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With Tropical Storm Isaac set to hit the Gulf Coast this week, a lot of rain is on its way to the surrounding states. For me, the storm is reminiscent of two years ago, when my father called and said there was a “river” rushing through our backyard caused by 13 inches of rainfall over just two days, resulting in the most serious flooding Nashville had seen in 75 years.

Luckily, my family was safe and our home was spared – save for some flooding in our basement. Our house was built fairly recently, so unlike older homes that may not have proper or clogged drainage systems, our basement held up pretty well to all that water.

basement flooding diy controls

You can take action now to prevent basement flooding by clearing out gutters and drains and clearing snow and ice away from the house during winter months.

Waterproofing your basement is vital, especially right before winter months to prevent snow and sleet from building up and causing damage; waterproofing will also ward away growth of mold and mildew.

But when the storm has already passed and water has already taken over your basement, it’s best to take action as soon as possible. Follow these simple steps to drying out and sanitizing your basement or crawlspace:

-Start by opening vents and windows to let fresh air flow through. You’ll want to wear a face mask to protect yourself against mold, mildew and allergens.

-If you have carpets in your basement, you and your family will avoid health risks if you remove the carpet entirely. It’s highly unlikely you will ever be able to completely dry it out once it’s been saturated with water. Tile and concrete floors, on the other hand, are much easier to deal with. Use a mop to soak up as much of the water as possible, then use old towels or cloths to dry up smaller pools of water.

-Next you’ll need to sanitize the floor – water and bleach will work just fine, but use whatever cleaning solution you prefer. Set up fans to help continue to circulate air; investing in a dehumidifier will also ensure the space gets dry completely.

Once your basement is clean and dry, you will want to consider going back and looking at waterproofing solutions to prevent future flooding.

Our thoughts go out to all our friends, family, and readers affected by the storm. Everyone be careful and stay safe, sound and dry!   


DIY, Floor & Wall

21 Responses

  1. Morris Bench says:

    It will also be important to keep that waterproofing maintained regularly. Even the slightest flaw can quickly escalate into a huge leak.

  2. Paul Higgins says:

    Getting rid of the water is one thing, but eliminating the stench, humidity, and mold are quite another. Not preparing for that would be a serious mistake.

  3. Based from my experience, clear out electronics and most of the items from the basement. Still, never have someone occupy the basement if your area is prone to flooding.

  4. joeanna anthony says:

    Tips on how to waterproof your basement-
    * Stopping Leaks and Seepage
    * Repairing Holes and Cracks Before Waterproofing
    * Closing Cracks and Holes When Water is Entering Under Pressure
    * Waterproofing the Wall and Floor After Making Patching and Repairs
    * Packing a Leaking Floor Joint

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  8. Diana says:

    Recently had a plumbing leak and flooded my house. When found mold was half way up the wall. Insurance company brought a construction crew. House was to be move back in ready 18 Sept, it wasn't. I signed the checks but indicated that work still needed to be completed by 1 Oct. My concern is that the crew cut corners and but how can I be sure the mold is gone? Carpets were cleaned in place.

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Jessica YonkerJessica Yonker is a writer for HGTV.com and a professional glitter handler in training. She loves decorating her friends' homes without their permission and practicing for her inevitable appearance on...


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