Do you know anyone who has had their basement flooded? If you do, you know how unpleasant this scenario can get. Whether the cause is severe weather or burst pipes, repairing water damage can be tiresome and costly.
The worst part of it is that insurance does not cover most of the damage. For example, a standard policy doesn’t cover damage caused by a flood from the sewer system. However, you are likely to find out about this fine print only after the disaster strikes.
Cleaning Up the Water Damage
After the crisis has been averted, many homeowners are left with nothing but a mess to clean up. If your home was a victim of a flood, there are several steps you can take on your own when cleaning up after it. Here are some tips that can help you fix some of the damage, dry out the affected area and prevent this from happening again in the future.
Before you start assessing and repairing the damage, you have to clean up the chaos first. While doing so, don’t neglect your safety. The mould and bacteria that came with the water can be very harmful to your health. Because of that, make sure to wear protective gear like masks, footwear, and gloves while cleaning up the basement.
Clear the Area
Next, get all of the items or furniture that got damaged during the crisis out of the way. This is often an exhausting and dirty work, but someone has to do it. Moving the damaged personal items can also take a lot of time and be painful for some.
Dry out the Area
Depending on how much water there is in the basement you might be able to remove it on your own. You can do so using a few vacuums. It might not be an ideal solution, but it is guaranteed to save you a lot of money.
Bacteria start forming during the first 48 to 72 hours, depending on several factors such as the temperature, moisture levels, and the affected surface. They multiply rapidly and make the cleaning process much more expensive. This is why you have to dry the area out as soon as possible.
Hair dryers, fans, and dehumidifiers might not be on par with the professional equipment used to dry your home, they can still help get the humidity out of the air.
Clean the Area
Once you’ve removed all the damaged items and dried the room out, you should clean the basement. Use a thorough detergent to clean the floors, walls and other surfaces the water may have been damaged. For the second round of disinfecting, professionals use either a bleach solution or a professional cleaning product. You can find a wide variety of eco-friendly products that are safe to use. However, don’t neglect to wear your protective gear, just to be on the safe side.
Preventing Water Damage
The best way to prevent such a disaster is always to plan ahead. If you live in an area known for severe rains or a neighborhood prone to flooding, there are several steps you can take to make sure your home is not too seriously affected.
Basement is usually where most homeowners deposit their old clothes and other clutter. The basement is also the one area most commonly affected by floods and water damage. Therefore, these unwanted items can become a liability and a fertile ground for bacteria in case of a flood. Take at least one day a year to sort and throw all the unnecessary items out. You’ll be glad you did if disaster strikes.
Place Your Items High
Old books, documents, and boxes can also become a part of the problem once the water starts pouring in. When considering storage options for your basement, opt in for metal or plastic shelves. Wooden shelves are also fine, but plywood will most definitely end up ruined in a flood. Placing your items high up on durable shelves will help you fix one major part of the problem.
Plastic Storage Containers
If you don’t have enough vertical space in your basement, use plastic or rubber containers to store your items. They can help free up the clutter and protect your items from the water. However, still be sure to keep them a few meters off the ground.