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Dale's Home Selling Team


How to Handle a Flooded Basement

(Published on - 4/4/2019 3:31:41 PM)

April Showers Bring May Flowers...

...We've all heard it before, and for some of us, this means wet basements as snow melts and the rain keeps falling. 

The number one rule to follow if you have standing water in your basement: DO NOT enter the water until the electrical is turned off. There is a high risk of electrocution in standing basement water. 

 As soon as you are safe from any sort of electrical dangers, it is time to start removing the water. Click on the photo below for a quick video about water removal. 

Once your basement is free from water, the real clean-up begins! Getting out the wet remains and removing soaked items as quickly as possible is key to preventing mold and bacteria growth. 

Clean Up Tips:

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-Always put safety first since a flooded basement can bring many health risks into your home. Wear protective clothing, such as gloves, rubber boots, and overalls. If sewage water was involved, wear a face mask and protective eye glasses to protect yourself from harmful gases. 

-Use caution around electrical equipment and/or sockets. It is best to avoid all appliances and electrical equipment until everything is completely dry. 

Dirt Removal

-Flood water nearly always brings mud into your basement. Before the mud dries shovel it outside. 

-Mud and dirt may also be on your walls and furnishings. Use a hose and rinse everything several times until all of the debris has been flushed away.

-Do not allow the mud to dry and harden, it is much easier to remove while it is still moist. Once you have flushed it off of your walls and belongings, use a wet/dry vacuum to clean up the water.

Damaged Items Removal

-Unfortunately, there will be some of your possessions that you will not be able to salvage, especially if you had sewage in your basement.

The following items should be discarded:

  • Flooring, including carpet, that has been deeply penetrated by floodwater or sewage.
  • Walls and ceilings that have been soaked and have absorbed water. Walls should be removed 20" above the water line.
  • Insulation materials.
  • Inexpensive articles that have been soaked. Including mattresses, box springs and particleboard furniture.
  • Items such as furniture coverings, pillows, cushions, and stuffed toys can not be properly sanitized.
  • Canned goods, vegetables, herbs and any other food that came in contact with the flood water. 

Salvageable Items

Many items can be saved if they are cleaned properly.

  • Floors and carpets that were only minimally affected by the flood. They should be rinsed and cleaned as quickly as possible. Carpets should be cleaned and deodorized. Consider having them professionally cleaned.
  • Furniture that has had minimal contact with flood water. Scrub the furniture with an antibacterial soap or steam clean. 
  • Clothing. Machine wash in hot, soapy water with one cup of chlorine bleach.
  • All items that show no visible signs of contamination. They need to be cleaned and dried thoroughly.

Disinfect & Sanitize

-Thoroughly disinfect and sanitize your entire basement and any items that you are trying to salvage. Use care when working with bleach and other cleaning supplies. Basements frequently have poor ventilation and the fumes can be harmful.

-All surfaces should be washed down with chlorine bleach at a ratio of 1 cup bleach to 1-gallon water. Be sure to rinse all surfaces after cleaning. 

-Kill all mold with bleach and leave cupboards, closets and wall cavities open until they are thoroughly dry.

Continue to dry, dry, dry--Open windows, bring down fans, use dehumidifiers, etc. Allow ample time for your basement to dry to prevent any more water damage or mold growth. Click HERE to read about mold cleaning and prevention from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. 

⇒As alway, please reach out to a member from Dale's Home Selling Team for more information or to see how we can help you sell your home TODAY!⇐ #WeMoveWI




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