A leaky basement is no laughing matter. Water can contribute to mold growth after just two days, which means you need to dry out the house and get rid of moldy items as soon as possible. Follow these tips to restore your basement to its original condition.
Put safety first.
Before you trek down to your basement to find out where the water is coming from, put on a pair of rubber boots. They will not only prevent your feet from getting wet with possibly dirty or even sewage laden water, they will also protect you from electric shock. Do not try to touch electrical wires, devices, or outlets that may be wet.
Remove wet items.
Carpet and wood flooring, need to be removed.
1. Peel back carpets and remove the pad underneath by cutting it in to pieces and hauling out of the basement. Carpet pads hold most of the water, and in order to salvage the carpet itself and prevent mold or mildew growth, the carpet needs to dry out. Place something under the carpet (paint cans, chairs) anything to raise it up off the floow and start blowing COLD air under and around the carpet. DO NOT USE HEAT! Hot air and water make MOLD!
2. If the issue is severe enough use a dehumidifier to help remove the moisture form the air. If the flooding is severe enough, a professional water removal company should be called in to get the job done. But taking these extra steps will ensure you salve as much as possible while you wait for their response.
3. Sheet rock and finished walls should be cut, opened, and removed for proper air flow. If you get to the water fast enough and remove the carpet from direct contact with the walls, you may be able to dry it out in time before mold begins to grow. But in order to get maximum ventilation and air flow behind walls, sheet rock should be removed 2′ feet up from the floor. This is not a requirement, just a recommendation if the water has sat for more than 48 hours.
4. Take remaining furniture, important papers, or items of sentimental value out of your basement and to a dryer area in the house. Even moisture in the air (or dehumidification of the space) can damage personal items, papers and photos.
Drain the excess water.
If you have access to a wet-dry vacuum, plug it in to a dry electrical outlet to suck out the standing water. If you don’t, call a professional disaster cleanup crew. They have the proper equipment to remove the water and dry any wet surfaces so the basement doesn’t develop mold.
Find the cause of the leak.
A basement leak may come from a variety of sources. Check your water main pipe, water heater, and boiler valves to see if they are leaking. If they are, you should call a plumber to stop the leak.
If water is in multiple areas, then there is likely a lot of water under the slab of the basement and a draiange proffesional should be called. IF there is water in one main area, or this has happened in the same area repeatedly, then there could be a crack or . If the Check below grade windows to see if water is seeping through the walls. Sometimes a downspout dumps water close to your foundation and it enters the basement. Arrange the downspout so it drains well away from your house.
Sometimes water enters through gaps or cracks in windows. Seal your windows with professional grade caulking. If water is entering through a window well, invest in a clear plastic well cover to keep water from filling it up.
Check your walls for cracks and holes. You can use plaster, cement, or caulking to seal any openings in the basement walls.
Call a professional waterproofer.
If you can’t determine the source of the leak, or the leak continues despite your efforts, it’s time to call in the professionals. Waterproofing surfaces seals your basement so no water enters. They can also install an interior drain and sump pump system that drains excess water during an emergency.
If you find yourself in a leaky basement emergency, don’t hesitate to call the experts at Perma Dry Waterproofing. Call toll-free at 1-800-584-9118 today.