7 Steps to Take When Your Basement Floods

A flooded basement can be caused by a variety of events, like an unexpected pipe burst, a flooding event, or even heavy rain leaking through a window. For any homeowner facing the aftermath of a basement flood, you’re likely asking many questions. When is it safe to enter the basement? How do you clean up a flooded basement? Who do you call when your basement floods? And does homeowners insurance cover flooding? 

1) Make sure your basement is safe to enter

The first step after your basement has flooded is to make sure that it is safe to enter. You should never enter a flooded area while the power is still on. So make sure to shut off any power, including electricity and gas, before going into the flooded basement.Watch out for large amounts of standing water, exposed electrical wires, or signs the ceiling has sustained water damage, such as sagging, cracks, or peeling paint.

2) Find the source of the basement flood

There may be a variety of reasons why your basement has flooded. For example, if a natural disaster like a flood or heavy rainstorm has caused your basement to flood, it’s best to wait until the storm is over to begin drying out the space. On the other hand, if your basement has flooded due to a burst pipe or a plumbing issue, it’s important to locate the source of the flood immediately.

3) Remove the water from your basement

Depending on the amount of water, you may be able to pump water out of the basement on your own. Consider using a sump pump, buckets, or even a pool pump to help drain the water out of your flooded basement. After most of the water has been removed, you can use mops, towels, or sponges to sop up any remaining water. However, if the water is too deep for you or your household to safely remove, call your local basement waterproofing or water damage restoration specialist. They will have the proper tools and equipment to remove large amounts of water from your basement. 

For insurance purposes, it’s important to document the extent of damage the flood has caused to your basement. Standard homeowner’s insurance policies may cover water damage from an unexpected event like a burst pipe. However, a common home insurance myth is that your policy will cover damage related to a flood. Typical homeowners insurance policies do not cover damage caused by a flood event. 

4) Remove water-damaged items 

After pumping the excess water from the flooded basement, you’ll need to remove any water-damaged items to dry them out. If possible, it’s best to let these items dry outside in a sunny place or another well-ventilated area of your home. Should these items remain damp after 48 hours have passed, it may be in your best interest to discard them. At this point, they may be more susceptible to mold and mildew if they are not fully dried out. 

You should also consider ripping out any soaked carpet to let the floorboards underneath dry out. If your basement is carpeted, it may be at a greater risk of mold or bacteria growth if you do not remove the carpet in a timely manner.

5) Dry the flooded basement 

To help dry out your flooded basement, open any windows or doors to let in as much fresh air as possible. It’s also a good idea to turn on any fans or heaters to help dry out the space.  Make sure you’re using a dehumidifier to keep any moisture from staying trapped in corners of your basement.

6) Prevent mold before it grows 

Once you’ve had your basement cleaned and dried, it’s important to check for any signs of mold. Mold, in addition to bacteria growth, may cause health issues in your home if they are not treated quickly. Mold spores typically begin growing within 24 to 48 hours after a flood, so immediacy is key. You can help prevent mold growth by using dehumidifiers to keep your basement’s humidity low. However, contacting a professional who can assess your basement for signs of mold or bacteria growth may be the safest option for protecting your household.

7) Prevent future floods

There are several steps you can take to help protect your home from flooding. You can install a battery-powered sump pump to help remove excess water from your basement should a flood begin.

In the aftermath of a flooded basement, it’s important to make sure your home is in tip-top shape and prepared for future flooding. Speaking with a basement waterproofing specialist can help you determine the best course of action for preventing future floods. They will know about the right precautions to properly waterproof your basement depending on your geographic location or home’s characteristics. 

See complete article:Redfin.com