Is the water in my basement clean? How do I properly clean it up?

Flood water can contain hazardous materials including backups from the sanitary sewer, chemicals, and pollutants. Clean-up and drying should occur as quickly as possible to minimize mold and the risk of additional problems. Here are some recommended steps to take when dealing with a flooded basement:

  1. Turn off the power before entering the basement. If you aren't able to access the circuit breaker, contact a qualified electrician. Do not use any electrical equipment while standing in water. Unplug all electrical appliances.
  2. Protect yourself: flood water can contain hazardous materials, including raw sewage, chemicals, and pollutants. Use protective clothing, including waterproof boots, plastic or rubber gloves, protective eyewear, and a face mask when handling floodwaters. Keep children and animals out of the affected areas.
  3. Remove the water and dry out the basement using a wet/dry vacuum or sump pump and use fans or a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture and prevent mold. Do not use heat to dry out enclosed areas to avoid creating mildew and further damage.
  4. Move any wet items out of the basement including wet carpeting, drywall, and insulation. Discard or properly wash and disinfect all toys, clothing, furniture, and other contaminated objects.
  5. Clean and sanitize walls, floor, and other surfaces.
  6. Consider taking extra steps to waterproof your basement for the future.

Show All Answers

1. What should we do if we have water backed up in our basement?
2. Why did the sanitary sewer back up?
3. How do I file a claim?
4. Who manages stormwater in my neighborhood?
5. Who do I call if my yard is flooded?
6. Is the water in my basement clean? How do I properly clean it up?
7. How do I schedule a bulk pickup for items affected by flooding?