Tips to help You Clean a Flooded Basement
A flooded basement is a very annoying situation and they are no fun to clean. During periods of heavy and intense rain, particularly in areas at or below sea level, it is very common for the basements of dwellings to become flooded. Although the circumstance is certainly not desirable, there are several tips to make the process less tedious and more efficient.
The first step is to catch the leak early before the water has a chance to flood the area and extensive damage is done. When a heavy rainstorm is occurring, make sure to check the area frequently so that any water leakage seen can be stopped before it increases. Also, if the area is prone to flooding, you should shut off the fuse for the area. Make sure that, when doing this, you are not standing in any water as this is extremely dangerous.
The second step is to determine the location of the water leak. Once the area is found, find a way to catch the water so that no more water ends up on the flooring. After this, all of the water damaged items should be removed, dried, and placed in another area. This should be done before the removal of the water itself as it allows for the water to be removed without risking any damage to the surrounding items. Any items which are unable to be dried and cleaned should be thrown away. These include paper products such as books and cardboard boxes.
After you are sure that no more water is finding its way in, the water on the floor needs to be removed. If you have a sump pump, it should be run in order to drain the room. If there is a drain in the basement, sweep the water to the drain. Another efficient way to achieve water removal is with the use of a wet-dry shop vacuum. If one of these is not available, you can simply use a broom to sweep the water into a dust pan and remove. After the bulk of the water has been removed from the area, you should then use a mop to rid the room of the rest of the water.
After all of the water has been vacuumed, swept, and mopped off of the floor, fans should then be used to dry up the residual moisture. Since the concrete in basements is porous, it will absorb water molecules into the floor. The fans should be run for at least a day after the water is removed in order to ensure that the concrete is thoroughly dry. If carpet is on the floor, the fans are most effective if the carpet is lifted on the edges so that the fan can direct air underneath the carpet directly onto the floor. A dehumidifier should also be used in order to further remove all moisture. The fans and dehumidifier will prevent the occurrence of mildew, odors, and the growth of bacteria.
Water leaks and damage inevitably bring along unpleasant odors as well as mildew. In order to prevent and remove mildew and odors, the room can be scrubbed with a mixed solution of bleach and water. Make sure to wear gloves while scrubbing the basement as the bleach can harm your hands. In addition, Lysol should be sprayed on the area right after the water is cleared up. You should continue using Lysol for the next several days after the flooding in order to ensure that no mildewing occurs. Lastly, any furniture or appliances which have come into contact with water should be cleaned with a dry towel and sprayed with Lysol to avoid the mildewing of these pieces.
After the room has been sanitized using bleach and Lysol, using the fans and dehumidifier once again is a good idea as it will ensure that no lasting moisture is present thereby preventing the growth of any bacteria.