When you need to know how to clean up a flooded basement, you might have to deal with old wood paneling that’s been partially soaked. Or lost a bunch of stored junk to the water. Whatever the case, you need to act quickly to avoid even more problems from developing. For instance, the water itself is likely contaminated with bacteria and chemicals. While rainwater is natural, when it runs over surfaces, it picks up all kinds of contaminants. So be sure to wear gloves, waterproof boots, a mask, and eye protection when cleaning.
How to Clean Up a Flooded Basement
The first step in cleaning up a flooded basement is to determine the source. If it’s due to a natural, inclement weather event, like Hurricane Matthew, you already know. But, it could be caused by a burst pipe or a blocked drain. Find the source and deal with it, if applicable. The sooner you get started, the sooner you can rehabilitate the space and even go so far as to convert your basement into a game room.
While [the latest storm] is fresh in our minds, it’s far from the first storm to cause flooding in basements. Losing electrical power can lead to basement flooding if your sump pump only uses electricity. That increases your chance of damaged stored items and mold growth. Plus, staying warm becomes a challenge as the temperature drops and you can’t turn on your heater. If your basement is flooded with water from the storm, the first order of business is drying it out. —Bankrate.com
Once you’ve identified the source of the problem, be sure to disconnect or shut off the electricity to the basement. Go to the main electrical panel in your home and shut off the breakers powering the wall outlets in your basement. When the power is shut off, journey down to the space and open any windows, if applicable. This will help to circulate air and give bad odor an exit. Next, follow these steps for how to clean up a flooded basement:
- Remove the standing water. Using a wet-dry vacuum, shop vacuum, or a submersible water pump, remove all the standing water in the basement. This might take quite some time to accomplish, but all the water must go. If the water is too deep, bring in an experienced service provider to remove the water.
- Run fans and a dehumidifier. After the water is out of your basement, the next step is to begin to dry it out. You can now turn the electrical outlets back on by switching on the breakers on the main panel. Then, run fans and at least one dehumidifier to dry the basement out.
- Remove any damaged pad and carpet. If there is carpet in your basement, there’s also likely padding underneath and both must go. These flooring materials will probably not be salvageable and will cause more problems — like mold growth.
- Take down any drywall that is damaged. Drywall that was moistened or wet as a result of the basement flood also needs to be removed from the space. Once the drywall or plaster is removed, check the studs for water damage and replace if necessary.
- Deep clean and disinfect every single surface. Now it’s time to deep clean and disinfect every surface in the basement. Work in small sections, following an easy pattern and order so you are sure to get to every square inch.
If you have a flooded basement issue or need a total basement clean out, just phone 800-433-1094 or visit Haul Junk Away. We have all the equipment and experience to help you out.