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How Do I Dry Out My Flooded Basement?

By Chris Williams on February 2, 2016.

There are a number of indoor insects that feed on fungus growing on damp surfaces. They’re all tiny and are found in dark, hidden, wet places so they’re often not noticed until they are present in large numbers. We often find fungus beetles or springtails when there has been a flooded area in a home. The homeowners thought they had cleaned up and dried out the space but didn’t realize how long it really takes to dry building materials and eliminate mold.

Step-by-Step to a Dry Basement

The University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension Service offers these guidelines for cleaning up after a flood:

1. Wear plastic disposable gloves and clothing that can be thrown out after cleanup.

2. After the water/sewage has receded, make sure you’ve disconnected all electrical equipment.

3. Wash down concrete or tile floors with a soap and water solution to remove as much residue as possible. Rinse walls and floors with clean water.

4. Remove and discard all wallboard and wooden baseboards and any paneling that has gotten wet.

5. Use fans and dehumidifiers to speed the drying of all surfaces to keep mold and mildew from growing.

6. Wash non-porous materials such as dishes, toys, tools, and other household goods in hot, soapy water and rinse thoroughly.

7. Before reinstalling materials such as drywall, wall paneling, and carpeting make sure all surfaces are completely dry and mold or mildew-free. This could take up to 30 days.

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