Is flooded basement cleanup the worst thing you’ve ever done?
Flooded basement cleanup is a big drag. But it doesn’t have to be the thing that pushes you over the edge. It does, however, have to be done right, following precise steps, and using the right techniques to ensure your cleanup is successful and without residual effects. What kind of effects, you might ask? Mold. Yes, dreaded mold. If moisture is left behind after a flood, what you’ll end up with is mold, and plenty of it. It’s toxic, it’s damaging, and it’s the best reason to get cleanup done right the first time. Here are 6 easy steps.
Step 1: Call Your Insurance Company
The first step should be to start the claims process. Don’t have flood insurance? There might be some part of your policy that will cover the damage and repair. Give them a call to help you get the ball rolling.
Step 2: Power Down
If you can safely turn off the power to your home, or to the area of your home that is flooded, go ahead and shut it down. Water and electricity do not mix. Don’t jeopardize your safety by skipping this step. If you can’t do it safely, wait for the professionals, either firefighters, the electric company, or a professional restoration company to shut it off for you.
Step 3: Stop the Flow of Water
This seems obvious, but it’s not always as easy as it sounds. If your interior flooding is from weather related flooding, you might just have to wait until the storm clears and the flood water recedes to take action. If the water damage is from a leak, it can be tough to find the source, especially if it’s behind a wall. Turning off the main water line is a good first step. Then track the flooding back until you find the culprit. Then repair it. No sense cleaning up water if more is coming.
Step 4: Water Extraction
The first thing a restoration company will do is water extraction. Getting the water out as quickly as possible is the key to fast and successful flood recovery. This is not something you should try with a wet/dry vacuum and a mop. A flood requires the big guns. Commercial extraction tools that will get as much water as possible out of your house, and then the knowledge to dispose of it properly, a.k.a not down the drain or in the gutter.
Step 5: Drying and Cleaning
Using an combination of ducting, blowers, air movers, floor drying systems, cabinet and wall cavity drying systems, and ceiling drying systems, a restoration company will be able to get all of the moisture out of the flooded area. Dehumidifiers are also used to speed up the drying process. Although you could try this with fans and open windows, the right equipment will get the area dry much more quickly than you can on your own, and timing is of the essence to avoid the development of mold.
Once the area is dry, the cleanup begins. This generally includes professional floor cleaning of wood, vinyl, or carpeted floors, including removal and replacement if necessary, cleanup of sewage, dry cleaning fabrics, upholstery, linens, and clothing that were damaged by the flood, and cleaning of personal property. Along with cleaning, an antimicrobial treatment will be used to help prevent the build-up and growth of potentially harmful bacteria.
Step 6: Mold Inspection and Removal
After the cleanup your house will be inspected for mold that may have developed when the water was present, before cleanup began. Mold removal and mitigation will take place and a mildewcide applied before the project is complete.
There are many ways to approach water damage cleanup, but the best way to insure you don’t have to battle with toxic mold after the flood is by trusting a professional restoration company.
Contact Can-Restore for help with flooded basement cleanup by calling (770) 735-2695.