How to Clean Up a Flooded Basement

flooded basementIf your basement is flooded you will want to clean it up as soon as possible. Flooded basements bring a number of hazards and health concerns with them, so you will need to act fast. Follow these steps to properly deal with the flood.

Step 1: Pump the Water Out

The best way to remove flood water is by using a submersible pump, or sump pump. Attach a garden hose to the pump and position the hose away from you house, then place the sump pump in the middle of your basement. Plug the extension cord into an outlet or generator to start pumping the water out.

While you are pumping the water out, watch for any cracks or structural failure in the walls. If you notice anything stop pumping water immediately. This is a sign that the water outside your home is putting too much pressure on your foundation.

Step 2: Cleaning and Sanitizing

Shovel out any debris while it is still wet and hose off any dirt sticking to walls and furnishings. You will want to remove this dirt before it dries and hardens, as it’s much easier to remove when wet. When you’re done, use a wet/dry vacuum to remove any water left behind by the cleaning.

Next, wash the area with chlorine bleach, using one cup of chlorine bleach per gallon of water. Surfaces that have not been directly affected by the flood can be cleaned with a solution of one part chlorine bleach to four parts cold or tepid water, mixed with a small amount of non-ammonia dishwashing detergent. When you’re done rinse all surfaces again.

Step 3: Drying Your Basement

To start drying your basement, open all the doors and windows. Next, you’ll want to use industrial blowers or fans to accelerate the drying process. You can also turn your basement heater to the highest setting. It may seem silly to run the heat while the windows and doors are open, but it will help evaporate the water from the basement quicker.

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