It’s a fact of life that water can make its way into your home in many different ways. If you live in an area prone to flooding, you’re likely to see it every year. The good news is that if the flooding happens quickly enough and if your basement is not damaged, you should be able to clean up after the damage without too much hassle or expense. However, if there are structural issues with your home, such as a leaky roof, then you may need to call in professional help.
If you find yourself in this situation, here are five tips for how to clean up after a flood:
1) Check for Water Damage
The first thing you need to do is to check your basement thoroughly to ensure there isn’t any water damage before proceeding with cleaning. Make sure you have all the tools you’ll need to get started properly. In particular, you’ll want to bring along a mop, bucket, rags, and gloves. If you don’t already have these items on hand, they can be purchased at most hardware stores or big-box retailers like Home Depot. You also might consider bringing along a camera or video recorder to document the process so you can go over everything later.
2) Remove Water Stains
Once you’ve confirmed that the water did indeed come from outside your home, then you must remove any stains on the walls or floors. You can use soap and warm water to scrub away any remaining moisture. Be sure to keep your eye out for mold spores, which can grow very quickly when exposed to moisture. You should avoid using bleach as it could cause more harm than good.
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3) Get Rid of Mold Spores
While removing water stains and other water marks will help to remove the immediate danger, mold spores remain a constant threat once the water has been removed. You’ll want to cover any porous surfaces with plastic sheeting to prevent mold spores from growing in those areas as well. Once you have done this, you can proceed with getting rid of the mold.
4) Clean Up All Surfaces
Whether you’re dealing with dirt or water damage, you’ll want to give each surface a thorough cleaning. This includes the floor, the walls, the ceiling, and anything else that may be affected by the flooding. In order to ensure that no trace of mold remains behind, you’ll want to take extra care in cleaning these surfaces. You should also replace any furnishings that were ruined during the flood.
5) Reclaim Your Basement
Finally, you’ll want to turn your attention towards reclaiming your basement. This means that you’ll want to dry out the ground floor of your home so it won’t flood again. This usually involves closing off cracks and holes around the perimeter of the house to prevent further water from entering. It may also require sealing windows and doors.
Before you begin to dry out your basement, you’ll want to make sure you leave it in a safe location where no one can accidentally walk through it while it’s still wet. After you’ve finished drying out your basement, you also will want to inspect for any possible leaks. If you discover any, you’ll want to fix them immediately. Otherwise, you run the risk of flooding your entire home again.
If you have a lot of water damage in your basement but you’re unsure if the problem was caused by a natural event (such as heavy rain) or a manmade incident (like a burst pipe), you may want to hire a professional inspection company. They will be able to examine your home and determine what exactly happened.
If you’d prefer, you don’t have to hire a professional inspection company. Instead, you can try to figure out whether the issue was something external or internal to your home. For example, you can ask about whether the water came from upstairs, downstairs, or outside the home.
In addition, it’s important to remember that there are some things you cannot control. If you find that you can’t stop the water from coming back into your home, you may want to look for insurance coverage. While policies differ depending on your state, you may be eligible for reimbursement for certain expenses related to the flood. This may include repairs to your home, lost furniture, and even legal fees.