When a basement becomes flooded it is important to remove the water as soon as possible. The longer flood water remains inside a basement, the more likely it is that harmful mold will begin to grow. The flooded area also needs to be cleaned and sanitized thoroughly to prevent the growth of bacteria that could be a health hazard to you and your family. These are the steps to take to clean your basement properly after water damage has occurred.

Removing the Water 

Before removing the water from a flooded basement, it is very important to turn off all the electrical power that is running to it. You may need to throw your main breaker to ensure that all the power is off in the area you will be removing the water from.

Use a sump pump connected to an outside water hose to remove the water from your basement. If you have a shop vac that can be plugged into an outlet in a dry area, this can also be used to remove the water on the floors. After the water is removed, shovel out any mud that remains on the floor. Discard any items that have been damaged by flood water.

Cleaning and Sanitizing 

Once the water and mud has been removed, fill a bucket with warm water and enough liquid dish soap to make the water soapy. Scrub the floors, walls and any washable areas with a brush broom and then rinse thoroughly with a water hose.

After cleaning, it is time to sanitize the water damaged area. Fill a bucket with warm water and add powdered oxygen bleach. Using the brush broom again, scrub the same areas that were cleaned to sanitize the area. Chlorine bleach can be used, but oxygen bleach is a safer alternative that will not be harmful to breathe while sanitizing. Rinse the area again with a water hose.

Drying the Area

If your basement has a built-in drain, use the brush broom to force as much of the water down it as possible. Then you can use fans that are blowing directly into the basement to help dry the area.

You can also use a shop vac to suck up any remaining water. Running a humidifier in the basement for the next several days will also remove moisture from the air and help prevent mold from growing.

Cleaning your basement properly after water damage has occurred is the most important step in preventing the growth of mold and bacteria in your home. Once the flooded area is clean, sanitized and dry again, there are no worries that your home may become an unhealthy environment to live in. Contact a water damage restoration specialist if you need help.