Having a flooded basement can be a nightmare. If you are going to try to pump out the water yourself, it is important that you follow important precautions. These precautions and steps to safely remove the water from your basement are detailed in this article.
Tools and Materials
â€¢ Dust maskâ€¢ Flashlightâ€¢ High waterproof boots or hip wadersâ€¢ Gas powered water pump (you can us an electrical pump with a gas powered generator)â€¢ Rubber glovesâ€¢ Channel Locks, or pipe wrench
Step 1 - Getting a Status on the Flood Waters
The first thing you will want to do is determine if the flood waters have receded. If the flooding was due to storms, then you will want to check with emergency officials to find out if it is safe to return home and start the water remediation process. If the flood was due to a break in the water or sewer lines, then you will want to check with the utility officials before proceeding.
Step 2 - Checking the Outside of the Home
Before entering the home, check around the outside of the house carefully. This is especially important if there is large amounts of standing water around the house. You will want to check for downed power lines or damaged trees with large branches about to fall or with extensiveness root damage. If there is any of the aforementioned damage you will then want to call the electrical company, in the case of downed power lines, or a tree trimming service in the case of a large damaged tree about to fall or loose large limbs.
Once the yard area is secured, you will want to check the integrity of the structure of the house. Check around the foundation to see if there are any new large cracks. Also check for any signs of frame work or chimney damage. If there seems to be significant damage, then you will want to call a building inspector or reputable contractor to assess the safeness of the building.
Step 3 - Final Security Steps before Entering the House
After taking care of any problems mentioned in steps one and two, you will want to check to be sure the water has subsided from the main floor before entering the structure. Also make sure that you don't smell any gas. If you smell any gas or discover any any damage to gas lines, call the gas company before entering the house.
Step 4 - Making Sure Electrical and Gas is Turned Off
Even if the electrical service was turned off in the neighborhood, you should still make sure the electrical main switch for the house is turned off. The power company could turn the electricity on at any point without any warning. Use a wooden stick to turn off the main switch. If you have to stand in water to flip the main switch, then call an electrician to turn off the electrical service to the house.
Once the electricity is turned off, then turn off the gas valves in the house. This can be done with channel locks or a pipe wrench if the valve does not have a handle. Locate the gas meter, which could be outside or inside a corner of a basement or in a utility room. If the valve is parallel with the pipe, the gas is on. Turn the valve so it is perpendicular with the pipe (this is the off position).
Step 5 - Ventilating the House
It is very important ventilate the house by opening windows and doors. This will allow the fumes to escape and start the drying process.
Step 6 - Pumping out the Water
As mentioned in the introduction, you must pump the water out in stages if your basement is heavily flooded. Make sure there is proper ventilation where you are using gasoline driven equipment. Pump out the water about two feet at a time. If you pump out the water all at once, you could cause some caving in of the basement wall. You want to give the pressure between inside of the walls and the earth surrounding them a chance to equalized before pumping out the next two feet of water. Mark the water level with a pencil before leaving the basement.
The next morning make sure the water level has not risen above the pencil line. If it has, wait till the water recedes back to the pencil line till pumping out the next two feet of water. Then come the next morning to check the new pencil. Repeat this process till all the water is pumped out of the basement.
Then you can start to clean and dry out the house and basement.
Although you can drain the flooded basement yourself, but it's always best to get the job done by a professional. You may check the list of professionals at the website www.handycanadian.com.