7 Tips for Preventing Water Damage After a Basement Flood

It’s easy to panic when you look into your basement and find it flooded. But, a cool head can mean the difference between a big repair bill and a more reasonable one. A basement flood can do a lot of damage to your home and belongings, but with quick action, you can reduce or even prevent most of it.

So, let’s take a look at seven things you should do as soon as you discover the flooding.

1: Turn Off Any Gas and Electric

Before you take any other action or get anywhere near the water, shut off the electricity and, if you have it, natural gas. For that matter, any time part of your home floods, ensure you perform this necessary step. If electricity comes in contact with the water, it can electrocute you. Oftentimes this can happen when floodwaters come in contact with appliances causing harm to the appliances and potentially you.

2: Contact Your Insurance Company and Water Restoration Professionals

Now that the risk of electrocution is gone, it’s time to quickly find out whether your insurance company covers the damage. Oftentimes it is necessary to purchase a special insurance policy to cover flood damages; however, it may depend on the cause of the flooding. Remember to document all damages and take pictures or videos of everything.

It’s best to call the insurance company for more information and inform them you intend to contact a professional water restoration company. They may suggest a company, but typically you can choose who you wish. Contact the company you choose and ask them to show up as soon as they can; the quicker they begin to work, the better chance of salvaging materials.

  1. Drain the Water

It’s time to begin draining water as quickly as you can. Whether it’s buckets, towels, mops, or a wet-dry vacuum, use what you have safely available. It’s also best to open doors and windows to let moisture evaporate and escape the basement.

  1. Remove Items from the Basement

Once the water is drained, it’s best to remove items such as boxes, furniture, or appliances and put them into a well-ventilated area to dry out for at least 48 hours. For cardboard boxes, simply remove anything inside and dispose of them immediately to prevent bacteria buildup in addition to mold and mildew.

Be particularly careful with appliances. They need to be thoroughly dry before use. Also, an electrical appliance can be dangerous after becoming wet, so it’s a good idea to have it checked by a professional.

  1. Remove Residual Moisture

Though the bulk of the moisture may be removed, there is generally some water left behind. Often this is left in concrete walls, wood, or drywall. The first thing you should do is simply dispose of any flooded drywall as well as any insulation material before it can spread mold.

Then, use a diluted chlorine bleach solution to clean the walls. This will disinfect them and help prevent future mold buildup. This is also the perfect time to apply any other anti-mildew products you may choose.

  1. Dispose of Unsalvageable Items

Sometimes some items just can’t be salvaged, though if you got to them before 48 hours, many porous objects such as fabric could be. Unfortunately, this is not always practical, and even so, some still may not be able to be saved, and these should be disposed of before mold can spread.

  1. Let It Finish Drying

As long as there’s no precipitation, leave the basement doors and windows open to dry out. Using fans and/or dehumidifiers will speed the process up and return the room to normal quickly. Window-mounted fans are particularly helpful.

Final Thoughts

A flooded basement is a hassle, but with some care and work, you can minimize the damages and get everything back to normal quickly. So follow these tips and work quickly to prevent mold buildup and ensure as many items are salvageable as possible.

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For more information about water damage restoration or to schedule an appointment, call us at 1-800-847-0114 or connect with us on Facebook.