Flooded Basement – wet below, oh no!
Flooded basements can cause a lot of discomfort. Water may leak in from the walls and the floor and also from ducts and vents that have not been sealed properly. The water has no way out and can also result in bad odors and slime. A little effort in maintaining a dry basement can prevent basements from getting flooded in case of heavy rainfall or snow melting.
Dos and Don’ts for Flooded Basements
Before entering a flooded basement, ensure that the electricity and gas ducts and valves have been turned off. Doors and windows must be opened to get some fresh air into the basement. Structural damages to walls need to be checked both from inside and outside. Preventive measures such as sealing joints between walls and floor and moving drainage pipes away from low lying areas around the house can prevent flooded basements.
Steps to handle a flooded basement
The first and foremost step in restoring a flooded basement to normalcy would be to pump out the water. This can be done using a gas pump or one that has been connected to an electric line outside the house. Connecting a pump to the electric system in the house may prove to be hazardous. Care is to be taken that the water is not pumped out too quickly as this may result in the walls being pushed up leading to structural damages. Pumping out the water should be carried out over a span of three to four days. Once the water has been pumped out, the actual cleaning process begins. People involved in cleaning flooded basements must wear protective gear such as gloves and boots. Start by picking out contaminated and wet garbage from the floor. Check for any debris or mud on the floor. Use of a shovel is recommended. Floors and walls can be hosed to clean them up. The basement needs to be dried out using a heating system or a dehumidifier.
Repairing a flooded basement
A lot of structural damage can occur in a basement after a flood. Buckled walls, settled or heaved floors, cracked walls need immediate repair. Cracks on walls require special equipment as they may develop into serious damage for the walls at a later stage. A cracked or heaved floor may need to be completely replaced if it cannot be repaired.