Draining a flooded basement can be an exhausting process. Although collecting water is one step of this process, it is not the only one. If you want to drain your flooded basement successfully and not have to worry about mold growth, here is what you need to do.
Put Your Safety First
After noticing that your entire basement is flooded, you probably want to get down there as soon as possible and start cleaning before all your things get ruined. However, if the level of water has risen above your electrical outlets in the basement, there is a risk that an electrical current is running through the water. Stepping into that water could seriously hurt you, or even kill you, so it is not something you want to do. Instead, go to the main switch and cut the power off in that part of your home. If you cannot get to the switch without stepping into the water, you need to call basement flooding professionals to assist you.
Dry out the Area
When you can finally go down to the basement, you need to start removing the water ASAP. You can use a dry/wet vacuum to suck in the water. If you don’t have this device, you can also rely on your pool pump. Collecting water with a bucket and a mop is also a valid option. Keep in mind that flooding can boost humidity levels in your basement, so you need to use a dehumidifier to dry out this area. This way, you will be able to prevent mold growth that is usually triggered by increased humidity levels.
Throw out Moldy and Damaged Things
While your dehumidifier is running, take time to remove your things from the basement and place them somewhere where they can dry up. Be sure to inspect them thoroughly for mold and rot. Determine which things are salvageable and which you need to throw out. If some items have started to smell earthy but are in good shape, get them professionally cleaned.
What Causes a Flood?
In some cases, you will be able to easily determine the cause of a flood, while other times it will seem like the water came out of nowhere. Here are potential reasons why your basement got flooded.
Rainfall or snowmelt – During a rainy season in Indiana, IN, the soil around your home can get oversaturated. When this happens, hydrostatic pressure increases and pushes water into your basement through the porous concrete walls. The same thing can happen when there is a blizzard or large amounts of snow begin to melt.
Issues with the sewer system – There are so many reasons why sewer pipes can malfunction. If they are old and made of cast iron, they might be corroded and cracked. Things like tree roots can damage them or they can simply get clogged. This is why you should never flush things such as diapers and wipes, hair, feminine hygiene products, or cooking oils.
Negative grade – Next time it rains, check where all that water ends up. If it pools around your home’s perimeter, you will need to regrade your yard. If you leave it like this, collecting water from your basement will be the least of your worries. Your foundation will become seriously damaged and you will be forced to invest in expensive repairs.
Foundation cracks – If there are cracks in your foundation, water from the soil will easily enter your basement through them and cause a flood. To avoid this problem, you need to inspect your foundation for cracks now and then and call a contractor as soon as you notice them. Even if you live in a new house, you should do this since new homes are still settling which can cause cracks.
Leaky pipes and appliances – Damaged pipes and leaky water heaters can quickly fill up your basement with water. Also, water can leak through the basement windows.
Preventing Future Basement Flooding
If you have never experienced a flooded basement, you are fortunate. However, this doesn’t mean that situation won’t change and that one day you won’t find your basement covered in water. To prevent such a situation from occurring, there are several steps you should take.
Install an interior drainage system – Unlike the exterior drainage system, this one doesn’t require any landscaping excavation and is much more affordable because of it. Also, it features an anti-clog design and is almost invisible once installed. This system will collect the water that seeps in through the walls and direct it toward your sump pit.
Install a sump pump system – Creating a sump pit in your basement and placing a sump pump in it can ensure that your basement doesn’t become flooded. The basin in the floor will collect water that has accumulated underneath your house and the sump pump will direct it away from your property. This way all that water from the soil won’t flood your basement.
Maintain your gutters – By regularly maintaining your gutters, you can prevent clogs from forming and causing roof water to spill over and oversaturate the soil around your home.
Repair the cracks – When you notice cracks in your walls, contact your local foundation repair specialist and have them take a look at your foundation. Sometimes, cracks can be a sign of foundation settlement, so ask an experienced professional to evaluate the situation. Even if they are not, you need to seal them so that water cannot enter your home.
Install downspout extensions – These extensions will take the water from your gutters as far from your home as possible.
If you wish to prevent future basement flooding, contact Indiana Foundation Service and schedule a free inspection.