Bob Vila Radio: Basement Flooding Damage Control

These basement flooding cleanup tips may help as you begin to assess and address the damage done. Time is of the essence.

Basement flooding easily ranks among the top ten homeowner nightmares. Though recovering from a flood certainly isn’t a cinch, the following tips and pointers may be helpful as you begin to assess and address the damage done.

Flooded Basement Cleanup




Safety first: water conducts electricity! Under the circumstances, don’t even think about venturing into a flooded basement area until you’ve shut off the household power. If there’s water between you and the breaker box, call the electric company.

Once you’ve gained safe access to the basement, open all available windows. If you have a sump pump installed in the basement, fire it up. Alternatively, you can use a wet/dry vac to suck up residual water. Once there’s no more standing water, set up as many fans as you can get your hands on.

Drywall that’s been soaked will need to be replaced. (Pros recommend cutting it away 18 inches above the flood line.) Wet insulation and carpeting—really any building material that wicks moisture—will also likely have to go.

If you have wooden baseboards, use a pry bar to pull them away from the wall. If you get them out quickly enough, you may be able to use them again.

Once you have things dried out, use a mold-and-mildew preventive to kill spores before they can take root and multiply. Remember: time is of the essence!

Bob Vila Radio is a 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day carried on more than 186 stations in 75 markets around the country. Click here to subscribe, so you can automatically receive each new episode as it arrives—absolutely free!