Residents living throughout the Vancouver area may be all too familiar with having to deal with a flooded basement, whether due to heavy rainfall or a burst pipe. This region receives significant precipitation during the year, particularly as we transition from spring to summer, and summer to fall, meaning the likelihood of basement flooding is a bit higher here than other places. Although you may be inclined to panic slightly if you come home to a flooded basement after a particularly rainy day, we have a few helpful tips that will keep you from losing your property or your cool in a flood.
Check for Safety
Your first instinct when you notice a flood has occurred in your basement may be to pull off your socks and run downstairs to drain the water. This is understandable, but it can also be dangerous, especially if you keep large electronic and gas powered appliances in your basement. Be sure to turn off the power if you are able to reach the main electric circuit breaker switch, to avoid a dangerous electric shock when you touch the water. If you are unsure as to how to go about shutting the power off, call a trained electrician in to provide assistance. Even during off-hours most electrical services have an emergency service, so don’t hesitate to call.
Determine the Cause
Once you know its safe to step in the basement, you can start to look for what is causing the flood. How you go about stopping the flood will depend on what has caused it in the first place. If it is a burst pipe or leaking appliance such as a washing machine or hot water tank, turn off any water supply to the pipe or appliance. You may be required to shut off the main water supply to your home, but if you can avoid this by closing another supply valve, do so. This way you won’t be without running water while repairs are completed.
Wear Proper Clothes
As we mentioned above, when you notice a flood in your basement, your first instinct may be to get downstairs as soon as possible to stop the flood. This can be dangerous for many reasons, not the least of which is the increased potential to slip and fall on a hard, wet floor. You should wear rubber boots and gloves for protection, and any other waterproof clothing you may have to keep you safe and dry.
Drain and Remove Water
There are a number of methods you can use to get rid of any water in your basement. The first thing you should do is open your floor drain and remove any obstructions that may prevent water from reaching it. You can then go about removing the water that has build up or pooled in any areas of the basement. If the floor drain is clogged, or unable to drain at that time, you can make use of water pumps. A sump pump or a pool pump are effective ways to move large amounts of water out of your basement quickly. You can also make use of a wet vacuum to get water in harder to reach places. Finally, sometimes a good old mop and bucket is your best option to ensure things get thoroughly dried in a timely fashion. If you’re unable to drain your basement, please call our 24h Emergency plumbing services.
Clear Everything Out
Once the water has been dealt with, you can take the opportunity to assess what items were affected by the basement flood. Any carpeting or rugs should be immediately removed and thrown away, or hung up to dry. By not doing so, you risk having to deal with an unpleasant mold problem in the future. You should also remove any furniture to a drier area. Electronic items however should stay put, even if they are unplugged. The risk of electric shock is still present as long as those items are wet, so just let them dry in place as best you can.
Clean and Spray
One of the last things you’ll have to do after a significant basement flood is wash any dirt off the walls to prevent lasting stains. You may also need to replace damaged and wet drywall to avoid any buildups of mold or mildew. Once you have removed the damaged wall surface, be sure to spray some anti-mold/mildew spray on any wooden studs or other surfaces that came into prolonged contact with the water.
Once you’ve completed these tasks, you should be well on your way to having a safe and dry basement again. If the damage is extensive and proves costly once you’ve finished cleaning, you might want to contact your insurance company to make a claim for any lost or damaged property. For more helpful tips, or to enlist the help of one of our friendly and knowledgeable professionals on your next project, be sure to contact Lillie Family Ltd today!