My Basement Flooded. Now What?
Did a recent storm create leaks and turn your basement into an indoor pool?
Downpours can quickly flood your basement, creating a real problem. Like many people, if you use your basement for storage, the thought of having clothes, holiday decorations, keepsakes, or other personal belongings become ruined is devastating. Quickly taking action is key to avoiding a less serious loss.
Experts say that reacting immediately—by mopping up the water and repairing damage caused by clogged drains, faulty sump pumps, or backed-up gutters—is a good start. (In addition, retrieving damp possessions and drying them out as soon as possible will prevent their loss.). If that water is left standing for any length of time, it can cause outbreaks of mold and mildew within a few days, which can cause extensive damage to your home in the long run; damage that you can’t always see.
If you have large amounts of standing water in your basement following a flood, guard your family’s safety by calling your power company. The power company will likely recommend that your electrical service be disconnected before you walk into the water. Under no circumstances should you ever touch anything electrical in the case of a flooded basement—leave it to the professionals.
Key Steps to Take
Here are a few tips for dealing with standing water in your basement as the result of a flood:
- Eliminate the water
Remove the water as quickly as possible. A few inches of standing water can usually be vacuumed with a wet vac. If the water damage is significant, our JP Maguire professionals are here to assist you every step of the way. Call us at any point in the process and we’ll be happy to advise you.
- Dry the basement out
Using dehumidifiers and fans to move the air around discourages the growth of mold and mildew. If using a dehumidifier, keep it at least six to eight inches away from walls to create the best air circulation and drain it more frequently than you typically would. For efficient fan operation, clean and wash filters weekly. Make sure to run your air conditioner constantly and throw away any damaged or wet boxes.
- Scrub the floors
Materials like vinyl tile, linoleum, and other surfaces can be scrubbed with a solution using one cup of chlorine bleach combined with one gallon of water. Use rubber gloves and protective eyewear while you’re cleaning, and keep the room well ventilated to help remove the smell and prevent the inhalation of harmful toxins.
- Examine and clear downspouts, drains, and gutters
Make sure to check your basement steps and drains. Removing leaves, twigs, and mud from and cleaning drain screens will help alleviate any upcoming—and guard against future—issues. Lastly, clean out gutters and downspouts around the house; something you should do at least once a year.
- Freeze your important documents
If valuable documents have been dampened, try quickly putting them in the freezer, which can stop the growth of mildew and deterioration until they can be attended to later. Going forward, plastic bins are far better than cardboard boxes for basement storage.
- Let JP Maguire help
When it comes to getting help after a flood, trust the professionals. With over 40 years’ experience, JP Maguire is here to serve you for flood or any other restoration needs you may have. Contact us today for more information.