What to Do if You Experience a Flooded Basement

By Doherty • February 23rd, 2011
Flood in Znojmo (2006) 2

Image via Wikipedia

While no one can predict when a flood might happen to your basement, or anyone’s basement for that mater, it’s best to be prepared with a flood protection plan in case you are suddenly stuck with a flooded basement.

First, it’s a good idea to keep all furnace and AC units on the first floor or have them mounted on the wall so that if you do end up with a flooded basement, they will not become damaged and cost you further money in damages. A flooded basement is pricey enough to repair without the additional cost of having to replace a heating and cooling system. It might be a cost to have them raised to the ceiling level now, but it is one that you should be willing to pay now rather than pay much more later down the road.

Placing your furniture up on blocks might not look fashionable, however, if you basement is prone to flooding, you might consider it or take the furniture out and use the basement as an unfinished area where you might just store things up on pallets of wood or cinder blocks to protect them from water damage. Put your of value items being stored in waterproof plastic tubs with lids will also help.

Most basements are finished and you can protect your self by having flood insurance on all your belongings in the basement . When you purchase a new couch and chair or television and recliner, make sure you notify your insurance agent and take photos of all your belongings in the basement, this includes washing machine and dryer if they are located in the basement. That way you have proof of their existence and, you will be able to show the insurance agent exactly what was in the basement if you have to clear it out before he or she can get to you.

Sometimes there is a large area that floods many basements and the insurance reps are very busy. You don’t want mold building up in your basement so you need to take everything out that came in contact with the water and make sure it is hauled away by the garbage truck. Mold and mildew can be deadly if left to grow in your basement. Once the furniture is taken away and the water has receded, make sure you take up any carpet or hardwood flooring or vinyl flooring that has been laid down because mold and mildew love to grow under these types of materials. Next you need to scrub everything with bleach and water combination so that the mold and mildew will die. It’s a living, breathing fungus and you need to make sure it doesn’t reproduce and grow again.

A sump pump is another line of defense for a basement that might be prone to flooding. This is a machine that is placed in the basement, deep in a hole in the ground, which helps pump water away from the basement from underground. It is fairly effective, yet also costly.

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