What should you do if your basement floods?
Basement flooding can happen at any time. Anyone with a basement, even if it has never flooded before, is vulnerable. Flooding is particularly common with heavy rains or quick snow melt. There are certain critical things you should know if your basement has flooded. Consider your family’s health and safety first and foremost. Entering a flooded basement might be dangerous! When in doubt, do not enter the flooded region unless a competent specialist tells you it is safe to do so. Consider the following before venturing down your basement when you find it as flooded basement:
Electrical Shock – There is a true risk of electrical shock when your basement is damp. Turn off your home’s power at the main breaker switches if you are confident that you can do so securely. If you know or believe that water has risen past the level of your electrical outlets, baseboard heaters, furnace, or is near your electrical panel, do not enter your basement. Electricity may travel through water or wet floors, resulting in a strong electric shock. The Electrical Safety Authority has further information about flood safety.
- Gas leaks and odors- If you smell rotten eggs from a gas leak, evacuate your premises.
- Open all doors and windows if you can do so safely.
- Electrical switches, for example, should not be used since they might cause static electricity or a spark.
- Use no lighters or matches, and do not smoke.
- Learn more about natural gas safety as well
Pollutants – Sewage contains bacteria that can spread disease, and floodwater in your basement may have come from the sanitary sewer and contain raw sewage. Wear protective equipment, such as gloves, safety glasses, and a face mask, and wash thoroughly after any contact with sewage or items touched by sewage. You must as well know about the flooded basement
Chemicals – Cleaning can expose you to a variety of toxins, including those emitted by the cleaning products employed as well as those emitted by flood waters. When you reach to the cleaning step, be sure to ventilate adequately and minimize your touch and exposure as much as possible.
Structural damage – While not typical, some flood conditions can undermine walls or even ceiling structures. If you have any reason to believe that structural integrity has been compromised, or if you just don’t know, leave the area and contact the professionals.