Flooded Basement? Simple Steps to Sanitize Carpet

Flooded Basement Help

A pipe breaks. Your hot water tank leaks. Rain pours into your basement. A large snow melt floods your floor. If you have a flooded basement, you have to act fast. Mold and mildew can start to set in within hours, and the damage to your carpet can be permanent. But getting your carpet sanitized again is difficult. And it can be dangerous. After basement flooding, sanitizing the carpet is a major concern for homeowners.

There is specialized equipment that steps that can help you. Water logged carpet is nothing to play around with in the home. It can lead to serious air quality problems down the road. Make sure your home is disinfected after basement flooding.

Turn Off Your Electricity Before Sanitizing Carpeting

It sounds simple and it is. But people who forget this step in carpet sanitizing are at great risk. The combination of water and electricity can be deadly. Don’t set foot on your squishy carpet until you’ve turned off all power to your basement. If your circuit breakers aren’t marked turn them all off, then turn them on one at a time to confirm which one controls the basement electricity. If your circuit breakers are in the basement, call a professional water damage service to make sure your power is turned off before you head downstairs. Next, eliminate any extension cords and power strips from the floor and unplug or switch off all electrical appliances (washer, dryer, HVAC).

Find The Cause of Water Damage in Basement

This can be obvious, but not always. The cause for your flooded basement could be six inches of rain in the last 24 hours or a fast snow melt. If your problem isn’t clear, look for broken or leaky pipes. If clean water is leaking (say from a kitchen sink or bathroom shower) you can start dealing with the water damage in your basement. If the leak is from a sewer pipe or water is spilling out of your washing machine, you need to disinfect and sanitize the carpet. To do that job right you should call a professional immediately. You’ll also need the pros if your flood comes from an overflowing river. River overflows can contain all sorts of dangerous chemicals and debris like manufacturing plant chemicals or decaying animals.

Clear Water Damaged Carpeting

Think of a going out of business sale. Everything must go. Furniture, exercise equipment, storage units, all of those items may have suffered water damage, so they could be heavy and hard to move. Get someone to help you. Do not injure yourself during the process of reconstructing your water damaged basement.

Move any electronics upstairs so their components don’t corrode. Get artwork or photos off your basement walls to spare them damage from humidity. If you can’t move furniture, wrap the furniture legs in aluminum foil.

You can sometimes save books by freezing them (the freezing process pulls water out of the pages). Remember that just because something isn’t actually underwater doesn’t mean the flooded basement won’t affect it. Lots of damage comes from the high humidity that exists in any flooded basement.

Eliminate Water and Moisture from Basement

Now you can get at and treat the carpet. The tools you need depend in part on how much water you’re dealing with. Start with a wet/dry vacuum to eliminate as much water as quickly as possible. If you don’t have one, you can rent one at your local home improvement store.

If the amount of standing water is beyond the capacity of a wet/dry vacuum, rent an extractor instead to pull water out of the carpet. Extraction is 1,200 times more effective than dehumidification. Use the extractor very slowly so it slurps up as much water as it possibly can.

Bring in the Fans and a Dehumidifier

You may think vacuuming and extracting rids your carpet of all water, but it doesn’t. At this point your basement carpet isn’t sopping wet, but it will still be damp. Don’t stop. Keep going. If you don’t, mold and mildew will grow and work their damage. Sadly, mold damage is a component of a flooded basement and wet carpeting.

Turn on every fan you’ve got, but home fans usually aren’t super powerful. Consider renting high-powered fans from your home improvement store. Keep those fans running while you’re working, since they also circulate fresh air, which mold and mildew hate.

Plug in your dehumidifier but do know that your home dehumidifier isn’t built for a job like this. Large home dehumidifiers pull only four gallons of water out of the air every 24 hours. Rent the largest dehumidifier you can find so you can pull 30 gallons of water a day. Do keep checking on the dehumidifier and emptying it.

Dangers of a Flooded Basement with Water Damage

Think ahead always with a flooded basement. For instance, if your furnace is in your basement, don’t turn on the heat until you make sure it hasn’t been damaged by the flooding and that it’s safe to use. Even if your furnace isn’t impacted by the water damage, keep the basement heat in the mid 70s. Heat the basement more than that and you’re not doing that much to sanitize your carpet while you are encouraging mold and mildew growth. They both love high temperatures.

Sanitize the Carpet Pad

The pad under your carpet (most carpets have one) is probably just as soaked as your carpet. After you’ve eliminated the water from your damaged carpet in the basement, peel the carpet back. Watch out for carpet tacks. Pull out the wet pad, even if you have to cut it into strips. Take it outside to air out if the weather is warm and sunny. Or keep it inside and use the fans and dehumidifier. If it’s too badly water damaged, you may want to replace it.

Disinfect Odors from Flooded Basements

Often, you will have to deal with some odors from the water damage in the basement. They’re likely to get worse if you don’t disinfect odors from flooded basements and moisture. If your flooding was caused by storm water, river water, or a leaky sewer pipe, slip on your rubber gloves and sanitize the room. Use detergent on every surface, including hard floors and walls. Sanitize and disinfect everything with a chlorine bleach solution.

Preventive Measures for Water Damaged Basements

Basements that flood once tend to flood again. Think about how to prevent future repetitions so you can avoid doing all this work again. Can you do something to prevent outside water from coming toward your foundation? That might mean building a swale or extending your downspouts so rain is deposited on the ground at least 10 feet away from your foundation. Keep your gutters open so they don’t overflow. Make sure water drains away from your home rather than pooling up right next to it.

Look for any depressions in the ground next to your home’s foundation walls. If you find any, fill them in with dirt so the water drains away from the house. Use a clay-type soil that sheds water instead of sandy soil that allows water to soak into the ground. Make sure to keep at least eight inches between the top of the earth and any wood or stucco on your house.

Do you have a flooded basement with water damaged carpet? Sante Property Damage Reconstruction is always available to help. Feel free to call us anytime at (844) 254-1480.  

If water entered your home through cracks in your foundation or basement walls, patch them and seal them. Use polyethylene masonry caulk for small cracks, and upgrade to hydraulic cement for cracks that are 1/4” wide or larger. If you suffered a leaky or broken pipe, you’ll need to replace the pipe and repair any drywall or plaster that was damaged by the leak.

Help for Basements and Carpeting Damaged by Water

Basement flooding can be overwhelming for homeowners. The lack of air access, staircases, storage issues, and much more make this very difficult. Sante Property Reconstruction understands the nuances of basement reconstruction after flooding. Contact us today to find out how quickly we can resolve basement flooding now and in the future.

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Water Damage Reconstruction Services

Sante Property Damage Reconstruction
100 Peters Road
Suite B
Bloomfield, CT 06002

Call (844) 254-1480

Business Hours: 24/7

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Sante Damage Reconstruction
100 Peters Road
#B
Bloomfield, CT 06002

Phone: (844) 254-1480
Business Hours: 24/7

CT Contractor License: 0609599

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