Basement cleanup tips

A flood in your basement is never convenient.  It creates a soggy mess that must be dealt with promptly in order to keep your family safe and avoid serious damages to the rest of your home.  Even though a basement flood may require the help of a professional, there are some things you can do to alleviate some stress and save money in the end.  Here is a list of Things to do to save the day

  1. Document your damages- Before you start your cleanup get some photos of the damages in case you need them. Remember, Even if you have insurance, it does not mean you are covered.  Check with your agent for actual policy coverage.
  2. Turn off all the utilities, especially the electric! If you do not know how call an electrician or the power company.  You are already going in to a flooded space full of floating hazardous debris, with possible sewage or chemical contamination- do not add electrocution to the list!
  3. Try to stop the rise of water. To do that you must find the source.  Here are the more common types and their solution:
    • Broken pipe or main- turn off the source
    • Back- up in sewage line- stop using water in the house and call a sewage service or city waste offices
    • Flooding from groundwater (like rain) – can’t fool with Mother nature… look to install a sump pump to lower the levels of water till the flooding stops
  4. if the water is really high, Find high-capacity pump. If you have really high water, this is not the time to hesitate!  This job needs to be done really fast.  Secure a professional-grade pump by purchasing one ASAP, or call a professional.  Just think about it…..all that high water covering your drywall, furniture, tools, appliances etc. etc.  It is a recipe for disaster.  All that soaked up water is going to take longer to clean, cause more damage, grow more molds, and cost more money.

The faster you take Action, the more you work to reduce future repair costs.  The longer water sits in your basement, the more damage it is causing. If you decide to take DIY method for cleanup, gather your gear:

Gloves

Rubber boots or waders

Goggles

A mask or respirator

Lights

Rags, paper towels

Mops

Shovel or scoop

Trash bags, buckets, trash cans

Strong disinfectant like bleach

Liquid soap

It is also handy to have fans, a dehumidifier, and a wet vac.  (Don’t forget extension cords, because you cannot use the basement outlets remember?)

After getting rid of all the water, and drying off as much as you can, dispose of all rugs, carpets, throws and upholstered.  These are full of water germs, and bacteria.  Open any windows and doors, and run your fans and dehumidifiers.

Thoroughly clean all walls, floors, cabinetry, etc with bleach and water.  Wash again with soapy water and rinse.  This will kill germs, the medium in which mold grows, and the mold spores too.

If at any time you don’t feel like you can handle the situation, call a pro.  There is no shame in wanting a job to be done the right way, especially when you are considering your family’s safety and well-being.

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