What to Do When Your Basement Floods
There’s a major storm and you didn’t have time to waterproof your basement beforehand. Now it’s flooded—what should you do? As stressful as basement floods can be, there are certain steps you can take to protect your home from serious water damage and keep you and your family safe. We’ve outlined some tips below that should help you with damage control.
Address Safety Hazards in the HomeThe first thing you should do after your basement floods is address any health and safety hazards associated with a wet basement. Here are some steps you should take immediately:
- If possible, turn off the power to reduce the risk of electrical shock.
- Make sure you don’t smell gas—if you do, it can indicate a gas leak and you should leave the house and contact your utility company.
- Limit your exposure to the water, which can contain contaminants or bacteria that can transmit disease.
- Check your basement walls to see if they appear excessively damp or unsteady in any way. If they do, you may have structural damage and should not occupy the space until the excess water is removed and foundation repairs are done.
- Call your insurance company to see if you’re covered for this type of event and, if so, file a claim. Make sure to provide your insurer with photos of the damage.
Basement Flood CleanupDepending on the extent of your water damage, you may not be able to perform basement flood cleanup on your own. However, there are some small steps you can take to reduce the damage:
- Remove as much of your belongings as you can from the flooded area so that mold won’t grow on them.
- Take out any rugs that are wet; they may need to be discarded.
- Eliminate excess water with rags and a wet/dry vacuum.
- Have your furniture professionally cleaned.
- Dry and disinfect any built-in features.
- Contact a professional foundation repair company that can solve your foundation problems.