If your basement is flooded, it’s good to take appropriate action as fast as possible to clean it up and to decrease the amount of problems after the fact. The ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba recommends that before you start the clean-up process, you should ensure your safety. With a flood, sometimes, they come with raw sewage, which may cause structural damage or even gas leaks, not to mention spread disease. Flooding may also cause electrical faults which could be fatal if you are not careful. You should, therefore, consider safety as your first priority when you are starting to clean up after flooding. If you decide to clean up on your own, it is good to be aware of the safety hazards and take precautions.
Here are some few tips on how to clean a flooded basement.
1. Remove the water
The method of water removal will depend on how much flooding has taken place. For small floods, you may vacuum the water. But for moderate to big floods, it may not be possible to use a vacuum. In such cases, you may use a sump pump, but remember to take precautions to avoid submerging it in the floods. Before you start pumping the water out, check the water levels in the compound and wait till it subsides. Removing too much water from the building when the water outside the building has not subsided can lead to structural failure or cracks on the floor of your basement.
2.Cleaning the basement
The next important procedure that you should follow is to clean up the basement. Failure to do so can lead to mildew and mold growth which are health hazards. Remember to take safety precautions including; wearing gloves, boots, facemask, and eyeglasses to protect yourself from inhaling toxic gases. Avoid switching on any electrical appliances until they dry completely.
You may now remove mud and any other dirt on the floor and the walls. Damaged items should also be removed from the basement. In case there were canned food or plants that have been damaged, they should also be removed too. Discard mattresses, carpets or wall decorations and insulations that are soaked in water as they are irreparable. You may salvage items that were not destroyed in the floods. But remember to clean and disinfect them thoroughly. Bleach is an important cleaning agent that can also help to kill bacteria and prevent molds. But you should thoroughly rinse the surfaces after cleaning as the chlorine fumes are toxic.
You should dry the basement thoroughly and ensure constant airflow and proper ventilation. Using a dehumidifier is also advisable as it can help prevent mold growth. The dehumidifier should be monitored and emptied regularly as it’s likely to absorb so much moisture since the basement is still damp. You may also consider using a furnace heat and fans to dry out the basement completely. Other simple ways to dry out the basement include opening the doors and windows and ensuring that the ventilation is not clogged by dirt or anything else. Within a few days, you will notice that the basement is no longer damp, and it will continue to serve its purpose.
Professionals may help in cleaning up the basement after flooding. You should identify a good service provider with professional training and the right cleaning equipment.