Whether an extreme weather event causes flood waters to rush into your home, or a pipe bursts, dealing with a flooded basement is never fun, particularly if you don’t know how to deal with it or what steps to take to fix the problem.
So how, exactly, do you deal with a flooded basement?
A recent article from realtor.com outlined what to do when your basement floods, including:
- Put safety first. If your basement floods, it’s important to put safety first. Water and electricity do not mix, so before you step foot in the space, make sure to turn off the electricity to the basement. If you have gas appliances, you’ll also want to be aware of potential gas leaks; if you smell gas, evacuate the home and call the gas company immediately. Also, depending on where it comes from, still water can contain a variety of contaminants — flood waters might contain sewage, for example — so before you attempt a cleanup, it’s important to invest in safety gear, like gloves, googles, boots, and masks.
- Pump out the water. If your basement is flooded, getting the water out of the space is crucial. Depending on how much water is in the space, you may be able to use a sump pump to remove the water yourself, but if there’s a significant amount of flooding — or if you suspect the water is contaminated in any way — it’s best to hire a professional.
- Sort and disinfect. Once the water is out of the basement, you’ll want to sort through all the items and figure out what’s worth saving, and what needs to be disposed of. As a rule of thumb, if an item has been submerged in flood water and can’t be cleaned — like furniture — you’ll want to get rid of it. Once you’ve cleared out the space, disinfect everything, including the remaining items and the basement itself.