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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!   

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DIY, Floor & Wall

24 Responses

  1. idlife says:

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  2. arwebstaff says:

    Great article with tons of info! It is absolutely essential to waterproof your basement if you live in a flood zone or area with a high water table.

  3. maggierbs says:

    Homes that are located in areas with heavy rainfall, high water-tables and/or close to bodies of water should have waterproofed basements. Properly waterproofing a basement will not only keep water out but it will also keep moisture out. Unfortunately, there may be times when even a waterproofed basement is no match for Mother Nature and the forces of water and gravity. Another important item to keep track of is the storm drains (and other drainage) that border your property. It's worth it to monitor and clear debris away from these areas, especially if a storm is expected.

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

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