Basements are highly desirable features for any home. They provide extra space for living and storage and consistently enhance a home’s value, whether finished or unfinished. But basements are susceptible to flooding. Understanding why basements flood and how to clean them up will keep damages low, help you save your stuff, and get back to enjoying your basement again.
Why Do Basements Flood?
Basement floods are caused by a number of things, including the following:
- Bad Weather – Heavy rainfall that leads to flooding will send water into your basement through the windows, the walls, or the ground.
- Plumbing Leaks – Broken pipes or hot water tank failures are common causes of basement flooding.
- Clogged Sewer or Septic Lines – Clogged or blocked sewer or septic lines result in sewage backups. Since the basement is the lowest point and closest to the drainage lines, it bears the brunt of these types of problems.
- Sump Pump Failure – If the power goes out or the sump pump lines clog or break, your basement will flood.
What’s the Best Way to Clean Up After a Basement Flood?
Cleaning up after a flooded basement in Overland Park, KS, involves the following steps:
Find the Source
Identify the source of the water and stop the flow, if possible. Stopping the water as quickly as possible minimizes damages and speeds cleanup.
Move Your Stuff
Remove portable belongings from the flooded area quickly. Rapid action will help save your things and gets the moisture out of the space. If you leave a wet rug down in the basement, even if you’ve hung it up, it will take a long time to dry because of all the moisture in the air. It’s much better to move everything to a dry area.
Extract the Water
Use whatever tools you have available to remove the standing water from your basement. Mops, towels, and buckets work well for small floods, but you’ll need pumps or wet/dry vacs for larger incidents. You may need to lift carpets or remove baseboards and cut open drywall to get to the water behind the walls.
Remove Damaged Materials
Despite your best efforts, some things in your basement may be damaged beyond repair. Baseboards, drywall, carpets, and insulation are sometimes a lost cause following significant flooding. Get that wet stuff out of the basement to speed drying and avoid mold and rot.
Dry It Out
Basements often have little air circulation, but you need to get the air moving to dry things out. Use fans and dehumidifiers to remove the remaining moisture. Don’t let it sit waiting to dry; the long water remains, the more damage it will do.
The amount and nature of cleaning depend on the type of flood event. If it was a broken pipe and the water is clean, you won’t need to do much. But if the damage was caused by external flooding or sewage problems, cleanup is more extensive. You’ll need to employ disinfectants and detergents to make the space safe again.
By far, the most important piece of advice about dealing with a basement flood is to seek professional help. The team at Emergency Mitigation Services, professional water damage contractors in Overland Park, KS, is on call 24/7, 365 days a year to clean up even the worst basement floods. Don’t wait; call us right away.