If you came home and discovered that your basement had flooded, it is important that you work fast so that you are able to minimize the damage from the flooding. Flooding can ruin the materials in your basement and can lead to a mold infestation if you don't take care of it promptly.
1. Call for assistance
The first thing that you need to do is call for assistance. Look for a flood damage restoration team or storm damage restoration team in your area. These types of business have the equipment and the employees to come out and help you dry out your basement, save as many items as possible, and then deal with the damage that is left behind.
If the flood in your basement was caused by a local storm, the sooner you call, the higher up the list of people who need assistance your name will be. If the flood in your basement was called by a burst pipe, it is still important to call as soon as possible, but you should be able to get immediate help or be on a shorter waiting list for assistance.
2. Stop the Water
If you are able to, you are going to want to try to stop the water. For example, if the water is coming out of a broken pipe, see if you can get to the shut off for that pipe or if you can shut off the water to your home. The less water you have to remove, the better.
If the water is from flooding in the area, see if you can stack up sandbags around your home or at the entrance to your basement to keep water from getting into your basement. If you have a sump pump, make sure that it is on and actively pumping out water.
3. Turn off the Electricity
If you can safely reach your electrical panel, turn off all of the breakers that provide electricity to your basement. You don't know what has gotten wet, and you don't want to turn on anything that is electrically powered when your basement is wet. Water conducts electricity, which means any lose voltage could end up in your body, so be careful. If you cannot safely turn off the electricity, wait for assistance to help you with this task.
4. Keep Yourself Safe
Before you head down to your basement to start cleaning up, make sure that you take steps to keep yourself safe. Flood water can bring bacteria, mold, and even sewage with it, so you want to make sure that you are taking the proper precautions to protect yourself. Put on some tall boots, pants, and a long sleeve shirt. Get a mask to breathe through, and get some protective eyewear on. When you get down into your basement, if your basement has any windows or air vents, open them up so that you can get some fresh air circulating in your basement.
If your basement has flooded, call for assistance. Turn off the power to your basement and try to stop the flower of water. Make sure the entire time that you are safe and are protecting yourself from harm before you start worrying about saving your basement. These are the first steps you need to take in order to protect your basement from further damage and mold following a flood.
Contact your local mold remediation service for more information and assistance.