What Should You Do If Your Basement Gets Flooded? How to Minimize and Fix Damage

What to Do If Your Basement Gets Flooded What Should You Do If Your Basement Floods?

Heavy rains and water leaks can bring surprise flooding to a home’s basement without any warning. Homeowners must act fast to rectify this problem before the water causes extensive damage to their home and belongings. Everything from the furnace and other appliances to the drywall and flooring can suffer water damage in a short amount of time. Thankfully, homeowners can resolve this problem with ease by working through these important steps. Get your toolbox ready and take some notes. Small things can make a big difference in protecting your home and saving you money in the long run. 

Turn Off the Electricity to the Basement

The last thing homeowners should do is rush down to the basement upon noticing it flooding. Before they can go down there safely, they need to turn off the electricity to the entire house. If their breaker box is located in a dry area, they may turn off the power to their home there.

Otherwise, homeowners need to call their electrical utility provider to have them shut off the power temporarily. Only after confirming that the power is off can homeowners proceed into the basement to check the damage and start repairs.  

Get Rid of the Water as Fast as Possible

Once it is safe to enter the basement, and the outside flood waters have receded, homeowners need to start the process of removing the standing water. The fastest and most efficient way to achieve this goal is with a submersible pump. They can rent a high-quality water pump from an equipment rental company or hire a professional to handle this task.

With this pump, it is possible to evacuate water in the basement to an acceptable outdoor area but it cannot be done too quickly. Water removal experts will pump out the water in stages to give the basement walls a chance to adjust to the change in pressure.

Dry All Soggy Building Materials with Fans

With all the standing water removed, homeowners can shift their attention to drying the remaining moisture in the basement. The prompt completion of this step helps prevent the growth of mold and mildew – and minimizes water damage. For example, if you have a rolling tool box or tool chest that you couldn’t move out of the basement before the flooding began, you’ll want to remove all tools, leave all drawers open, and let it air out for a while before using it again.

To accomplish this goal, homeowners have to set up a series of fans and dehumidifiers and monitor their progress across several days. They may have to move the equipment around the basement to ensure all areas get enough airflow.

If the basement is carpeted, it might be necessary to pull back the edge of the carpet to reveal the pad below before setting up the fans there. As the fans run, the constant airflow will help the water evaporate and disappear.

Perform Restoration Work to Repair the Damage

As water floods into the basement, it comes into contact with the appliances and building materials, causing extensive damage and promoting mold growth. By the time they remove the water, homeowners often need to have all affected items and materials repaired or replaced to restore their basement to optimal condition.

Materials often requiring replacement after a flood includes:

  • Drywall
  • Wallpaper
  • Wood flooring
  • Vinyl flooring
  • Cabinets
  • Carpet pads

Homeowners also need to have all flood-affected appliances professionally inspected and tested before using them again. Of course, you’ll want to make sure any tools you are using are kept high and dry. Keeping them on the wall of your garage or in your truck’s tool box can help keep tools in great condition.

While handling the flood damage, remediation pros will also look into the cause of the flooding. If they need to perform any flood repairs, such as putting in a drain or patching the basement walls, it will be completed at this time to prevent future incidents of flooding.

When homeowners follow the above steps in resolving their flooded basement, they can quickly return the space to good condition while keeping their repair costs down. They can even prevent the problem from occurring in the future by performing the right repairs and upgrades.