A flooded basement is not fun. Ask anyone who lives in the older parts of the North and South side of Lethbridge. Issues with mold and electrical can be enough to make you want to move. Water damage is tedious to clean up and the last thing you would want to deal with after coming home from work. Below, we have compiled a list of simple tips for dealing with a flooded basement to help you get through this unpleasant experience. Note: it is always best to get a professional’s opinion especially if these quick fixes are not effective.
1. Assess the Situation
The very first thing you should do when you notice your flooded basement is asses the situation. Wearing protective wear, search for any hazardous materials, figure out why the flood happened, and if any electrical wiring could be affected. If the latter is possible, contact an electrician immediately. If the water level is noticeably high enough to reach an outlet stay out of the basement until an electrician is called.
2. Figure out why the flood occurred
Flooded basements usually occur due to a problem in condensation, runoff, or subsurface. To determine if it is condensation, tape foil over damp spots for 24 hours. After 24 hours check to see if moisture formed on the outside of the foil. If there is, water is condensing from the air inside your home. If moisture is forming underneath the foil the water is seeping in from outside the home. To get rid of condensation, air out your basement, turn up the heat during colder months, purchase a dehumidifier, add a water-proof coating to walls, insulate cold-water pipes and check a dryer vent is being properly led with no leaks to the outside of your home.
A runoff flood is from rainwater or melted snow that is not properly being led away from the home. Check the outside of your home to make sure the the ground slopes are high enough, downspout runoffs are not pooling, downspouts do not have any leaks, gutters are not full of debris, and that the runoff curbs beside your driveway are channeling to the street. To fix a runoff flood seal any cracks in the foundation and walls and any areas in the driveway.
If the flooding occurs more than just after heavy rain storms or snowfall, you could be dealing with a subsurface issue. The water table may be too high, which you can call your city to find out the level. If this is the case, hiring a professional is the best option as it needs to be done right. They can install a sump pump or inject clay into the soil and urethane caulk into cracks.
3. Air It Out
After diagnosing the reason for the flood, make sure to air out all possible items outside to dry. Unfortunately, you will need to throw out anything that could form mold such as carpet. If you find there are a lot of belongings that are damaged by the flood it is a good idea to invest in proper storage containers and shelving and to organize properly in case of another possible flood.
After the flooded basement has been dealt with, clean and sanitize everything before bringing items back in.
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