Whether due to excessive rain, high water table, or clogged gutters or downspouts, a basement may become flooded. Water can seep into cracks within the foundation of the home and a sump pump may not be enough to prevent a flood. If your basement becomes flooded, take action by following the steps below.
Step 1: Removing the water should be the first priority. In cases of minor flooding, a mop or some towels may be sufficient for getting water off the floor. When the flooding is major, a wet vacuum or portable sump pump may be necessary. Keep in mind that there must be somewhere to dump the water from the vacuum and drain the sump pump. If existing drains are inaccessible, attach a hose to the sump pump and hang this out the window to drain the water away from the house. You can dump the contents of the vacuum container into a nearby utility sink but realize that the container will be heavy when filled.
Step 2: Start by removing water from the areas where it can cause the most damage such as near the washer, dryer, water heater, and home heating system. You can also begin at the highest area of the room where water should be at its lowest, working toward larger accumulations of water.
Step 3: Once it has stopped raining, open basement windows to dry out the area. If the heating system is not damaged, turn up the heat to assist with the drying process, keeping the windows open so the moist air can escape. Circulate air and help with drying by positioning fans to blow the air out of the room. This also helps prevent mildew and mold growth.
Step 4: Once all water has been removed from the basement, close the doors and windows and turn on a dehumidifier. This will extract moisture from the area. Be sure to empty the container or attach a hose to drain water into a sink or sump pump hole.
Step 5: If the heating system was damaged by water, contact a professional for repair. This expense may be covered by a homeowner insurance policy.