How Do You Clean a Flooded Basement?


Cleaning a flooded basement requires removing all remaining water slowly to prevent the foundation from cracking. Necessary supplies include latex gloves, a dust mask, a water pump or generator, a shovel or vacuum and possibly a commercial cleaner. Fans may be needed for additional ventilation. Removing debris, sewage and other materials left behind reduces the chances of mold growth, lingering odors and permanent damage to floors and walls.

  1. Inspect the home

    Check the outside perimeter of the home for live electrical lines, entry points for water and foundation damage before cleaning the basement. Make sure the home is safe to enter.

  2. Turn off power sources

    Turn off all electrical power from sources, including circuit breakers and fuse boxes. Turn off gas and fuel valves.

  3. Open windows and doors

    Ventilate the home and basement by opening windows and doors. Set up fans throughout the home to increase ventilation.

  4. Remove standing water

    Use a gas powered water pump or generator to remove standing water. Follow all safety instructions when using gas powered equipment to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Work slowly to prevent water pressure from building up as this can cause cracks in the foundation.

  5. Remove remaining water

    Remove one-third of the water each day. Monitor water levels by marking the basement wall after each water removal session. Continually check the foundation for cracks. Do not remove additional water if foundation cracks appear. Contact a contractor to determine the extent of the damage.

  6. Remove leftover debris

    Wear a dust mask and latex gloves to clean the basement. Use a shovel or vacuum to remove debris from basement floor and walls. Scrub the walls and floor using a brush and commercial cleaner to remove silt, dirt, stains and mold. Allow the basement to dry thoroughly.