How to Eliminate Bacteria From Your Flooded Basement

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What You'll Need
Soap or cleaning solution of your choice
Hot water
Sponge or rag
Latex gloves
Protective face mask
Water pump (optional item, to be used if there is a great deal of water in your basement)

A wet basement can pose various problems around your home. It can be the source of dank, fowl odors. The dampness in a wet basement can damage the structure of your home and present a health risk to your family. Mold and bacteria may thrive in a wet basement and cause these other problems. In fact, if you notice musty odors coming from your basement, you can be sure mold and bacteria are present. Use the following four steps to get rid of bacteria in your wet basement.

Step 1 - Determine the Source of Your Leak

You may not actually see the mold, especially if it grows under carpeting or insulation, but you will need to quickly determine the source of the dampness. Water in your basement can be caused by many factors, such as leaking irrigation, or sprinkler pipes. Flooding due to heavy rain or snow is another cause, as are malfunctioning plumbing fixtures located on the floor above your basement, and cracks in your foundation.

Step 2 - Remove Accumulated Water

As soon as you determine the source of the water leak or flooding, remove it as quickly as possible. By attending to your wet basement quickly, you will eliminate the opportunity for mold and bacteria to grow.

If only a small amount of water has accumulated, you can wipe it up with a sponge or rag dipped in hot, soapy water. If you need to remove a large amount of water, you will need to use a water pump. If the flooding has caused the leak, you will must take particular precaution to prevent coming into contact the water. It may carry contamination from garbage or sewage. When cleaning up flood water, be sure to use protective equipment, including latex gloves and a face mask.

Step 3 - Disinfect the Area

After removing the initial water from your basement, scrub the entire area with soap and water. Afterward, wash the area with commercial disinfectant or diluted bleach. Again, make sure you use protective equipment. Dispose of any damp carpeting, wood, or other material that you cannot dry and thoroughly clean.

Step 4 - Waterproof Your Basement

To prevent future problems, take time to seal any cracks, holes, or openings you find in your basement. For small areas, use epoxy glue. For the larger spaces, you will need to use cement. If your basement is unfinished, you may want to waterproof the area. Unfortunately, waterproofing will not work for walls which you have painted, unless you choose to completely remove the paint.