For individuals who have basements, dealing with water problems may be something you have dealt with, or something you worry about dealing with. Whichever may be the case, there are a few things you need to know to help prevent flooding in your basement, in addition to understanding what to do if or when it does happen.
Below are some preventive measures to implement:
1. Keep water away from your foundation by keeping gutters cleaned to avoid overflow that can pool around your foundation.
2. Make sure your yard is properly sloped to drain water from your foundation.
3. Insulate water pipes in your basement to reduce condensation.
4. Use a sump pump to keep unwanted water out. A well maintained pump is necessary for it to do its job correctly.
5. Waterproof your basement floor and walls. This will stop water seepage.
And what should you do if your basement does flood? Here are some suggestions:
1. Turn off the water to the basement immediately. This might require cutting off the water to the entire house.
2. Next, disconnect the power to the basement. Water and electric don’t mix, and you want to avoid anyone being electrocuted.
3. Call a plumber to determine the cause of the water problem, then call your insurance agent. Most homeowners policies will cover basement flooding damage.
4. Remove all items from the area. If carpeted, pull up carpet and padding. You might be able to have the carpet cleaned and disinfected, but keep in mind it could shrink.
5. Get rid of the water. Using a wet/dry vacuum is the easiest way, but mops and towels will work also.
6. Dry out the area. a) If you have doors or windows, open them to get air circulating. Using fans and a dehumidifier can speed up the process. b) If you have a finished basement, trim work, sheet rock and insulation will also need to be removed. Wooden trim work might be saved if removed quickly and dried before warping.
7. Make sure to disinfect the area properly, especially if the water came from a backed up sewer.
8. Treat all surfaces that were wet with a good mold prevention spray. This can be sprayed on most surfaces, and kills mold spore roots preventing new growth.
Hopefully, you will be able to take the steps to prevent any water problems in your basement. But, if you have the unfortunate happen, act quickly to reduce damage and prevent mold problems.