In as much as cleaning up the basement after a flood is something that many people dread, it is essential. It should be done as soon as possible after you are sure the flooding is over or its cause addressed. The cleanup will involve the following steps:
1. Removing the water
- Do not be quick to remove all the water at once. Pump out about a third of it, which will be about two or three feet. Mark the new water level and leave it overnight. If you find the water level higher than where you had marked on the wall, then you still have a flooding problem that you need to fix.
- Keep repeating this until you find that the water level stays the same overnight, only then can you pump out all the water from the basement. You can use a wet vacuum to help you deal with any segmented water.
- As you remove the water, pay attention to the foundation and the walls. Check for cracks or any signs of structural failure. Stop pumping the water if you notice any structural changes. It is likely that the foundation is shifting and this in most cases means that the water outside your house is not fully drained and is exerting pressure on the foundation walls.
2. Clear the room
- Once you have removed the water, the next step is to clean up the place so that you can have it clean and dry and prevent mold and mildew from taking hold of the room.
- Keep in mind that the flooding could have brought health hazards into your basement, and subsequently your home. As such, you should put your safety first when cleaning up the room. Wear protective gear which includes rubber boots, gloves, face mask, goggles, and overalls, especially if you are dealing with dirty, sewage water.
- Be careful if you have any electrical equipment or sockets that are now underwater. Cut off the power before stepping into the basement. Also, avoid handling electrical appliances until everything is dry.
Remove the dirt
- Do your best to get rid of any mud before it dries and hardens. You will have an easy time dealing with it while it is still wet. Ensure that you get it off the walls, scrap it from the floors and wipe it from your belongings, then you can focus on removing every last drop of water.
Take out the damaged Items
When removing the items in your basement, you should consider discarding a few things. They may include:
- Wall partitions that have been utterly soaked and damaged by the flood water. Strip down the walls to about 20″ from the water level.
- Carpets and floor rugs that have been deeply penetrated and damaged by the water, particularly if it was sewage.
- Inexpensive items, such as small statues, the spare mattresses, old furniture, box springs, stuffed toys, covering, cushions, and pillows. You can check and see which things can be adequately sanitized; you can keep such items.
- Any edible products that come into contact with the flood water
3. Clean and disinfect
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- Do you best to disinfect and sanitize the entire basement thoroughly; the same applies to any belonging that you find are worth saving. Make sure that you use the right cleaning supplies and that you adhere to the instructions on the products’ labels, especially those the product fumes. In most cases, the basements have inadequate ventilation, and the inhaling too much fumes can be dangerous.
- When using bleach to wash down and disinfect the surfaces in the whole basement, use it in a ratio of 1:1 (a cup of bleach to a gallon of water). Remember to rinse the surfaces after using the bleach. Pay attention to what you do so that you do not miss a spot. The bleach will help to kill bacteria, mold, and mildew.
- Leave any closet spaces, such as closets and cupboards, open after cleaning them so that they can dry thoroughly. If your basement leaks in heavy rain read this article