Top Methods for Basement Water Removal
Major flood damage is without a doubt one of the most destructive events your home can experience and also one of the most emotionally draining and physically exhausting events you will endure as a homeowner.
Regardless of the issue or reason behind the basement leak or flood, water damage can significantly and negatively affect your walls, ceilings, the roof, your furniture and belongings and the overall foundation and structure of your home. If you and your home are subjected to flooding and water damage your first thought may be to pump the water out as quickly as possible and begin the cleanup process.
Before you rush into a quick DIY fix that you found on Google take the time to either do your research or call a professional for assistance.
It’s important to take the proper steps towards water removal and clean up in order to truly fix the problem. After the cleanup, you will surely want to look into preventive measures such as basement waterproofing to avoid any future leaks and floods.
Find the Problem
If you have, or are, experiencing wet basement issues the first thing you need to do is to find out where the water is coming from and why. There are various points of entry for water, but the main ones are your windows, the walls and the seams between the wall and the floor.
Once you have found the culprit, make sure to patch it in some way so that water doesn’t continue pouring or leaking in while you are struggling with the cleanup.
Some of the main reasons behind basement leaks and floods are credited to extremely heavy storms and rain, rapid snow melts and believe it or not – dirty rain gutters. There are various preventive measures you can take to help you keep your home safe from these kinds of issues.
Prepare for the Cleanup
Make sure to turn off all of the electricity that runs through the basement so you don’t hurt yourself while trying to fix your wet basement. Also make sure to wear protective clothing such as gloves, waterproof boots, goggles and any other protective gear you may need to guard yourself from hot water, bacteria and dirty water. Make sure to open the basement windows and introduce fresh air into the space to help with ventilation. You can also use fans to speed up the process.
In order to remove a large quantity of water from your basement you will need to acquire a submersible pump .
The pump is encased in a waterproof shell and features a sealed electrical cord and a fitting that connects to a regular garden hose or a sump hose, which is larger in diameter. The larger the hose, the more quickly the pump will be able to remove the water. In addition to the pump and hose you will also need a heavy-duty extension cord and a generator to run the pump. If the water is more than a few feet deep then you will also need a nylon rope to help you lower the pump into the water.
If the flood is less than about an inch deep then you might be able to pump out the water with a wet/dry vacuum. These tend to work very well, but they suck up the water into a tank, which can usually hold no more than four to five gallons of water.
Each time the tank fills up you will have to carry it to a basement drain or all the way upstairs to a sink to dump it. For big water problems this could quickly become exhausting and inefficient.
If you do decide to use a submersible pump you will have to set it up properly before you begin pumping the water out. Attach your extension cord to the pump cord before putting the pump in the basement. Make sure to secure the connection where it won’t be affected by the water.
You can do this by looping the cords around a ceiling beam or another heavy object that will hold the connection in place and keep it from getting wet. Attach your garden hose or sump hose to the fitting on your pump and then position the hose away from the house where the water can drain into a gutter or storm sewer.
Pump Out the Water
As mentioned earlier, you should not try to remove the water as quickly as possibly from the basement.
There is probably still an enormous amount of water pressure being exerted on the soil surrounding the foundation of your home and outside of your basement walls from any water that built up outside. The water inside your basement may be helping to balance the outside pressure and by pumping it out too fast the basement walls could crack or crumble inward. This would leave you with an even bigger problem than before.
To safely remove the standing water from your basement make sure the standing water outside your home has receded. Use a pump to help to remove the water inside your basement.
If you are using a gasoline powered pump make sure to properly use it in a ventilated area, because using this pump inside will create exhaust fumes and can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Remove about a third of the water and then check to make sure there is no more water leaking in from outside the basement walls.
Make a mark on the wall to note how much water was pumped out and wait a day to see if more water leaks in. If you can’t find the mark the next day it means more water leaked in and you need to find the source. If the water level has not changes then you can pump the rest of the water out until the basement is completely drained. If at any time you notice pronounced cracking or crumbling of the walls strop the draining immediately.
Don’t rush this process. The damage has already been done to your basement anyway so it is more important to pump out the water properly without causing more damage to the structure and foundation of the home.
Clean Up the Mess
Unfortunately, a flooded basement means more than just a wet room in your home, which is bad enough as it is.
Most people use the basement for storage or as a bonus guest room, office or entertainment space. Once you have safely removed the water for your basement you will need to clean up the basement and completely sanitize the entire area to prevent hazardous mold growth.
The general rule is that you should replace anything porous that was saturated with water. This includes drywall panels, carpets and furniture. There are companies who can help you with this process, but their services do not come cheap.
Use a shovel to get rid of the mud and debris while it is still damp and wash down the walls before the dirt dries and hardens. Make sure to sanitize the basement floor and walls with a strong chemical such as bleach. Once you have cleaned the area and sanitized it you can speed up the ventilation and drying process by using fans and dehumidifiers.
Make sure to inspect your basement for leaks, cracks or other issues that may put you in danger of another flood in the future.
Fix It & Employ Preventive Measures
Surviving a flooded basement once is one times too many, but having to do it again after you spent money to fix it and replaced your belongings is even worse.
Make sure that this never happens to you or your home ever again.
Hire a professional inspector to examine the space and to let you know what needs fixing, and then highly consider investing in professional waterproofing services.
There are various methods of basement waterproofing available and a wide range of preventive measures you can take to ensure your basement and your home stay warm and dry year round.
Educate yourself on the do’s and don’ts of basement waterproofing and decide whether the service will be a worthwhile investment for your property.
Work With a Professional
While it is possible to remove water from your basement on your own and to take care of the entire clean up process, it is obviously always easier and more efficient to work with a professional contractor.
Triad Basement Waterproofing has been in the business of basements for more than 27 years and we can assist you with all of your basement needs. Whether you need help with a leaky and flooded basement or whether you are interested in preventive basement waterproofing services we guarantee a professional job well done by seasoned experts every single time.
If you have any questions about leaky and flooded basements, or about any of our services don’t hesitate to give us a call. We would be more than happy to answer any questions and to help you make informed decisions about your home and your basement.