Flooded basements can result in extreme costs, and in some cases, they might not even be covered by your insurance depending on your policy. Therefore, to mitigate this damage and hopefully keep the costs at a minimum, it is imperative that you act quickly to clean the flooding. If you are not sure about what to do, and you are in Suffolk County or Nassau County of the Long Island area, contact G-Tech Restoration immediately so we can help you avoid unnecessary damage. Additionally, contact your insurance provider so they can embark on the claims process. This article will discuss the damage caused by flooded basements in addition to how to clean a flooded basement.
What Amount of Damage Can a Flooded Basement Cause?
Aside from the obvious damage to your belongings, flooded basements can be quite costly to handle, with the costs escalating the longer you wait. Rugs and carpets that have been damaged by water are difficult to restore and might likely need discarding. Electrics are also likely to be damaged while your woodwork and plasterboards will need replacing.
If not handled soon, clean water in the pipes is going to turn grey. Bacterial infestation will then follow thus necessitating decontamination. That is in addition to the water extraction, cleaning, and drying efforts that you need. All this can happen in less than 48 hours of the flooding.
Flood water is typically categorized as black. Thus, if the flooding in your basement is due to groundwater flooding or other exterior causes, you should not enter it. This is because black water contains bacteria and other contaminants that make it grossly unhygienic and could cause serious illness if accessed. As such, areas affected by black water require thorough sanitation and contamination before they can be accessed.
And if you have a tanked basement, yet the flooding is still as a result of external causes, your waterproofing must be checked to find the problem. At G-Tech Restoration, we perform this as part of the process to ensure that inconveniences are kept at a minimum while taking measures to make sure such flooding does not happen again.
How to Clean a Flooded Basement
Here are the steps to follow when looking to clean a flooded basement
1. Cut Power to the Basement
To avoid the risk of getting electrocuted, flip the breaker at the circuit box. However, if the circuit box is located in the basement, you should have an electrician check it out. Nevertheless, your home’s circuit breaker is likely to be situated at a convenient location such as your garage, and if your home is older, the fuse box might be located outside by your meter.
2. Remove the Water
After moving all electrical appliances as well as other items that could get damaged, you should now remove the water so you can see the extent of the damage. A flooded basement most likely implies that your sump pump has failed. As such, you may have to get another one to help you drain out the water. And because a pump will not eliminate 100 percent of the water, you will also have to use mops and towels to finish off the rest.
However, if there is more than two feet of water in the basement, consider calling for professional help to help you with that situation as it is likely to be very difficult to handle.
Like we previously stated, the faster the water is eliminated, the better as a damp environment facilitates mold growth, which only compounds the property damage costs.
3. Deal With the Damp Objects
When looking to restore your basement to its original state, it is imperative that you do not leave behind anything that came into contact with the water. This means that the couches, bookshelves, and other items must be removed from the basement and placed in a place where they can dry out, such as the garage.
Additionally, remove the wet carpet. Even though the carpet can be salvaged in some situations, at most time, however, the carpet and the padding below it usually needs total replacement.
4. Dry Out the Area
The basement cannot dry on its own even after completely removing the water as there will still be some moisture remaining. To handle that, you may need to rent or buy industrial blowers or fans. You may also utilize a dehumidifier to accelerate the rate of drying, and inhibit mold growth. Professional restoration services are usually equipped with these tools.
5. Prevent Mold Growth
Dark and damp conditions are excellent for mold growth. Mold can cause serious health issues. To prevent it from growing, use warm water and soap to thoroughly clean the basement’s walls. Additionally, employ your dehumidifier as well as a HEPA filter to eliminate allergens and mold spores. Ensure that you inspect your basement daily after the flood to look out for mold, if you spot ant, use bleach and warm water to clean that area.
6. Prevent Future Flooding
Whenever flooding occurs, at the top of your priorities should be to figure out why it happened. Does your foundation contain cracks? Was it the heavy storm that flooded your lawn and drained into your basement? Or is it your sump pump that has become ineffective? Talking to an expert is necessary as they will help you learn how to fix your foundation, update your basement, or even alter your gutters and landscaping to prevent a future occurrence.
Flooded basements are not only a health hazard but can also depreciate the value of your property. The key is to handle the situation as soon as it occurs because waiting a bit longer could result in additional damage. Use this article as a guide when looking to clean a flooded basement.
However, some situations can be tough to handle, such as when the water is more than a few feet deep. You may not only lack the necessary tools and expertise to properly handle the mess but also, you may not be able to act promptly. In such situations, it is best to leave it to the professionals. G-Tech Restoration Services have been providing property damage mitigation solutions in the Long Island area for over fifteen years. We have the tools, expertise, experience, and desire to help you during such times. If you live in Nassau County or Suffolk County and you experience a flooded basement, do not hesitate to call us. You can also request a free quote.