Spring is the season when we get a lot of rain, especially in the St. Louis area. Excess rain or other causes can lead to flooded basements. There are several things you can do to decrease the risk of water seeping into your basement, but if you’re already experiencing flooding in your basement, you need to take immediate action to prevent further damage.
You’ll need to act quickly before the unwanted water ruins your possessions or causes poor air quality throughout your home. And the basement doesn’t have to be completely flooded; even an inch of water or untreated dampness can be a breeding ground for mold. Mold growth can ruin walls, flooring, furniture and other possessions; but worse, it can cause health problems, including respiratory issues, asthma and other illnesses.
If you’re experiencing excess water in your basement, here are some tips to follow to clean it up as best you can.
Before doing anything, you’ll need to assess the safety of any possible actions. Standing water in your basement can be dangerous when combined with electrical outlets and appliances. The risk of electrical shock is possible if there is more than two inches of standing water or if the water has come in contact with an electrical outlet or wiring.
If you can safely access your circuit breaker box, turn off the electricity. If the main box is in the basement, requiring you to wade through water, it’s best to leave it to the professionals. Call your local power company or a certified electrician.
If you smell gas, or the water is approaching any gas appliances, the water may have extinguished the pilot light. In that case, call your local gas company immediately and stay out of the building.
Contaminated water can also cause health problems, so if you suspect the water contains sewage, chemicals or other pollutants, it’s best to wait for the professionals to arrive.
Remove any Salvageable Items
After you’re convinced that it’s safe for you to enter the flooded basement, you can then begin removing items. The sooner you remove them and drying them out, the better your chances of salvaging them. They’ll need to be dried out in a well-ventilated area; if weather permits, a sunny location outside is ideal.
If the item is not completely dry within 48 hours, you should probably dispose of it, because the dampness can result in mold and mildew. Some items are not even worthwhile trying to dry out, like cardboard boxes.
Electronics should be unplugged and left to dry where they are located so you don’t run the risk of electrical shock. If they’ve been contaminated by the water, you may want to consult with an electrician before reconnecting them.
Carpeting should be removed so that the floor beneath is allowed to dry. Carpeting may be salvageable through a professional drying service. St. Louis Cleaning and Restoration has a facility that they use specifically for this purpose.
Remove Standing Water and Dry Out the Area
After removing items from the basement, you need to get rid of the excess water. If you had a sump pump, it may have failed, so you may want to purchase a new one and use it to soak up a lot of the water. The pump won’t remove all the water, however, so you’ll need to use a mop to dry up floors, and wash walls with a disinfectant solution. Remove any wet or damaged drywall and insulation to prevent the spreading of mold.
You may want to use industrial fans and dehumidifiers to help dry out the area, as well.
Call St. Louis Cleaning and Restoration
It can be dangerous to attempt to clean up a flooded basement on your own. The combination of water and electricity can be a risk to your safety. Also, if the area and contents aren’t dried completely and quickly, mold growth can begin to form, risking the health of your family.
Call St. Louis Cleaning and Restoration to assess and clean up the water caused by your flooded basement. We employ experienced workers who know the best ways to repair or replace damaged items and help with water damage cleanup.
We offer 24/7 emergency response service to make sure your home doesn’t suffer further damage.