Knowing what to do when your basement floods and necessary measures to prevent this are essential information for any house owner. Doing your best to avoid this unpleasant situation is a given, but it’s important that you avoid panicking as well, if something like this should happen. If you’re worried that this home mishap could happen to you, keep on reading.
In order to be on the safe side, your pipes and drains should be inspected annually. Leave this task to the professionals if you want to have complete peace of mind. Still, there are some things that you could do. First of all, you can notice if there’s something wrong with your plumbing. Moreover, make sure to check your foundation often. If you spot any cracks in your basement floor and walls, you should repair the damage immediately. Check your sewer or septic tank as well. If these get clogged up without you noticing, you can find yourself in a lot of trouble.
Prepare for the worst
Be aware that there’s always a possibility for your basement to flood, especially during rainy and snowy seasons. Regularly remove any accumulated debris from your gutter. What’s more, make sure that your downspouts are positioned away from the foundation. If the downspout is too close to the basement, you can always use extensions. Also, have your sump pump functional and ready. It should be debris-free, while your portable pump needs to be connected to a power source and positioned at the lowest basement point. In case you have basement windows, investing in window well covers can make a huge difference in the fight against the elements.
How to deal with a flooded basement
If your basement still floods despite all the precautionary measures, it’s important to get it dry as soon as possible. For proper basement drainage, you should put your pumps, vacuums and dehumidifiers to work. If you don’t own everything that will make your basement dry, you can rent the necessary equipment. As you get rid of water, you should make sure that all your windows are locked and that there’s no fresh air flow. Dry air will also provide you with additional benefits when it comes to water evaporation. This is not a process that can be done overnight. Proper drainage and drying require one or two weeks at least. Therefore, don’t rush things and follow the steps carefully.
Protecting your walls and floors
After flood, your basement walls and floor can sustain additional damage if you forget to take care of them. Remove basement wall baseboards and drill holes at the base of the wall. Once you put your baseboards back, they will cover the holes but also allow the humidity to escape faster. In case mold appears, it’s important that you avoid bleach when trying to remove it. Ask around for less harmful fungicides; these can be very effective without releasing dangerous toxins in your environment. If you need to build a small addition to your house, you also need to have a plan. You can always call expertsif you already have designs and structures all planned out in your head.
What about electricity?
This is definitely the biggest reason for concern when it comes to a flooded basement. The first thing you should check is that there are no electrical wires in the water. If you can reach the main switch, make sure to turn it off. Still, if there are wires in the water and you’re not absolutely sure that you can safely take care of the electricity yourself, call the fire department and power company immediately.
Apart from being extra cautious during the rainy and snowy seasons, as well as doing regular inspections of your basement, you should be wary of what you keep in your basement. If some things can get completely ruined when wet, you should probably store them somewhere where water can’t reach them easily.