How to prevent mold after basement flooding

mold in basement

Indoor exposure to mold has been found to cause different upper respiratory tract problems, wheeze, and cough even in healthy people.

A cracking foundation, humidity during summer, spring showers, and flood can all take their toll in your basement, particularly its moisture levels. And when there is moisture, you can expect mold to thrive as well.

To prevent mold after basement flooding, there are several steps you can take to keep you and your family safe from different health problems mold can cause.

Turn Off Electricity in Your Basement

Human skin, electricity, and water don’t play well together so always steer clear and switch off your home’s electricity before you go to your basement. As it will naturally be dark in the basement, make sure you use battery-operated and high powered flashlight. There are new affordable LED versions that can give you enough lumens.

Pump Water Out of the Basement

Pump out the water from your basement with a gas-powered water pump. While it may still leave some standing water on the floor, the water pump will at least let you step into your basement. Try fixing your sump pump then and let it pump out the rest of the water. You can also use dry or wet vac to pump out the water. Don’t forget to remove the filter of your vac if it got one since it is not meant to get wet and water will only ruin it.

Get Rid of All Wet Items

It is a painful step but is extremely necessary. Move all the stuff you have in your basement to a dry spot. The driveway or your garage will do. This is because you have to clear up enough space for the rest of the steps. Ask help from your family or friends for this step since you will move furniture or boxes. Working with several pairs of hands can get things done faster as you only got 48 hours before mold starts to grow.

Clean the Floor and Walls

Use soapy and warm water to clean basement floors and walls. Give them a nice scrub to get rid of any grime or dirt. If your carpet is soaking wet, pull it up and allow it to dry separately by placing it outside or in your garage. You will also want to pull up the padding as it can act like a large sponge and hold up lots of water. Form a tent with the pads and carpets for air to travel over on both sides.

Allow Air to Move Around and Eliminate Excess Moisture

After you removed all water from your basement, you should allow air to move around to get rid of excess moisture. You can expect the fastest results from industrial blowers. But, if you are on a tight budget, fans will do as long as they are powerful enough and are close to your floor. You can use a dehumidifier to wick excess moisture from air. Make sure you change the dehumidifier fan on a regular basis since a flooded basement can create lots of air moisture and this pan may fill up quickly.

A wet and moldy basement could be a sign of more significant problems. In that case, contact a foundation repair specialist in Cleveland, Ohio for assistance.

Effectively Remove Moisture From Your Basement

water in basement

Rain and flash floods don’t only pose risk to your safety because it can also potentially cause serious water damages to your house. There are times when your sump pump might not be able to keep up with the rain and water ends up accumulating in your basement. Storms can clog your storm drain as well, allowing the storm water to backup into your house that can cause a flood.

Knowing how to get rid of water in your basement is the first thing you should know to avoid having an instant swimming pool in this unlikely part of your home. Sadly, you should wait for the rain to stop so that you can deal with this damaging and messy aftermath.

Cut Off the Power

Before anything else, turn off the power on the floor where water gathered. You have to do this before you even set foot in the room because the last thing you want is to end up electrocuted. After turning off the power, protect your feet by wearing closed toed shoes.

Find the Source

To efficiently and quickly remove water from your basement, you have to determine the how the water got into your house in the first place. Make sure you check your basement floor drain to know if it got clogged during the flood. If ever this is the case, you should unclog it to give the water a place to escape.

If you don’t have a basement drain, you can use a pool pump, dry/wet shop vacuum, or sump pump to get rid of the water. The water amount present will help you determine what you should use to remove the water. In case the water is more than 6 inches deep, you can contact a water removal company as they can help you get rid of the water.

It could also be that you have foundation damage that requires basement crack repair by a professional contractor.

Check the Damages

If you still need some items that were submerged in water, allow 48 hours for them to completely dry out. Put the water logged items outdoors or in a properly ventilated area to dry if possible. Check the items after 48 hours to ensure that bacteria or mold will not grow or develop on them. When the item looks damaged beyond use or repair, throw it in the trash. Tear up the carpeting in the basement if there is any. Most of the time, water will cause permanent damage on the carpet and you have to tear and replace it.

Drying Time

Prior to cleaning your basement, wait for several days for it to completely dry out. See to it that you open as many windows and doors to allow fresh air to enter and help dry the place faster. You can also use a dehumidifier and fans to speed up the process but ensure that you empty the dehumidifier on a regular basis.


Wash the floors and walls to remove dirt, mud, and other debris that the water left behind. Any damaged drywall and insulation could spread mold and you have to throw them away. Use an anti-mildew spray once everything has completely dried out.

While removing moisture can provide temporary relief, it may not prevent future water damage. If you believe foundation issues are leading to basement moisture contact our proud partners Detroit Foundation Repair for a free estimate.