Alberta Flood:Tips for How to Clean a Flooded Basement

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Cleaning up a Flooded Alberta BasementAs floodwaters slowly recede across Alberta and evacuation orders are lifted, many homeowners are getting an up close and personal look at the type of damage Mother Nature wreaked on their residence, with victims likely getting in touch with their home insurance provider to see if they can make a claim for some of their losses.

With many homeowners having cellars, this could be the portion of homes that may need the most attention, as concrete floors are likely still drenched in flooding from nearby rivers and excessive rainfall.

The following tips may prove to be useful as Alberta homeowners begin the recovery process.

Before even starting, it's a good idea to document where the damage has taken place. While Canada home insurance doesn't provide coverage for overland flooding, water pipes and broken down sewer systems may be covered, depending on the situation and varying circumstances.

Get the Water Out

Naturally, though, getting the water out of the basement is what's most important. While some floods may be too significant to pump out, an industrial-strength wet-dry shop vac should be able to suck up the brunt of the water that's accumulated. However, if the vac is too small for the job, it may be best to get in touch with a professional, who knows about how to space out the removal of the water so that dumping it outside doesn't oversaturate the soil.

While the water may be removed with a shop vac, it may not get rid of everything else, such as if mud and debris came in with the water. The easiest way to get rid of this is with a shovel, ensuring that all the mud has been removed so that mold doesn't form. Depending on what the water is - such as if it's sewage or rain water - belongings that remain should either be thrown out or dried off. If sewage was part of the flooding, it may be best to toss everything out due to the potential of being contaminated with disease.

Rugs may Need to be Tossed

With any luck, there won't be any severe damage to the flooring or walls. There's a good chance, though, that at least some features of the cellar have been ruined. Home improvement experts say that if the cellar floor was lined with carpet, it's best to throw it out and replace it. Additionally, the drywall and insulation on the walls may need to be removed and replaced as well, depending on how high up on the wall the flooding resided.

Many homeowners keep some of the home's largest appliances in their basement. But if water leaked into crevices that shouldn't be wet, the flooding may have ruined them. Thus, before turning on dryers, washing machines and water heaters, it's best to get in touch with a trained professional, who can offer their opinion as to whether they can still be used as-is or if they can be repaired.

After several days of being soaked in water, it can take a substantial amount of time for the basement to fully dry out. Using various drying measures - such as keeping the windows and doors open, strategically placing various fans and utilizing dehumidifiers - this can help expedite the process.

Over the next several days after the basement has been cleaned, homeowners are encouraged to examine the area to check on whether things are drying out and to see if mold has developed. If mold formation becomes an issue, this could be a sign of more significant issues that may require a professional to correct.