Flood damage is one of the most destructive and upsetting situations that can occur in your home, and basements are often especially prone to water damage. When you’re staring at standing water in your basement, it’s likely that all you can think about is getting rid of the water as quickly as possible. That’s not always the best idea though, as there are many issues to consider when recovering your basement from water damage.

Don’t Rush

Even though it goes against your instincts, don’t rush to pump water out of your basement. It is not safe to drain your basement too fast, because major structural damage to your home can occur due to the outside pressure on your walls being greater than the interior pressure. You could end up with a cracked floor and walls, and even the potential of a collapse. Instead, follow these guidelines for safely pumping water out of the basement.

Safety First

Don’t enter your flooded basement without ensuring that the electricity is off. Also turn off all natural gas or propane valves. Once it’s not dangerous to go in, take pictures of the water damage for insurance reasons. Ventilate your home by opening windows and doors. If there is any flood water outside your home, wait until it is no longer covering the ground around your house before beginning your pumping. When using a basement water pump indoors, do not use one that is gasoline-powered that may produce dangerous carbon monoxide fumes. You’ll need a submersible pump to remove water in your basement, which is designed for safe use in standing water situations.

When you’re ready to begin, pump the water down 2 to 3 feet and mark the water level. Wait overnight and check the water level to make sure it has not risen; if so, it is too soon to drain your basement. After you’re certain the water is no longer rising, pump the level down 2 to 3 more feet and wait overnight. Keep repeating these steps until your basement is clear of water.

Take Your Time

Don’t panic that you are not draining all of the water from your basement at once. It’s acceptable for this process to take several days. If you see any signs of structural problems in your slab or walls, such as cracking or buckling, stop using the basement water pump because you may be creating extra pressure on your home. Wait to try again after water outside your basement has fully receded.

When you have completed the process of pumping all of the water out of your basement, you’ll need to replace everything that was saturated with water in order to avoid hazardous mold growth. This means that flooring will need to be replaced. For help choosing and installing new flooring, click here to locate a reputable local flooring company. As soon as you get your flooring and other belongings replaced, you’ll be back to enjoying your basement as much as before.