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How to Clean up a Flooded Basement

If your home’s basement gets flooded often, investing in waterproofing measures is a step in the right direction.

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A flooded basement is every homeowner’s nightmare. Removing the water is just the first step you need to take, sorting out your things and checking out what can be salvaged is a longer process. When you notice that water has entered your basement, you need to take immediate steps to address the problem. Otherwise, increased moisture levels will have time to trigger mold growth and cause all sorts of additional issues. So, how can you drain your flooded basement and prevent such a thing from happening again? 

Stay Cautious 

When you notice standing water in your basement, your instinct will be to go down there with buckets and mops as quickly as possible and start removing excess water. However, this can be the last thing you ever do if there is an electrical current running through the water. This will be the case if the level of water has risen above electrical outlets. Therefore, before you head down, look for the main switch and turn the power off. If you cannot approach the switch without getting wet, call basement flooding repair specialists first. 

Dry out the Area 

Once you are down there, look for the water entryway and start cleaning the basement. If you have a wet vacuum, use it to collect water. You can also use a pool pump to get rid of it. If none of these tools are available to you, use an ordinary bucket and a mop. When you have removed all the water, use a dehumidifier that will additionally dry out the basement. This way you will prevent mold growth and rot, and avoid future problems. 

Causes of Flooding 

Sometimes figuring out why your basement suddenly ended up underwater is not the easiest thing to do. Other times, the cause of the problem is very obvious. Here are some of the common causes of flooding issues. 

Rainfall or snowmelt: When there are heavy rains or large amounts of snow begin to melt, water can saturate the soil around your foundation, and due to increased hydrostatic pressure, enter your basement through the walls. Keep in mind that concrete walls are porous, which means water can pass through them. 

Issues with the sewer system: If your sewer pipes are old and have started to deteriorate, they can start to leak. Old pipes are usually made of cast iron, which is why they rust. In newer homes, sewer pipes are made of plastic which makes them more durable. Sewer pipes can also get damaged by tree roots, which is why you should never plant large trees near your home. They can also get clogged, so never flush things such as diapers and wipes, hair, feminine hygiene products, or cooking oils. 

Negative grade: Your yard’s surface should slope away from your home, not toward it. If your home was built on the lowest part of the property, you can expect that your basement will get flooded every time there is a rainstorm. 

Foundation cracks: If there are cracks in your foundation walls, water can seep through them and flood your basement. To prevent such problems, keep your eyes open for wall and floor cracks, even if you live in a new home. In fact, newer houses are more prone to cracks since they are still settling. 

Leaks: When your pipes or your water heater get broken, they can quickly fill up your basement with water. Maintaining your plumbing and appliances is essential if you wish to keep your basement dry. 

Preventing Future Problems 

It doesn’t matter whether you have dealt with a flood before or not, installing certain waterproofing measures and taking some steps can help you prevent such accidents from happening in the future. 

Install an interior drainage system: This system will collect water that infiltrates the walls and direct it toward a sump pump. This way it won’t be able to flood your basement and cause damage. 

Install a sump pump system: A sump pit collects water that accumulates beneath your home during heavy rains, then the sump pump directs that water through the discharge pipe away from your home. A sump pump is the heart of a waterproofing system and can keep your basement protected against floods. 

Maintain your gutters: During the rain, the water that ends up on the roof ends up in the gutters from where it is directed down the downspouts and away from your home. However, when gutters are damaged in some way, they can leak and soak the soil around your foundation. Keeping them in good shape can save you a lot of trouble. 

Repair the cracks: If water is entering your basement through foundation cracks, you need to repair them as quickly as possible. However, since these cracks can be a sign of more severe underlying problems, having your contractor take a look at them might be a good idea. 

Install downspout extensions: With these fixtures water from the roof will end up as far away from your home as possible. 

If you wish to waterproof your basement and prevent future flooding issues, contact your local contractor and schedule a free inspection

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