Your kids had a pool party and someone turned the fill valve on. Unfortunately, you didn't notice until the next morning when you woke up to find your yard under water and your basement flooded. Now you have to clean up the water mess. Before you get started with the clean-up, take a look at these tips that will keep you safe and make the task easier to accomplish.
Turn the Power Off to Your House
Since your basement is flooded, there's a good chance that your electrical sockets have been exposed to water. Don't step foot into the water until you've turned off the electricity to your home. Shut the power off to your home and then inspect your basement. Take a close look at the water level. Even if the water has started to recede, you'll still be able to see the water marks along your walls.
If you have any electric appliances plugged in to the wall sockets, be sure to carefully unplug those. Wipe the electrical prongs off to remove moisture. Wrap them in paper towels, secure them with tape and place them above the water. The paper towels will help absorb moisture so you can plug your appliances again later. Once you're sure that there is no threat of electrical shock – the outlets have not come in contact with water – you can turn your electricity back on.
Don't Assume the Water Is Clean
The water that flooded your basement may have come from a clean source but that doesn't mean it's still clean. Avoid the threat of water-borne illnesses by assuming the water has become contaminated. Never clean up flood waters with your bare hands or without protective gear. You'll need a few safety items before starting your clean-up efforts.
- Rubber gloves
- Waterproof wading boots
- Long pants and shirt
Be sure to tuck your pant legs into your boots and your shirt sleeves into your gloves.
Remove the Water
Once you've donned your safety gear, you'll be ready to begin removing the water. If you have several inches of water in your basement, you should begin your water removal with submersible pumps. The pumps can be placed anywhere in the room and will pump water out of your home.
As soon as the standing water has been removed, you can begin using a shop vac to remove the remaining water. The shop vac will allow you to get the water that may have seeped into the cracks of the cement. When the water has been removed, place industrial fans in the basement to thoroughly dry the area. Moisture left in the floor or walls can lead to mold growth, so be sure you leave the fans on for several hours. It's a good idea to open the windows, as well. If the frame of your home has been soaked in the flood or you see drywall damage, be sure to contact a water damage repair contractor.