Basement Flooding – A Homeowner's Nightmare

A flooded basement can present the homeowner(s) with a variety of problems if it is not properly attended to and addressed as quickly as possible. Depending on what the basement is used for, the ensuing damage and the clean-up are what you have to be the most concerned with, as well as addressing these issues immediately. Typically today, most people focus on one of three uses for there basement:

  • Leisure and recreation – many people make a game or sports room out of their basements
  • Storage – many basements provide the homeowner with a place to store household items and other items that are not being used
  • Workshop – whenever there is no garage space, either attached or free-standing, a basement is an excellent venue for a workshop and many homeowners do exactly that
  • Combination room – it is not uncommon for homeowners to use the room for two purposes as well as being dedicated to just one purpose

Cleaning Up a Flooded Basement

Keep in mind that you only have two choices where the clean-up of a basement flood is concerned. Either you do it yourself (if you have the skills and know what you are doing) or you can hire a professional cleaning service to do the job (the best choice if you can afford it). There is a lot entailed when you are attempting to clean up that flooded basement, so if you doubt your capabilities or are not savvy about what needs to be done, the option of hiring a professional is the logical choice.

One way or the other, there are 5 steps that you should take in order to clean up the mess, cut your losses, and prevent this from ever happening again:

Step #1: Turn off the electricity that powers the basement – either pull the fuse or flip the appropriate switch in your electrical box.

Step #2: If they aren't completely ruined, remove any belongings you cherish and dry them out – the sooner you realize the basement is flooded and take action, the greater the likelihood that you will not incur many losses. Remember that your homeowner's insurance policy will only cover flooding due to a natural disaster. If the clothes washer malfunctions or you have a washer that needed replacing, you're out of luck with your insurance company – a harsh reality but nonetheless one you would have to deal with.

Step #3: Purchase a mop, a Shop-Vac, or a sump (water) pump – make sure that if you purchase a sump or water pump that you place it at the lowest elevation in your basement due to the fact that sump and water pumps can only operate at certain levels.

Step #4: Dry out your basement with you're A/C unit or fans – once the water has all been mopped up and removed, get things dried out as quickly as possible. This will prevent mildew and mold from forming.

Step #5: Take the proper steps to ensure this doesn't happen again!