If your basement has flooded, there are some really important things you should know. When in doubt, don’t enter the flooded area until you are told it is safe by a professional qualified to do so.
First and foremost, consider your family’s health and safety. Entering a wet basement can be very dangerous! Before you enter your basement, consider the following:
Gas leaks – Protect yourself against gas leaks. If you smell gas, leave the house right away and then call your gas provider.
Electrical Shock – When your basement is wet, there is a legitimate risk of electrical shock. If you are positive that you can safely do so, turn off your home’s power at the main breaker switches.
Pollutants – Sewage can contain bacteria and transmit disease and the floodwater in your basement may have originated from the sanitary sewer and contain raw sewage. Wear protective items including gloves, safety glasses, a face mask and be sure to wash thoroughly after any contact with sewage or items touched by sewage.
Chemicals – Cleaning may expose you to a wide range of contaminants, including those from the cleaning agents being used, as well as those that may have entered from flood waters. When you get to the cleaning stage, be sure to ventilate well and limit your exposure to contact and exposure as best you can.
Structural damage – While this is not that common, a flood with certain conditions may weaken walls or even ceiling structures. If there is any concern that structural integrity has been compromised, or you simply don’t know, leave the area and call in the experts.