What to Do when the Basement Has Flooded
Flooded basements occur often and are difficult to handle, but we’re here to help. Floods in these areas occur most often during the spring, when snow melts and spring storms begin. Basement flooding can also occur in dry weather, due to unexpected blockages to the sewer system around the property. All property owners should be aware of the following basement flooding restoration guidelines.
Basement flooding restoration tips
The first things to do
- If the property owner is unsure if he or she can tackle the flooding, a water damage restoration specialist must be called right away.
- To avoid electrical wires that are under water level, the home’s power must be turned off at the main breaker switches.
- If the flooding is due to a burst water pipe in the home, the main water supply valve should be shut off.
- Direct contact with floodwater, which may contain dangerous contaminants, must be avoided. If one has to move through floodwater, he or she should wear protective clothing, such as disposable overalls, eyewear, gloves, and a face mask.
- The owner should contact the insurance company, take photos and document all items that have been damaged or need to be replaced.
- The basement needs to be completely dried as quickly as possible to avoid further damages to contents and structure, as well as mould growth. The water can be sucked up with a sump pump, a Wet-Dry vacuum, and dehumidifiers. Also, the basement must be ventilated as much as possible and the windows should stay open if the outside humidity is not higher than the indoor humidity. The drying process can take up to two weeks.
- If there are baseboards, they should be removed. Holes of 2.5 cm diameter should be drilled halfway between the wall studs at the base of the walls to allow the moist air trapped behind the walls to evaporate.
Cleaning up the basement
- The items must be rescued quickly by removing them from floodwater to avoid mould growth, warping, and rot. Items that suck up a lot of water (such as carpet and furniture) can usually be salvaged if they have been in the water for less than 24 hours. If they have stayed in water for more than 48 hours, they should be thrown away.
- It’s important to make a list of belongings that can be restored and what needs to be discarded. This will help with the insurance claim.
- After everything has been dried, the basement contents and structure (walls, foundation floor, drywall, etc.) should be cleaned and disinfected. The cleanup team should discard the drywall and wood that have a lot of mould.
- Bleach must not be used to clean mould because bleach kills live mould, but not mould spores. Household detergent is preferable.
- Finally, any remaining repairs include: filling foundation cracks, replacing damaged drywall (with a mould resistant type) sealing windows and vents, and more.
How to prevent basement flooding
- Keep roof gutters and downspouts clean and divert rainwater two metres away from the house.
- Install an automatic emergency generator that provides the building with electricity during blackouts.
- Install a sump pump, which automatically drains water from the basement and prevents water from rising.
- Seal all openings or cracks in the walls, floors, foundations, and windows of the house.
- Install porous pavement around the building to help absorb rainwater and thawed snow.
- Check the drainage systems and plumbing regularly to ensure they’re working properly.
When basement flooding happens, contact the water damage restoration experts
When dealing with flood cleanup, consulting a water damage specialist is a great idea. PuroClean responds to your call all day and all night.
To determine the full extent of the basement damages, call your local PuroClean office for an evaluation. Also, our national hotline is (403) 309-0095. The PuroClean team is ready to provide professional help in any basement flood situation.