The part of any structure that’s most prone to flooding is the basement, particularly in areas where the water table is high, and saturated soil is no longer able to absorb additional rainfall. If a structure has even the smallest crack in its foundation, it will be susceptible to this type of flooding.
Flooded basements can also be caused by burst water pipes, or broken water hoses in washing machines and other malfunctioning appliances.
Most water damage restoration experts agree that a basement flood is something best dealt with by a professional water damage remediation company. Basement floods can lead to serious structural problems such as dry rot, deteriorating sheetrock and insulation, and weakened support structures such as beams and walls. Contamination from sources such as backed up sewer lines can also pose an extremely serious health hazard.
Time is of the essence in dealing with basement floods. A professional water damage remediation company is your best bet for finishing your basement flood cleanup before it can seriously damage your home or your health.
However, in situations where the water can be clearly identified as clean water – from a leaking faucet, for example, or from rain that has come in through a broken window – and the damage itself is not too extensive, homeowners can safely take on the task of cleaning up their basements themselves.
Cleaning Up Small Basement Floods
Before you make the decision to clean your basement flood yourself, make sure this is a job you can finish within 12 hours. Twelve hours is the amount of time it takes mold spores to begin germinating. Once your basement is infested with mold, it will be very difficult and expensive to remove that mold.
If the spill is small, you may be able to remove the water with a mop and towels. A larger spill may require a wet vacuum, which you can rent from a big box home improvement outlet store. Start at the section of the room where the water spillage is smallest, and work your way progressively into deeper spillage areas.
Drying your basement thoroughly is an essential part of the flood remediation process. Turn on your heat if it’s working. Artificial heat will condense basement moisture into the air, so make sure you open your basement windows. Using fans to circulate the air will expedite the drying process. Most water removal companies utilize fans called air movers. Air movers can typically be rented on a daily basis and can rapidly dry your property when used correctly, especially is the flooded area contains carpet or other materials that have fully absorbed the moisture and most be thoroughly dried out.
Preventing Future Basement Floods
If your basement has ever flooded, you will be anxious to avoid basement floods in the future. The best way to avoid flooded basements is by installing a sump pump.
Sump pumps require reservoirs into which excess water can be drained. The existing drains in your basement floor are probably not adequate for this purpose. If they had been, then your basement would have not flooded in the first place. You will probably need to install a sump some distance from the building structure, and install secure hosing to drain the water into a sump a few feet from your home.