Carefully Drain the Basement
Your home may be hard to enter if it is flooded. Pay attention to the doors, and, where the water has soaked in. If the door only sticks at the bottom, it can be forced open. If it sticks at the top, your ceiling may fall in. If you have to force the door open, just wait outside the doorway for a minute or two in case something falls. A window may have to be used as an entryway if the door does not open easily. Remember not to use candles, gas lanterns, or other open flames in your home before completely airing it out.
If your basement has flooded, don’t rush to pump the water out. Because the water in the ground outside of your home is pushing hard against the outside basement walls and the water inside your basement is pushing right back, draining too quickly could cause the walls and floor to crack and collapse.
Lower the Humidity
After the water is completely pumped out, lowering the humidity level will be key. Everything will dry and clean more easily if the humidity is reduced. A heavy-duty dehumidifier will help to control the moisture level and prevent mold from growing.
Look for Structural Damage
Consider having a professional foundation repair contractor evaluate your home for any structural damage that may have occurred. Signs of structural damage may include cracks in the foundation, broken pilings, shifted stairs or slanted floors.
- Open windows for ventilation, wear rubber gloves and eye protection when cleaning.
- Contemplate using a mask rated N-95 or higher if dense concentrations of mold exist.
- Use a non-ammonia soap or detergent to clean all areas and washable items that were exposed to any water.
- Mix 1-1/2 cups of household bleach in one gallon of water and thoroughly rise and disinfect the area. You should never mix bleach and ammonia, as the fumes are toxic.
- Because cleaned areas can take several days to completely dry, use heats, fans and dehumidifiers to speed up the drying process.
- Inspect all odors. Mold may be hiding behind walls and wall coverings.
- Remove and discard all objects and materials that cannot be cleaned.