Revitalizing Your Basement After a Flood
If you live in an area near a river or lake and recently experienced a flood situation, you will want to take the appropriate steps to remove this water from your home. Your basement is likely to experience unfortunate damage if water is not removed promptly. Here are some general guidelines for how to remove water, dry the area, and clean the area effectively so the basement can be salvaged from excessive water damage.
Get the Water Out As Fast As Possible
As soon as the water is noticed in your basement, it should be removed so it doesn't cause structural damage to your home. Wood that becomes saturated is likely to rot if it is left in this condition for an extended time. If you still have power in your home, use an extension cord to plug a water pump in to use in the basement. A water pump will remove the water quickly and effectively. If the home is without power at all, you may need to remove water with buckets while waiting for power to be restored. Make sure water is redirected to an area lower than your foundation so it does not make its way back inside. Wear appropriate clothing to cover your skin, as river and lake water carry bacteria.
Dry the Area in Its Entirety
After the bulk of water is removed, drying the area will be necessary. Use large towels to sop up any puddles from the floor. Plug in oscillating fans in the basement to get air moving in the area. These will dry the area rather quickly. If power is an issue, open windows and doors to get a cross breeze in the basement to aid in the drying process.
Clean Every Spot Where Water Was Present
Since the flood water may have carried bacteria or mold spores into your home, all surfaces where water has touched will need to be cleaned properly. Using a bleach-based detergent will help kill off bacteria and mold spores effectively. Before you start spraying down walls and personal items, take the time to remove any carpeting from the basement. This will need to be thrown out or cleaned by a professional carpeting service to ensure mold spores and bacteria are eliminated from the fibers before you replace the floor covering. Drywall that has become wet should also be removed from the room, as it is known to harbor black mold if it gets wet. After the floor and walls are tended to, wipe down all other surfaces with a cleaning agent.