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What Do I Do For a Flooded Basement?

ServiceMaster of Buncombe County can save you time, money and a lot of hassles from a flood!

Restoring a flooded basement is a challenging process that requires a systematic approach. Calling ServiceMaster of Buncombe County to handle the restoration as well as your insurance company saves all the steps listed.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate through the restoration process:

  1. Ensure Safety:
    • Before entering the flooded basement, ensure that the electricity is turned off to avoid electrical hazards. If you’re unsure or if there’s standing water, contact a professional electrician to assess the situation.
    • Wear protective gear, including rubber boots, gloves, and a mask, to protect yourself from contaminated water and potential mold exposure.
  2. Identify and Address the Source:
    • Determine the source of the water and take steps to stop or contain it. If it’s a burst pipe, turn off the water supply to that area. If it’s severe flooding, wait until the external water source subsides before attempting any restoration.
  3. Remove Standing Water:
    • Use a sump pump, wet/dry vacuum, or buckets to remove standing water from the basement. Work from the source of the flooding towards the exit to ensure effective water removal.
  4. Dispose of Contaminated Items:
    • Discard any items that cannot be salvaged, especially if the water is contaminated (e.g., sewage backup). This includes carpeting, insulation, and any porous materials that may harbor bacteria or mold.
  5. Ventilate the Area:
    • Increase ventilation to help dry out the space faster. Open windows and doors and use fans and dehumidifiers to reduce moisture levels. If you do not remove the moisture quickly enough mold will begin to grow making your home unlivable.
  6. Clean and Disinfect:
    • Bleach can cause more harm and will not kill mold or keep other contaminants from growing. Antimicrobial agents are needed to safely clean and disinfect the contaminated and surrounding areas.
  7. Inspect for Structural Damage:
    • Consult with a professional contractor or structural engineer if needed.
  8. Drying Out the Basement:
    • Drying requires knowledge of parts per million of water vapor in the air as well as the moisture content of walls, floors, ceilings, and any wet areas. A off-the-shelf moisture meter is not going to be able to read the moisture correctly deep within walls.
  9. Check for Mold:
    • Monitor the basement for any signs of mold growth. If you notice mold, address it promptly by following proper mold remediation procedures. This should include hiring a professional mold remediation service.
  10. Restore and Replace:
    • Once the basement is thoroughly dry and disinfected, begin the restoration process. Replace damaged or unsalvageable materials and consider upgrading to water-resistant or waterproof options to prevent future issues.
  11. Prevent Future Flooding:
    • Identify and address the root cause of the flooding to prevent future incidents. This may involve improving drainage around the foundation, installing a sump pump, or making repairs to the plumbing system.

Remember that restoring a flooded basement can be as simple as calling ServiceMaster of Buncombe County at (828) 252-5330.

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