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The Home Depot

Flooded Basement Cleanup Guide

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Basement > Flooded Basement Cleanup Guide
Flooded Basement Cleanup Guide

The major storm last night has left you a reminder that Mother Nature does pretty well whatever she wants. Your basement is a case in point. It’s flooded. And you are going to have to deal with the mess. Where do you start?

  1. 1.Safety First

    The major storm last night has left you a reminder that Mother Nature does pretty well whatever she wants. Your basement is a case in point. It’s flooded.

    If your fuse box hasn’t been affected, kill the power down below. You might need to use something like a mop handle to switch-off the electricity. Try not to make contact with the water without first donning rubber boots. Don’t want to mess with the AC current? Contact a licensed electrician.

  2. 2.Wear The Right Clothes

    It’s time to dip into the mess. Your clothes need to fit the task. Throw on an old long-sleeved shirt, step into the waterproof boots, wear your waterproof gloves, and attach a protective face mask.


    Since you’re about to enter a potential Hazmat Zone, you want this type of protection. There’s now floating dirt, bacteria and nasty germs that have mixed with the untreated water. Mildew and molds also like to make dark places their homes. You don’t want to inhale any unwelcomed spores.

  3. 3.Draining The Basement

    Because of the flooding, your basement is now a mini-weather system. Draining the water isn’t a race. Let’s say the water is a couple of feet deep. You want to go slowly because if you extract the water too fast, you’ll create the equivalent of a low-pressure system down there. Physics-wise, going at breakneck speed will create higher pressure on the outside. That’s bad.


    It could cause your basement walls to cave-in.


    Not that much water downstairs? Just mop it up and dump it in the nearest drain.

  4. 4.Clear the Space

    Before we begin to dry the understructure, move the objects that are in the way like boxes, furniture and rugs. Call a professional carpet cleaning service first before you simply decide to tear out the carpet. They could save you the cost of a whole new floor covering job.


    Now that everything has been removed and has been displaced to a drier area, it's now time to act with deliberate speed. You don’t want bacteria to grow, mold to sprout, and mildew to foul the air in your basement.


    If you have windows, open them to allow continuous airflow. Gather every fan you’ve got and move them downstairs. If you think the basement dehumidifier still works, have it checked by an expert before you turn it on. Don’t use any electric-powered appliances that have been underwater either until you first consult a professional. Don’t have a dehumidifier? Now might be the time to get one.

  5. 5.Drying Out

    As the room is starting to dry, you’re going to want to bring in the cleaning materials. Assuming you don’t have the area carpeted, start with the walls using a mixture of 5-gallons of clean water and a cup of bleach. If the floor is bare, clean it by using the same proportions. Be thorough and hit all areas that may have touched the slime.


    You’re done, but for good measure run the fans and the dehumidifier for a few days.

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