Skip to Main Content

7 Steps to Clean up a Flooded Basement

Having a flooded basement can be really tough. We understand that, and that’s why we’ve put together this easy-to-follow guide. We’re Groundworks—the top team in the country when it comes to basement waterproofing services.

Just follow our simple 7-step plan and you’ll be able to turn your soaked basement into a safe, dry space again.


Take our quiz to find out

Start quiz
Cracked foundation

Steps for Post-Flood Basement Clean-Up

1. Prioritize Safety

First and foremost, you must ensure safety. Your first instinct may be to rush in to minimize damage, but there are steps you need to take beforehand to ensure your safety:

Basement flooding at the cove, or where the floor and the wall meet.
  • Switch off the electricity to avoid the chance of electric shocks. If the water has reached above the power outlets, it’s safer to call an electrician before going in.
  • If you need to enter the flooded area, wear protective gear like rubber gloves and boots.
  • If you can’t safely access the power switch or the water damage is severe, contact flood repair professionals.

2. Assess the Damage

Once you’re certain it’s safe to move around in your basement, it’s time to assess the extent of the damage. Knowing how much damage there is will help you decide what to do next:

  • Inspect your basement thoroughly, paying attention to any apparent damages.
  • Document the damage for insurance purposes. Taking photos or videos can be useful.
  • If it’s not altogether clear, try to identify the source of the flooding. Remember to check for basement wall leaks.
  • Assess the type of water in your basement (clean, gray, or black water), as this affects the cleanup process. You can find more information about the implications of different types of floodwater.

3. Remove Water

Removing standing water from your basement is a critical step toward reclaiming your space:

  • Utilize a wet vacuum or pool pump, if available, for efficient water removal.
  • If these tools aren’t available, a bucket and mop can still be effective, although slower.
  • For severe flooding, consider renting a sump pump to expedite the water removal process.
  • Don’t forget to check hidden spots where water can accumulate, like behind appliances and under the stairs.

4. Dry Your Basement

After removing the water, you must thoroughly dry your basement to prevent mold growth and further damage:

Mold growing on a beam after a basement flood.
  • Tools like fans, heaters, or dehumidifiers can speed up the drying process.
  • Opening windows and doors to improve ventilation can aid in drying out the basement faster.
  • Consider using a moisture meter to check the moisture level in your walls and floors, ensuring that the drying process is complete.
  • Once a lot of the water is out, a bunch of good old-fashioned towels ought to be enough to sop up the remaining puddles.

5. Clean and Disinfect

It’s now time to clean and disinfect the basement to kill any bacteria and prevent mold growth:

  • Use a cleaning solution that contains bleach or a similar disinfectant for effective cleaning.
  • Clean all surfaces thoroughly, including walls, floors, and any soaked items.
  • Avoid mixing bleach with other cleaners to prevent dangerous chemical reactions.
  • For extensive cleaning, consider hiring a professional cleaning service.

6. Clear Out Damaged Items and Restore

With your basement clean and disinfected, it’s time to deal with damaged items:

  • Remove all water-damaged items, including furniture, carpets, and personal belongings.
  • Decide what can be salvaged and what needs to be discarded. Consider professional restoration services for valuable items.
  • Make a list of all damaged items for insurance claims.
How Healthy is your home's foundation?

Take our quiz to find out

Start quiz
Damage Calculator Banner

7. Update Drainage and Basement Waterproofing Solutions to Prevent Future Flooding

The final step is to take measures to prevent future flooding:

Installing interior drainage system inside a basement.

Prevent Basement Flooding Damage with Groundworks!

Nobody ever wants to face a flooded basement, but it’s essential to be prepared, especially if you live in cities with a higher risk of flooding. By following this 7-step guide, you can navigate through this challenging situation more easily and efficiently. Remember, when it comes to dealing with floodwater, safety should always be your priority. And once your basement is dry and clean again, taking preventive measures will ensure you’re less likely to deal with a similar situation in the future.

At Groundworks, we have years of established experience, local trust, and provide on-time service with an extensive warranty on all the work we do. We understand that your home is your biggest investment, and we want to help you protect it from further damage.

Contact us today for a free inspection, and we’ll give you the nation’s best basement waterproofing solutions.


Basement floods can be caused by many sources. Internal sources include burst plumbing pipes, leaky appliances, and faulty sump pumps. Heavy rain, poor foundation drainage, and foundation damage are also potential causes. To find the root of the problem, contact your local Groundworks company for a free inspection and basement waterproofing estimate.

Look at local maps and online services to see if you’re in a flood-prone area. Many communities also have local information to show you whether or not you’re in a flood-prone areas. If in doubt, call a city representative or a landscaping professional.

Many insurance policies do not cover flood damage, such as preventable instances part of regular home maintenance. However, there are certain circumstances where your damage may be covered. It’s best to check with your insurance agent to go over exactly what your policy covers.