Flooded basement can be very tricky to handle. It is the lowest point of our house and quite naturally, water will accumulate in our basement. The only thing we do is to find an electric pump and remove the water from the basement. Even if we have mopped the floor dry, the problem doesn’t stop there. Severe black mold infestation could finally emerge. This is a common situation in a basement with water damage. Two months after the flooding, we could be horrified at what we see. Dark substances could be found on the floor and cardboard boxes. We often want to let the basement to dry out naturally, by opening the ventilation holes during hot days. We hope that some of the excess moisture can be removed.
Eventually, we will there is mold everywhere and it could affect half way up of cardboard boxes. It is absolutely disgusting, since we may never see so much mold infestation in our live. Mold problems could also cause health problems. People tend to suffer from symptoms like headaches and allergic reactions. Often, these symptoms will disappear after the person leaves the house for a whole day. Mold may induce sinusitis and other respiratory problems. Prolonged exposure could cause more severe allergic reactions and weakened immune system. Infants and elderly are at bigger risk of being affected by mold-related illness.
This problem will less likely to happen if remove any removable object from inside the damp basement for a couple of weeks. Organic material, such cardboard boxes, books, old wooden furniture and others should be removed immediately. Air should circulate properly inside the basement. It is a good idea to purchase a dehumidifier to make sure that the humidity level will go back to normal. Another thing that we should do is checking whether objects we remove from the basement are damp or even wet. If possible, we should dry these objects by putting them under the sunlight. Cracks on the wall and floor should be fixed and we may need to install a new sump pump. It is also a good idea to cover the wall with oil-based paint that prevents some moisture from penetrating from the outside.
Unfortunately, it is possible that we are too late in doing this. Mold already invades our damp basement. Molds are essentially plants with small roots that are embedded inside the wall, stairs and organic objects. This would be expensive, because we may need to hire mold removal professionals. They will scrape mold from any surface and treat it to kill any spore and embedded root. Drywall may need to be replaced and the whole basement needs to be disinfected. We will need to repeat the above step, by installing dehumidifier and making sure that all objects we want to store in the basement are dry. Once the basement is completely dry and fully restored, we should sort all objects we need to store. We should throwaway old cardboard boxes and water-damaged books. Use new cardboard boxes and we need to make sure that all items are completely dry.