Your basement usually serves as a storage room for items such as clothing, furniture, decorations, and other family possessions. However, surprises sometimes happen due to unavoidable circumstances like heavy rain, a burst pipe, or floor drain backing up. They all lead to a flooded basement. This can really cause you to panic. 

You need to act quickly. There are things you need to do in that flooded area right away to save you, your family, and your property from harm and serious damage. 

And one thing that should be on top of your list is to call a trusted water damage restoration professional. In the meantime, learn a few steps and some tips on what to do when the basement floods.

Consider Calling Your Insurance Company

It’s necessary that you call your insurance company and make sure to understand which types of water damage are covered by your policy. According to FEMA, most homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flood damage since flood insurance is a separate policy. In most cases, it will cover basement flooding damage if it is the result of sudden and accidental events.

Moreover, be sure to document the damage by taking photos and videos of the affected area and belongings for insurance purposes.

What to do when the basement floods?

Safety: First and Foremost

  1. Check if there is a risk of electrical shock. Before you enter the basement, turn off the electricity at the main breaker box. However, if the breaker box is in the flooded basement, call a trusted electrician or your local power company to help first.
  2. Check for gas leaks. If you smell gas, don’t attempt to go to your basement. Gas leaks are fatal so you need to get out of the house and contact your utility company.
  3. Check if the flood or standing water is contaminated. Pollutants, chemicals, and sewage in floodwaters are dangerous and pose a health risk to you and your family. Avoid contact with contaminated floodwater as well as the contaminated items.
  4. Check the structural integrity of your flooded basement or the house above it. If you are in doubt that your basement is not structurally safe, please do not enter. Seek help from a professional.

 Cleaning Up a Flooded Basement

1. It is always a safety best practice to put on protective gear such as a mask, goggles, boots, or thick gloves before entering the basement. Ensure a well-ventilated space or good air circulation. This can help in speeding up the drying process and allow fumes to air out while working.

Now that it is safe to enter, you can start doing things and the next steps in cleaning the flooded basement.

2. Remove and separate contaminated and damaged items from water. Check which ones are still salvageable. Then get these items out of the basement. Dry off any dampness left to reduce mold growth.

3. Extract and remove the water. You can rent a wet/dry vacuum or portable sump pump in getting rid of excess water. But if a flood is significant, call in water damage restoration professionals. They have the right tools and equipment in getting water out of the basement completely.

4. Keep the level of humidity as low as possible to prevent mold especially after a basement flood. You can do this by opening all windows and running a dehumidifier and fans to increase ventilation. 

5. Clean and disinfect the whole area after water extraction and thoroughly dry it. Wash carefully and sterilize all items that were saved and contaminated by floodwaters.

Tips to Prevent Basement Floods

  • Check sewer lines and septic systems for blockages, overflows, and backups. This also requires preventative care to properly function at all times.
  • Clean out your drains and gutters at least once a year. Clean gutters remove clogs and excess debris for easy flowing of water from the roof to the downspout. 
  • If you have a sump pump, check to see if it’s functioning well. Sump pumps also reach an age where their functionality declines. Let a licensed plumber evaluate your sump pump once in a while to know if it needs a repair or replacement. Moreover, it’s good to have sump pump backups.
  • Inspect your basement’s walls for weak spots, cracks, and signs of water damage. Make sure that windows are installed properly to prevent leaks.
  • Waterproof your basement and properly seal cracks and holes. This will help prevent your basement from flooding and let an expert do this.

Seek Help from Water Damage Experts

With the tips shared above, you now know what to do when the basement floods. However, after doing all that has to be done and you’re still in doubt, Superior Flood and Fire will help you feel safer from a flooded basement. 

Our skilled professionals can help you with any emergency basement flooding. Please don’t hesitate to call Water Damage San Jacinto. We are on-call 27 to better serve you and the surrounding areas of San Jacinto. We provide not only water damage restoration, but also fire damage restoration, and mold remediation services.