Because of their inherent belowground nature, basements are at constant risk of flooding during times of heavy rainfall. As such, it is important to know how to adequately and quickly respond to any water damage that occurs in your basement in order to prevent mold growth and further water damage.
How to Clean a Flooded Basement
First things first; open up all the windows in your basement (provided that it has stopped raining, of course). This will allow for increased ventilation and cut down on the humidity in the area, as well as ensure that your items will begin to dry out quicker.
Next, you have to remove any standing water that may remain. A shop vacuum can get rid of small amounts of standing water in your basement, but if you have a large amount of standing water, you may want to call a professional to have it removed safely, as flood water can be a health hazard.
Once the water has been removed completely, you need to go through your items and figure out what is irreparably damaged. Soft items like books and blankets will likely need to be thrown away, as they provide an ideal breeding ground for mold and mildew growth. For mildly wet items of clothing, you may want to head to a dry cleaner, as they might be able to salvage a few things.
You should move damaged furniture out of the area as well, either to be repaired or replaced. Make sure that there is nothing that is covering up a wet spot on the floor or wall.
There may be debris on the ground, either in the form of mud or just collected garbage that got pulled in with the water. Use a vacuum cleaner, shovel, and a pair of gloves to slowly and methodically remove it. You may want to wear a safety mask to ensure that you aren't breathing in airborne contaminants which may be left over.
Once the area has been reasonably cleaned out, and you have ensured that there is no standing water, debris, or hidden wet spots left, you can begin to dry out your basement. You can do this through a variety of methods: rented dehumidifiers, fans, and blowers work well with open windows, but they can be prohibitively expensive. Contacting a professional water damage remediation service can help you get access to more powerful equipment at a more reasonable price.
Once the area has been dried out, you'll want to use commercial cleaners or a mixture of one part bleach to four parts warm water to kill any mold and bacteria that may remain on water damaged surfaces.
Once you've cleaned and dried all previously wet surfaces, you can begin to redecorate your newly cleaned out basement! You may want to consider looking into waterproofing options, however, to ensure that a subsequent flood doesn't happen again.
For more information and help with your flood damage repair, contact a repair and restoration company that specializes in flood restoration.