Your basement flooded. Now what?

Here is our easy to use checklist to clean up and prepare for the next time water tries to enter your basement.

1. Safety First

Before entering your flooded basement, turn off the electricity so you don't get electrocuted.

Make sure the basement is safe before entering.

2. Find the Source of the Floods

It's important to find where the water is entering your basement from.

Sometimes it can be difficult to find the exact source, as the water can pile up without an obvious source.

If you can find the source, it may save you time and energy in the future, as you'll know what needs to be done to fix the issue.

3. Take Pictures and Video for Insurance Claims

Not everyone will have flood insurance.

However, it can still be a good idea to take photos and a video of your flooded basement.

You can use this for your insurance claim or to show a waterproofing company that may do work for you in the future.

4. Remove Standing Water

The longer the water stays in your basement, the more damage it can create.

Don't put yourself at risk to remove the water, however you can use a few different tools to remove the water:

  • a submersible pump - there are pumps designed for this
  • a vacuum - be sure to check if your vacuum is wet safe
  • bucket and a mop - sometimes a good 'ol fashioned mop is the best route
  • towels - if you don't have too much water, lots of towels may help
  • shop vac - again, make sure it is wet safe

5. File an Insurance Claim

First, you'll need to review your insurance policy to see if you have flood insurance. Not everyone does.

Once you file a claim, you'll need to schedule an inspection. Be sure to have lots of documentation.

If you qualify, you'll then be able to get estimates to clean up/fix the issues.

6. Throw Out Wet or Broken Items

So long as there are no insurance contingencies, you will probably want to throw out wet or broken items, boxes, carpet, and furniture.

Some may be able to be dried out, but you'll want to keep a close eye on them for mold. It's a good idea to clean those out thoroughly and dry them.

7. Clean Your Basement

Once the water is cleaned up, you'll then need to clean.

You can use disinfectant to clean the walls and floor to remove any bacteria and mold residue.

8. Check Out the Electrical Systems

If your electrical systems were submerged, you may need to replace those.

Only inspect these if you know what you're doing! If you need to, it may be a good idea to hire an electrician to handle this.

9. Dry Out Your Basement

If your basement has windows, opening those will help ventilate your basement.

Adding in a dehumidifier will also help dry out your basement. An ideal humidity level is below 50% generally.

10. Watch For Mold

Mold can grow extremely fast after flooding takes place.

You may not always be able to see it either.

11. Fix the Leakage Problems

One of the most important steps you can take is to prevent this from happening again in the future.

Water can enter your basement through an assortment of ways: the wall, floor, cove joint, hydrostatic pressure, or even through broken pipes.

12. Replace Ruined Carpet, Drywall, Ceilings

After you fix the basement leakage problems, you can then start replacing some of the other broken items.

13. Inspect Vents/HVAC Systems

Sometimes water can find its way into HVAC vents and filters.

Be sure to inspect these so that mold does not start building up. Remember, these are flowing through your house, so you want to keep these clean.

14. Set Up a Flood Monitoring System

There are several flood monitoring systems on the market.

One of the products we install is the battery backup sump pump.

If electricity goes out, the battery will turn on and send a warning alarm whistle to alert you.

15. Hire Professionals

Throughout this process, you may need to hire professionals. Request a couple estimates, and find a team you can trust.

We have a guide on how to hire the best basement waterproofing professionals near you.

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