Unfortunately, a flooded basement is something that is becoming way too common for homeowners. It can be discouraging to think about having such a mess inside the family home. Not only are many treasured items destroyed, there is also going to be an enormous mess that needs to be cleaned up. It can be difficult to know who to turn to in a time such as this. One thing is certain: you need to act fast so that further damage can be avoided. Here are a few tips to help you to understand more about what needs to be considered when cleaning out the basement after a flood.
Protect Children and Pets
The first thing you are going to want to do is to protect your children and pets. Keep them away from the water whenever possible. It can be difficult to know whether the water is polluted with any chemicals or sewer water. Children and pets can get sick when they are exposed to such elements. It is likely that they will take the mess and distribute it throughout the entire home. It makes sense to keep them as far away as possible.
It is up to you to protect yourself with the right clothing including boots, coveralls, gloves and even goggles. Depending on the situation, you may need a respirator before going into the basement. Like most people, you probably are unaware of the damage that can be caused when you are exposed to such toxins.
Deactivate Outside Services to the Home
Before going downstairs, make sure that everything has been deactivated. Flip the electrical breakers to the off position and make sure the electricity is not working. You will also want to turn off the gas to the home. It will also be beneficial to turn off the water to the home. This will often prevent a water line from breaking. If this is not something that you are familiar with, it will be advantageous to contact the utility companies for assistance.
In some situations, certain tools will be required. You would be in a serious mess if something went wrong. It is worthwhile to contact the professionals whenever possible. If you have home warranty insurance, contact the warranty company for further information.
Find the Source of the Flood
Before getting started with the cleanup process, it is important to find out what caused the problem. By doing this, you will be able to prevent the problem from getting worse. You can begin with shutting off the water to the home. This should be done at the main water line that comes in near the street. If you don’t have the tool to turn off the main water valve, contact the water company. They will send someone out to make sure it is done properly. After the water has been turned off, you will have the opportunity to start unblocking household drains. This is going to be quite a mess to deal with. However, it needs to be done before the problem gets worse.
Open the Windows
Now, it is time to open the windows and allow some ventilation inside the basement. Many people are surprised to see how quickly Mother Nature can help to clear the water through the process of evaporation. You will want to allow a breeze of fresh air to come through the basement. Open all of the windows and doors and consider purchasing a fan as a means to get the air moving. This is going to be the most effective ventilation solution no matter what the outside temperature is like.
Start Removing the Water
Now, it is time to get started with removing the water. If you have a pump, this is going to be a very useful tool. Otherwise, you will want to use a shop vacuum or any vacuum that’s safe to use around water. You have plenty of water that needs to go, and you need a durable, waterproof vacuum that is going to get rid of the water once and for all. If there is a clogged drain, you may need an auger to clear the drain. If this is not possible, a plumber is able to help. You definitely want to make sure the water is disposed of in an area where it is definitely not going to come back.
It’s Time to Get Rid of Everything
Now it’s time to get started with removing everything from the basement. This would include carpeting, padding, drywall and even insulation underneath the drywall. It is very likely that these items are going to have to be thrown away. Some homeowners are choosing to allow them to sit out in the sun and dry. At this point, they can determine whether or not these items can be used again.
There is a strong possibility that there is going to be a foul odor coming from these items. If this is the case, you are definitely going to want to throw them away and start over with new drywall and insulation; you may even wish to look into basement waterproofing to make sure that this sort of thing doesn't ever happen again. The carpet may be able to be cleaned, or you may need to replace this too. Every situation is going to be different. When you realize how much bacteria was in the water, it is very likely that you are going to decide to go ahead and discard everything.
The Disinfection Process is Next
After everything has been removed, it is time to get started with the process of disinfecting the entire area. Many people don’t realize how quickly mold will begin to grow when it is exposed to the right type of bacteria. It can be extremely dangerous and will spread quickly. If the area is damp, warm, and without sunlight, it is likely that the mold is going to grow into a large problem. At this point, it is going to turn into a serious health issue. Get started with the cleanup and disinfecting process right away. Otherwise, you will have a whole new problem to deal with.
Get the Insurance Company Involved
Now it is time to get in touch with the insurance company. Let them know what is going on and make sure you have the right type of flood insurance coverage. If so, you may choose to turn this problem over to a contractor who will take on the responsibility of the cleanup.
It is beneficial to know that there is a professional available who can take care of the dirty work. The contractor has the tools and the knowledge to take care of this difficult process. They will work hard to make sure everything is properly handled. Of course, if you choose to clean up yourself, it will be advantageous to contact a professional regarding water damage restoration. They have plenty of experience and know what needs to be done to make sure the work is handled properly.
Many people don’t consider the amount of time that they spend in their home until something goes wrong. At this point, they are wondering how it will be possible to survive in such a situation. If you are currently dealing with a flood in your home, check with your home warranty company to learn more about the protection regarding your home. Many people don’t realize that these problems are often covered with a standard home warranty. Between the warranty and the homeowners insurance company, you should be covered in many aspects. Of course, if you are comfortable with the process, it is possible to start the cleanup on your own.
Don’t wait for something to go wrong. Learn more about how to protect yourself in the case of a flood in your basement. It may also be beneficial to have your sewer pipes cleaned and inspected by a plumber. This is the easiest way to prevent a problem from happening. Unfortunately, there are situations where a flood cannot be prevented. This would include a rainstorm or a backed up pipe. Either way, you need to know how to handle a flooding emergency. Always be prepared with a wet dry vacuum and other clean up tools.
As a homeowner, you need to be prepared for the unexpected. Always make sure that you have purchased the right type of flood insurance and that you continue to update a homeowners warranty. Generally, this is something that you will purchase when you buy the home. However, after the warranty expires, you are free to continue to purchase it year after year. A good, solid home warranty will protect the entire home, including all appliances. This is definitely something that every new homeowner should consider.
Being a homeowner can be very stressful. However, it can also be a very rewarding experience. There is a lot that needs to be considered, and you definitely want to hire someone to help out whenever possible. When it comes to a flood, you need to take action and get started with the cleanup process before there is serious water damage to your home.