wet basement tips

In our current house there are concrete stairs in the back which lead down to the basement. I know this is not a gorgeous shot, but it’s an old house that needs a lot of work.

IMG_4604At the bottom of the stairs there is a drain to prevent water from accumulating, but all it takes is a few leaves in the fall to block that drain. If this drain is clogged when a storm hits the water goes right under the threshold and can easily flood the basement. Luckily our basement is unfinished and is basically just a laundry  room. It was still a scary sight the first time we saw standing water downstairs though.

Whether it’s a leaking water heater, a broken pipe, or a nature related incident, basement floods are not uncommon. Basements tend to hold moisture anyway and that is never good for your home or belongings.

The good news is there are a number of things you can do to take care of it before the water damage does some serious destruction.


  1. Be Safe

First things first. If you have a flooded basement you need to take great precaution that there are not chords or electrical wires near the water. If possible, turn your power off before you get started because electricity and water don’t mix!


  1. Clear or elevate your stuff


If there is anything important that you want to remove go ahead and get that out of the way. If it’s not too late you may be able to salvage your valuable possessions. In our basement we have everything elevated as a precautionary measure. If you know your basement is prone to flooding and you live in an older home you can’t take any chances. We chose to keep our belongings elevated at least 6 inches by using some really basic shelves that J built with 2×4’s and OSB. Simple but effective.

  1. Get the water out

Craftsman_16_Gallon_Wet-Dry_VacNow that you have addressed the electricity and maybe some of your belongings, it’s time to really get started on restoring your basement. Some cases will require professional help, while others can be addressed on your own with the right equipment. One way to get rid of the water is a shop vac (otherwise known as a wet/dry vacuum). This will allow you to extract most of the water and dump it outside or down a drain. In our case we have a utility sink that is the most convenient. Our flooding incident was minimal, but if there is too much water to worry about dumping out heavy bucket loads all day then consider renting a portable pump or extraction unit.


4.Dry the basement


B-Air_GP-1_Green1-555x555The goal is to completely dry out your basement. Even if you don’t have a basement that floods, if it’s damp, it’s a problem. Moisture is your home’s enemy and can cause all kinds of expensive problems such as rotten wood and mold. The way you want to deal with this is by using an air mover along with a dehumidifier. My brother cleans carpets professionally and he uses AER Industries. They have several options for air movers, and commercial dehumidifiers. The air mover and dehumidifiers to pull the remaining mostiure out from the carpet or flooring, the framing material, drywall, and all surfaces. It’s critical to act quickly in order to prevent mold damage which can happen in as little as 48 hours.

5. Clean and disinfect

Once you have thoroughly dried out your basement it is important that you clean and disinfect everything . This is once again to prevent mold from trying to creep in. After you’ve finished sterilizing the room you are done.

Those are 5 basic steps to clean up a flooded basement, but they are helpful tips for any areas of your home that tend to be damp or have been exposed to water for whatever reason.

Hopefully you won’t find yourself in that kind of predicament, but with stormy springtime weather right around the corner you may want to pin this information for later just in case.

Today’s informative post is sponsored, but as always the advice given here is geniune and I hope you’ll find these tips to be helpful.