In the event that you have a flooded basement, it is important to make sure the area is safe and dry before you repair the damages. Basements can flood for many reasons, but the most common is ground water or a ruptured hot water tank.
In the event that you have a problem with ground water, there is something important to keep in mind. Just because the water looks clean, it does not mean that it is. Ground water contains many things that are harmful for humans to come in contact with; including pesticides, animal feces, and other unknown ground contaminants. Anything that ground water touches should be considered contaminated and be considered for replacement.
If the hot water tank has ruptured, then the water can be considered clean water and you do not have to worry about human contact, but remember that does not mean that it should not be removed right away.
Ground water should be removed from the basement by professionals and the area should be dried using dehumidification and air movers. It is important that your basement be dried by professionals and not just some company that does provides this service in a part-time capacity. The risk of mold and further damage always exist if the area is not dried properly and in a timely manner. Even if the water is clean, the risk for contamination is present. Once water sits and becomes stagnant, it can become dirty over time. So, remember that acting smart and fast is the only way to ensure health and safety.
Once the water is removed it is important to protect the area from future growth of mold or microorganisms. There are lots of products on the market that are mold inhibitors, and each product has benefits. Remember to read the labels carefully before a choice is made. Often times, people think bleach is the safest way to disinfect a basement area with a musty smell. But, the truth is, bleach has high volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and the negative health affects from its fumes are a real concern.
If water does come in your basement, make sure you follow the three simple rules of action to keep yourself and your family safe.
- Determine what type of water is in your basement.
- If the water is higher than outlets, make sure the main breaker has been switched “off” by a licensed professional.
- Hire a restoration company certified in water remediation.