How to Repair Basement Water Damage

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Water seeks the path of least resistance, and after a heavy day of rain that path usually leads to the basement for many homeowners. A flooded basement, however, does not have to lead to expensive repairs. Treated immediately, most basements can be restored to their original condition.

Things You'll Need

  • Mop
  • Water bucket or "Cadillac"
  • Electric blower fan
  • Replacement carpet liner pad
  • Replacement carpet (depending on extent of damage)
  • Electric wet/dry vacuum
  • Remove all furnishings (couch, chairs, etc.) from basement floor.

  • Pull out all carpeting.

  • Remove and discard insulation liner pad below main carpet.

  • Use wet/dry vacuum to remove the majority of water from the basement floor.

  • Use mop and water bucket to remove the remaining water from the basement floor.

  • If the original carpet has severe water damage, it may not be salvageable. In this case,
    remove and discard the carpet along with the carpet liner. If the carpet has moderate to low water damage, proceed with steps 7 to 10.

  • Connect the blower fan to an electric outlet.

  • Place a section of wet carpet over the electric blower fan. Run the blower fan continuously for one day over this part of the wet carpet.

  • After one day, check the carpet. Depending on the amount of water and the type of carpet, it may take more than one day to dry a section of carpet. For a standard 1/4-inch thick carpet, a 10-foot section of carpet should be completely dry after one day of continuous blowing from the electric fan.

  • Repeat the above process until the entire carpet is dry, moving the electric blower to different parts of the wet carpet.

  • Place new insulation liner pad on the basement floor.

  • Cover the new liner with dry carpet. If replacing old carpet, cover the new liner with new carpet.

  • Replace furniture in the basement if necessary. Some furniture may have to be replaced, depending on the amount of water damage they sustained. Wood furniture is particularly vulnerable to water damage.

Tips & Warnings

  • Identify the source of the water leak. Doors and windows are the most likely places where leaks are found. If the basement has a wood foundation, the wood will likely rot if exposed to excessive water. Replace damaged wood, or, at a minimum, fill damaged area with wood filler.
  • Be extremely careful when plugging in the wet/dry vacuum. If possible, do not plug the vacuum into an electrical outlet inside the basement. Run an extension cord from an undamaged room instead. The same advice applies when operating the electric blower fan until all the water has been removed from the basement. Failure to do so could result in electrocution.

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