Residential and commercial properties are susceptible to flooding on lower structural levels any time that there are high water or natural disasters that bring water close to the structures. When a basement area or a lower living area of a work area of a commercial building retains water, it will be important to follow a plan to remove the water from the structure as quickly as possible. This will help to preserve the integrity of the structure including the walls and flooring of the residential or commercial property.
The first order of business should be to call in the professionals to help you remove all water from the basement area. If you are planning to begin the process to remove some of the water yourself, you will want to follow the following guidelines on how and when to pump water out of a lower level after a flood. Keep in mind that basements or lower level commercial buildings that are temporarily flooded with surface floodwater, experience water seepage that comes in through the walls, or water that comes in with a backflow from a nearby sewer line will rarely affect the structure of the building and will likely not damage the structure at all. But if there are rising waters outside of a lower level basement or low-level commercial area, it may be important to begin the process to drain the basement as soon as possible, if the rising water is still a threat to the property.
Next, you will want to wait to drain the water out of the lower or basement level, until the water on the outside of the room has receded. Utilize pumps, such as a ¼ or ½ horsepower pump to move the water out of the room. If there is a sump pump in the room, make sure that it is on and stays engaged to keep pumping the water out of the room.
Utilize a gasoline powered sump pump if the electricity in the room does not work on account of the flood, and make sure to ventilate it to outside. Check on the water levels outside of the flooded inner areas. If the water on the inside of the basement is higher than the water seen outside of the basement area, it is safe to start pumping the inside water outdoors. If while pumping you notice that the water levels inside and outside are level, stop pumping efforts for a little while to allow more water to recede outside.
The cleaning out of debris left behind by floodwaters or from a sewage backup will require some special handling. It may be necessary to shovel out any silt, dirt, mud, sludge sewage or debris from the basement area once the water recedes. If possible, stains and dirt stuck on concrete walls may be able to be removed with a high-pressure hose, scrub brush or other tool to scrape dirt from the walls. Take care not to wet the floor much if there is no floor drain to take the water out of the area, or use a shop vacuum to rid the floor of the excess water.
Next, you’ll want to start the drying process in order to prevent the growth of mold. If possible, rent or purchase a fan or dehumidifier to help dry out the area as soon as possible once it has been preliminarily cleaned of floodwater.
Remember to wear personal protection equipment (PPE) when handling floodwaters, since it may not be known if there are any contaminants in the water or not (such as bacteria, microorganisms or unseen viruses).
Additionally, be sure to avoid any shock hazards by carefully assessing whether or not it is safe to use any electrical appliances or equipment that may have been affected by the flood. Electrical appliances that may have been affected by the floodwaters need to be checked, and take care not to turn on a wet electrical appliance to reduce the risk of shock, appliance overheating or starting a fire.
If you experience a flood, floodwater intrusion or a backup of sewage at our residential or commercial property in East Alabama, just give us a call for fast floodwater, water damage, water damage restoration, flooded basement, flood restoration, flood or sewage remediation services. We are able to come to you 24/7 whenever you have a water damage issue at your home or office environment. Just call us today! We will come to you any time that you need us, and remediate your water damage, floodwaters or sewage backup quickly and safely. Call now!