Residents living in Washington DC experience lots of rain in spring and fall and long, cold winters with lots of snow. It also rains a lot, even in summer. Therefore, having a flooded basement in Washington DC is a relatively common occurrence.
Ensuring your house is designed to prevent flooding on the lower floors is necessary. However, it also pays to know what to do if such a calamity happens. To help you out, we’ve prepared a checklist for flooded basement cleanup that you can follow in case heavy rain or faulty plumbing sends gallons of water into your basement.
Steps for Cleaning a Flooded Basement in Washington DC
Before anything else, you must ensure your safety and those of the people cleaning up your basement. So here are some pre-cleanup must-do’s:
- Turn off your electricity. However, if you have to wade through standing water to get to your breaker box, it will be best to call a professional. Companies that offer flooded basement restoration are well-equipped with safety gear and know what to do in this situation.
- Turn off your gas line as an added precaution.
- Turn off the main water line. This would be a must if damaged plumbing caused the overflow.
- Check the type of water flooding your basement. If it contains black water, which is water from sewage, you must prepare adequate protective gear. Still, the safest and best option would be to hire a flood cleanup and property restoration company.
- Take pictures and videos to document the damage for insurance purposes.
After taking these precautions, we can proceed with these steps for flooded basement cleanup.
Drain or remove the water from your basement.
If the room is very small or the water level is less than an inch deep, you may use a wet/dry vacuum to suck the floodwater. However, a utility pump would be your best option if you have a large basement or the water level is up to your calves or higher. Of course, manual methods using pails and mops are also an option. But the downside is that they could take a long time to get all of the water out. Therefore, finishing as quickly as possible is crucial because the longer the floodwater remains, the more damage you might have to deal with later.
Empty and clean out your basement
Once all the water’s gone, bring everything, especially all drenched objects, outside. Throw out anything that is no longer salvageable. If you want to keep some items, dry them thoroughly and disinfect them before taking them back inside. As for furniture and carpets, consider sending them to professional cleaners for a thorough cleaning and disinfection. Next, clean and rid your basement of mud or debris from water damaged-materials. Acting quickly is crucial because shoveling mud is easier when it’s still wet. You can also hose down the dirt clinging to the concrete walls and ceiling.
Remove the damaged materials.
This step requires the guidance and assistance of construction experts. They’ll need to inspect the floor, walls, and ceiling and determine if the materials need replacing. For example, waterlogged plywood dividers and insulation foam would have to be removed because they will deteriorate fast and become prone to mold and mildew. If you need to take things slowly, these experts can advise you on which repairs to prioritize.
Dry out your basement
It’s essential to do all four steps above as quickly as possible because your basement must be completely dry afterward. Industrial fans and exhaust fans will be very helpful for this. Ensuring that your basement is completely dry will help prevent musty odor from lingering in your basement. More importantly, it reduces the risk of microbial growth leading to mold infestation.
Mold spores are everywhere and inevitably make their way inside homes and buildings. Fuzzy growth can emerge within 72 hours if they land on a wet surface. Indoor mold is a health hazard and can damage your property. The best way to avoid it is to clean your entire home and always keep floors, corners, and other mold-prone areas dry.
Cleaning flooded basements may differ depending on the circumstances and other factors (e.g., the location, accessibility of the basement from the street, availability of equipment, extent of water damage, whether the occupants can leave the house or not, etc.). However, these five steps are common in flooded basement restoration.
Trust Restoration 1 Experts To Clean Your Flooded Basement in Washington DC
Knowing what to do when your basement gets flooded is a must. But if the damage is more than you can handle on your own, hiring a flood basement restoration and cleaning company is always an option.
A company like Restoration 1 is fully equipped to perform all the above steps. As an all-around restoration company, we also have specialists for mold remediation – an advantage for anyone dealing with the aftermath of a flood. In addition, our services address structural, safety, and health concerns, so getting us involved in cleaning your flooded basement can give you long-term benefits.
We’ll be happy to tell you more about our flood cleanup services in Washington DC. Contact Restoration 1 today and book a consultation.