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  • Writer's pictureHandsome Hank

The “Oh #%&!” List Vol. 1: Staying Calm When Your Basement Floods

Don't let a flood stop you from enjoying the finer things in life.

We’ve seen our share of flooded basements and, in turn, our share of panicked homeowners whose busy lives have been flooded with stress and agitation.

While your first instinct will be to helplessly flail your arms in the pandemonium, it’s best to keep cool because you can drastically minimize the damage if you perform the following tasks:

Step 1: Don’t Zap Yourself

Given water’s strained relationship with electricity, the first thing you want to do is turn the power off in the flooded vicinity. Do not, enter a flooded area when the power isn’t off. Clueless about your electricity and power switches? Call an electrician.

Step 2: Play the Raining Game

If flooding is due to a torrential downpour, wait out the rain. If flooding is caused by anything else, do not doddle or procrastinate, unless you want your swimming pool to turn into a tsunami. So to speak.

Step 3: Be Dressed for Success

At Megan-Drew, we’re big on appearance and having the right wardrobe for the job, mostly for safety (but also, we're just downright dapper).

So, no matter the reason or source of the flood, you’ll need to wear the following:

- rain boots

- rubber

- protective mask

- hip or chest waders may help

And always be careful when you’re walking in the flooded area, since it’s a slipping hazard.

Step 4: Put On Your Exploring Hat

You’re going to be going on a bit of an adventure in figuring out the source of the water. If a burst pipe is the cause of the flood, shut off water to the basement.

Step 5: Floor Drains Are Your Friend

A working floor drain will make draining flood water much easier. If your basement has one, ensure it is unclogged and functioning optimally.

Step 6: Dehydrate Your Basement

You need to rid your basement of the water…by any means necessary (cue maniacal laugh). You may need to employ the use of sump pumps, pool pumps, a wet/dry vacuum, or a mop and bucket—depending on the volume of water you’re dealing with.

Your sump pump is found in the depths of a basement. It operates by directing flood water away from your home. In absence of a sump pump, water comes up through the ground and breeches other parts of your home, exacerbating this already irritating situation.

Once you’ve rid yourself of the majority of the water, use a sponge or cloth to soak up the rest.

Step 7: Be Sentimental…But Not Too Sentimental

Your accumulation of stuff stored in your basement throughout the years is going to take a huge hit! Do your best to salvage those items by getting them out of the basement and into a dryer area. If you’re in a warm, sunny climate, your backyard will do. Do not, under any circumstances, leave these items to dry in the damp basement.

It’ll take around 48 hours to properly dry. If your belongings don’t dry, they’ll collect mould, and you’ll unfortunately have to bid them farewell.

While you can try salvage the contents within, don’t save wet cardboard boxes, which are cesspools for bacterial growth.

Step 8: Say a Tear-Filled Goodbye to Your Carpeting

Your carpet will be a callous casualty of your flooded basement. If the carpeting isn’t torn out promptly, the floor underneath will fail to dry properly.

Although somewhat unlikely, there is an off chance wet carpeting can be salvaged, but it would require the work of a restoration expert or carpet cleaner. Keep in mind, undried carpets foster more mould and mildew.

Step 9: Give Your Basement Time to Heal

Your basement will have taken tremendous punishment from the flood and will take a few days to dry out. You can speed up the process by opening windows and doors for ventilation purposes, while using fans for quality air circulation. Dehumidifiers will also assist the drying process and if you don’t have one, we suggest renting on.

Step 10: Clean. Clean. Then When You’re Done, Clean Some More.

If it already seems like you’ve had to do a lot of dirty work, we have some bad news. There’s a whole lot more work to do. Wash down floors and walls to remove any dirt left behind by the water, and get rid of wet or damaged drywall and insulation.

This will prevent mould from spreading. When the floor and walls are dry, use an anti-mildew spray to discourage mould and mildew from developing.

A flood, not too ironically, will leave most families feeling lost at sea! We hope our tips will provide enough information to assist you through the turmoil. If you feel like you’re drowning, contact Megan Drew. We’re the best plumber in Markham, Stouffville, and Uxbridge, and will be sure to right the ship!

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