Basement floods can be a result of several factors such as plumbing, sewage, or drainage issues. Hence, almost every American might face it at least once in their lifetime. According to stats, 98% of basements in the USA suffer from some water damage. The numbers are so high that the government has even taken steps to help reduce basement flooding.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has enlisted some mitigation measures to reduce water damage losses. But prevention is not always possible. Despite all the efforts you make, you might encounter a basement flood at some point in time. Hence, we are here with this list of steps you can take after the basement flood quick cleaning and reduced risks.
Reducing the Damages of a Basement Flood
Clearing the basement flood can be a daunting task. But you don’t have to worry much if you follow the below steps immediately. These steps will increase the cleaning efficiency while reducing the long-term consequences of basement floods.
1. Inspect the flood
The first thing you need to do is to inspect the basement flood. Find out the damaged area or the amount of water level. But ensure that you do all this while remaining outside the water. Never enter a basement flood as there are chances of electrical hazards.
Shut off the power before entering the water and then head in to find out if there are any potential electrical wires or devices and take them out. Assessing the water and removing the electrical appliances will help you plan your further moves.
2. Eliminate the Water
After the assessment, start immediately with taking out the water. Depending on the water level, you can take different approaches. For instance, if the water is significantly less, you can use a towel to sop it up. But if it’s at ankle height or higher, it means your sump pump has malfunctioned.
You can then purchase a new sump pump and use it to eliminate the water and dry the basement. However, if it’s out of your control, you might need professional help. Thus, determine how you want to proceed depending on the water level and dry the place.
3. Remove the damp items
Eliminating the water will leave you with damp items soaked in water. Inspect the entire damaged area to find all the soaked items, including carpet, furniture, or even boxes.
After taking out all the damp items, keep them in a ventilated place for quick drying. If you leave these wet items in the flooded area, they will slow the drying process of both the site and themselves.
4. Take care of the hygiene
The next step is to ensure maintaining hygiene. This will require drying the entire place to remove the presence of moisture. Additional moisture can lead to mold growth, which can become a trouble in the long-term.
Mold can start accumulating within 24 hours of water exposure. Hence, even if you think you have taken care of the damage and moisture, it’s better to dry the place completely.
In the short term, it can lead to a cluster in drainage systems, leading to water logging. It can further lead to an environment apt for mosquitoes. Thus, it is advised to take help from professionals to control mosquito growth in the basement.
If you take up the task of drying the place and ensuring hygiene in your own hands, you might require to rent a fan or blower for the purpose. You can also use a dehumidifier to eliminate any remaining moisture.
5. Repair the damage
Once the basement is dry, begin with the repairing process. Assess the amount of damage and see if any appliances or damages can be recovered with insurance. Claim the insurance wherever possible and repair the rest of the devices.
6. Examine the drains and gutters
Basement floods can clutter the drainage system. The clogged drains can further increase the chances of future water damages. Hence, it is best to examine the drainage systems and gutters and ensure they are functioning appropriately.
If you find any issues with the drains, hire a plumber and get the pipes cleaned. Cleaning drainage regularly has many benefits, such as no foul odor and reducing pipe blockage, reducing future floods.
7. Taking measures to prevent future floods
Once you are done handling the current flood, find out and fix the issue that caused it. Not only that but also take other preventive measures to prevent any future water damages. You can also take help from a professional to safeguard your basement.
Basement floods can be a nightmare. But you can deal with it calmly if you take the proper steps at the right time. Following the above steps will help you take immediate actions to tackle the situation hassle-free.