Just mentioning a flooded basement is enough to make a homeowner’s eye twitch. The cleanup after a major flood or a sewage backup is best left to professionals, but a small flood cleanup can be a DIY project.
Basement Flooding Cleanup Tips
Safety is always the primary concern. Turn off all utilities to the affected area. Water and electricity are a deadly combination. Once the power is off, unplug all appliances and don’t use them until all the water has been removed. Wear tall boots, preferably with rubber soles, to keep your feet dry and to maintain secure footing. A headlamp keeps your hands free and ensures the light is always right where you need it. If the flood is from a sewage backup, leave the cleanup to the professionals. Biohazards require special training and equipment.
- Use a submersible sump pump to remove water more than an inch deep. Use a wet/dry vac to clean up less than an inch of water. Keep in mind that a vac is no substitute for a sump pump. Never use a carpet vacuum!
- Once the water is gone, move the contents upstairs and check for damage. Rugs can be draped over clotheslines or lawn furniture to dry. Check shower curtains for mold. If you experience floods often, store items like holiday decorations in plastic bins instead of cardboard boxes.
- Turn the utilities back on, and then set up the drying equipment. Set up every fan you own, and borrow from friends and family. Rental stores usually carry industrial sized fans. Dehumidifiers pull moisture from the air and speed the process, although they need to be emptied frequently.
- Thoroughly clean hard surfaces with a bleach and water mixture. Any porous surfaces should be scrubbed with a fungicidal cleaner to prevent mold. Allow the area to dry completely before moving anything back.
If the damage to your basement is more than you can handle, call the experts at ServiceMaster Team. We can clean up the water fast, before mold has a chance to grow. We use industrial grade fans and dehumidifiers so you can get your belongings moved back sooner. We’ll restore and repair items like drywall or furniture that was damaged by the water so your life can get back to normal.
Flood damage cleanup and restoration prices vary, depending on water depth and extent of finishing. According to FloodSmart.gov, a 1 inch flood would cause $10,600 in damages to a 1,000 square foot home.