As the weather changes and certain areas see an uptick in flash floods and hurricanes, basement flooding may become a nuisance. How you handle a flooded basement depends on two factors: how much water you’re dealing with and the source of the water. The longer water stays in a space, the more damage it can do.
Never enter a flooded basement without taking careful precautions. When clearing the space, remember that your safety is the number one priority. Standing water can harbor bacteria, so it’s important to wear rubber boots, gloves, and goggles, if necessary. Experts also recommend turning off the electricity in your home prior to entering the flooded space. This can be done manually by turning off your circuit breaker box if it isn’t located in the basement. If your home’s power is connected through the basement, it’s best to call a professional for assistance.
Check and see if there are any spots outside your home where groundwater could get in, such as overflowing gutters or blocked downspouts. Large amounts of water may indicate a drainage system failure or sewage blockage.
As long as there’s only a small amount of water in the space, you can easily remove it using a combination of mopping, fans, towels, and a dehumidifier. If there are larger puddles, experts recommend using a wet vac to vacuum up the water and remove it. Don’t own a wet vac? No problem. Many home improvement stores may rent them to you! In case the water contains raw sewage, call a professional to clean and ensure the area is properly sanitized.
Mold is incredibly common after flooding, so it’s important to work on getting moisture out of the area as soon as possible. Be sure to clean the walls and floors with a deluded bleach mixture to get rid of harmful bacteria or growing mold. Your basement carpet should also be removed as soon as possible. Allow the underside of the floor to dry properly before covering it again.
One of the most common causes of a flooded basement is water pooling up against your home. Debris-filled gutters, poorly placed downspouts, or sloped land can all lead to water damage. Experts recommend installing a floor drain in your basement and checking regularly to ensure it isn’t clogged. In addition, properly and regularly maintaining a sump pump will also reduce flood risk.
If your basement is prone to flooding, store personal and important items in a higher-up area of your home to prevent water damage. As the weather begins to change, take active steps to avoid freezing and bursting pipes, such as turning off the exterior hose valves and running the faucet when the temperature chills.
If your home has been affected by a natural disaster and you live in a Presidentially Designated Major Disaster Area (PDMDA), we recommend our FHA 203(H) loan. This program allows for up to 100% financing to help victims of disasters purchase or refinance a new home. In addition, our FHA 203K Renovation Loan is a great option for those affected by flooding or homes that are in need of TLC.
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