How To Clean A Wet Basement

Whether it’s a pesky puddle or several feet of standing water, a flooded basement calls for savvy cleanup. Once you’ve filed a claim and made sure it’s safe to go downstairs, there are a few things you can do to start to sorting out the damage.

 

Wear Protective Clothing. If you do go into the basement, wear protective gloves and a face mask. Plan on throwing away your shoes after wearing them in the water and make sure you don’t wear them anywhere else in the house. To be on the safe side, throw out any clothing that gets wet.

 

Ventilate. Open windows and keep fans running. 

 

Salvage What You Can. Take as many of your belonging as possible out of the flood zone as fast as you can to avoid further damage, mildew, mold and warping. FEMA and the American Red Cross have some helpful tips for post-flooding cleanup. 

 

Snap Photos Of Your Belongings. As you remove them, keep track of what you're pulling out and their condition. This can help in the claims process.

 

Set Out Three Tarps. In your yard or garage, put down tarps and identify them as Clean, Save and Trash. Once a belonging is cleaned, you can move it to the Save tarp.

 

Eliminate Excess Water. Use a wet/dry vacuum, rags, dehumidifier and fans to dry out the area. Remove any mold or use mold treatment sprays to prevent mold growth.

 

Remove Furniture, Rugs, Carpets or Flooring. Floor materials that absorbed water must be removed to prevent mold and mildew, including wood flooring, subfloors and padding. Determine what may be salvaged through professional cleaning.

 

Remove And Replace Drywall. If needed.

 

Dry & Disinfect. That includes your basement floor, walls, furnace and any other objects that can’t be removed.

 

When in doubt? Call in the pros. It’ll give you confidence that everything is taken care of – and they can even waterproof your basement in case of a next time!

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