We got ourselves a good amount of rain these past few days, and there was a big storm this Monday. That might be a problem for some of my fellow homeowners out there. 

We have a basement in our house, and it seems like no matter what happens, there's always a little bit of water down there after a big rain. It's never been catastrophic (knock wood), but if you got it bad, here's what you do.

First of all, be safe. Entering a wet basement can be dangerous. Before stepping into a flooded basement, ask yourself:

  • Is there a risk of electrical shock? If it's safe to get to your breaker box, turn off the power before you go down. If the breaker box is in the basement (like mine), call the power company or an electrician.
  • Do you smell gas?  If you do, hightail it. Call the gas company. You don't have time for that stuff.
  • Is the flood water contaminated? You might not know what has come in contact with this water.  Does it smell bad? Do you think it smells like a gas station bathroom? Don't risk it.
  • Is the flooded basement still structurally safe? If you have doubt, again, don't risk it. Call a pro to check it out. It's better to be safe than sorry, after all.

So now that it seems okay, you can move on.

1.  Get your things out. 

The quicker your stuff can get out of the water, the better the chances for fixing it. You need to get stuff out of the basement and dried up - it also helps with  mold.

2. Drain the water. 

If it's just a little bit of water, you might be able to get it with a wet/dry vac or a sump pump. You don't have to buy those, you can rent them.

3. Get your rugs up. 

If you have rugs on the floor, you gotta get those up so they can dry out. If you can, hang em up outdoors. My Dad puts them on the chain link fence in the backyard.

4.  Air it out. 

Run some fans, maybe a dehumidifier. You don't want mold to form, and mold forms when you have dampness. If you can, open some windows.

5.  Clean. 

Once you think you're dry, you gotta make sure you disinfect that floor. Anything the water touched needs cleanin'. You never know what came in from outdoors, after all.

6.  Document.

As you go, make a little list of stuff you took out of the basement. Write down things like what was wet, what you had to toss, and keep it with your list of estimates and receipts. It'll make it easier if you have to file with your insurance.

So there you have it. Here's hoping you stay dry out there!

Floodingly yours,

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