Water in unwanted places can cause a lot of damage so don’t treat flood water in unwanted places lightly. Even if your basement only has an inch of water in it, or is even just damp — it’s the perfect breeding ground for mold. Mold growth not only ruins walls, furniture, carpets and flooring but it can lead to poor indoor air quality causing respiratory problems including asthma, and can lead to severe illness. Preventing mold growth is key to keeping your home’s air clean and healthy. Here are a few tips to deal with your flooded basement and minimize the water damage.
Disconnect the power, unplug any electronics, and remove electronics, furniture and movable items immediately. The faster you get items out of water’s way, the more likely you’ll be able to save them. Definitely move all electrical items first, and if you can, turn off your power leading into the affected area, especially if water rises above electrical outlets. Pull up any carpets and underpadding then get rid of the water. The no power solution is old towels, buckets and mops to soak up as much water as possible. Using a wet/dry vacuum can save you a lot of time, just make sure you plug into an outlet that is far enough away from the water damage. After removing the water, it can be poured down or onto your lawn or other permeable surface Getting rid of all the water and drying out the area is the most important thing you can do to prevent mold growth.
Once you’ve removed all the water, use fans and a dehumidifier to help dry out the area and open windows to allow for air circulation and faster drying. If you have a finished basement and the drywall was affected, you’ll probably have to cut away the areas that were touched by water as the drywall will crumble and the paper backing is ripe for mold.
After the area has dried out, use a good disinfectant to get rid of any bacteria that might have come up through sewers, toilets, etc. Disinfect all areas affected by the flood waters including walls and wood and non-upholstered furniture that sat in flood water. Check if the disinfectant if it has any preventable properties because you definitely don’t want any mold to resurface after fixing your basement.