7 Safety Tips for Flooded Basement Cleanup

flooded basement cleanup mopThere's no doubt a flooded basement is aggravating, inconvenient and costly. Unfortunately, we need to add "potentially dangerous" to that list. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe and avoid further costs of mold removal.

1. If your basement is flooded because of widespread flooding in your region, be careful of structural issues.

Floods can shift massive amounts of earth, leaving foundations unsupported. Waterlogged soil also tends be to far less stable than dry soil. What does that mean for you? The water in your flooded basement may be doing more to hold up your foundation than the ground around it. If you pump it out too soon, the foundation could shift, doing serious damage to your home. If you have any doubt about the structural state of your home, call in a professional. It will be worth every penny if it saves you from injury or costly structural repairs.

2. Make absolutely sure the electricity is off.

It's just plain common sense that if there's any possibility the water in your basement is in contact with a live electric current, you should not enter the water. Still, you need to take full precautions. Don't assume if the power is out in your area it will stay off for any length of time. Imagine what would happen if power were restored suddenly while you're knee deep in water that's covering an outlet. One solution is to shut off your main breaker box, but only do so if you can reach it without standing in water or on any wet surfaces. If in doubt, don't touch it. If you can't shut off power yourself, call your power company and have them shut off service to your home until you have everything dried out.

3. Use generators and pumps wisely.

With no power to your home, you'll need a generator or gas powered pump to remove the water. Follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully, and locate the generator or pump as far from your home as you can to avoid fumes coming into the house. Never run a generator or motorized pump inside your home no matter how good the ventilation seems; deadly carbon monoxide buildup can result.

4. Look out for flammable substances.

If you're the victim of a regional disaster, floodwaters may have carried gasoline or other flammable chemicals into your basement, and any type of flooding could release flammable chemicals stored in your home. Watch out for fumes from these substances. Flooding can also shift natural gas lines or damage propane equipment, releasing gas into your home. If you smell any of these chemicals, especially gas, evacuate immediately.

5. Suit up.

Make sure you're wearing boots with a good grip and thick soles. Not only will you have "slippery when wet" conditions to deal with, you may find mold or mildew adding to the slip hazard if it's been some time since the flooding occurred. Keep in mind that you can't be sure what the water has moved around, so be careful where you step. At a minimum, you should be wearing rubber gloves to protect your hands from contaminants. Depending on how deep the water is, you may need other waterproof clothing. Make sure that you wash your skin thoroughly with soap if you come into contact with standing water from your basement. A mask may be necessary if there has been time for mold to grow in the flooded area.

6. Check your water supply.

This step is best left to a professional. If any part of your water supply system has been submerged in the flood, it may be contaminated with chemicals, dirt, mold or bacteria. Have it checked out to ensure the system is clean.

One last tip

When in doubt, call a professional. If a professional electrician, plumber and water damage remediation crew are involved, you can be sure your home will be safely and properly restored. LDR Cleaning and Restoration is one of the premier restoration companies in Rockford, Illinois and Southern Wisconsin. LDR provides restoration services from water damage, mold removal, fire damage restoration, storm and hail damage repair for commercial and residential properties. Capable of handling any size loss and working with all types of insurance providers, the LDR disaster team is available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. Click here to contact LDR, or call 1-888-874-7066. Image courtesy of artur84 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net Free eBook shows how to make a home disaster plan  


 

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