for pros or not. It often happens that saving money on professional help you pay twice.