Flooded basement – Ideas for cleanup?


We've had over 5 inches of rain the past five days and our old sump pump was sounding funny and running continuously even when there wasn't enough water in the sump pump hole in the basement.  Called the plumber yesterday afternoon and he put a new one in.  Only problem is sometime during the night it stopped working so this morning our basement has water in it.  

Called the plumber back this morning and hopefully he will be out sooner rather than later today.  

Most things in our basement are up off the floor but there are still many things that aren't.  Once the sump pump gets replaced/fixed it will take care of most of the water.  

What else should we do to reduce the chance of mold and to dry things out?



Comments 34

  • Pljohns

    Oh Lisa-what a way to start the day!    Do you have any outside doors/windows that you could open once the rain starts to move some air through and help dry things out or box fans?  We have a finished basement that tends to get a bit muggy so we found this stuff called damp rid-it comes in a gallon bucket and you just open the lid and sit it somewhere-it doesn't smell and it absorbs the moisture and then you just throw it away.  We got ours at walmart and it works great-  for any water on the floor-kitty litter works good too and then just sweep it out.  

    Hopefully the plumber will get there soon!

  • Emelina

    Ugh! I’ve only had a basememt flood once and recommend the damp rid and trying dehumidify the area asap. Maybe getting one of those box fans too to help circulate the area and dry things out faster could help! sorry for the tough morning! I’ll go box up some sun and send it pronto! 

  • Deborah Bartlett

    All of the suggestions mentioned here are what I would say. Even open boxes of baking soda placed around in a pinch can absorb musty odors.. unless you cannot tolerate it. 

    Lisa.. Don't wanna say this, but please dry up!!!! I seriously and sincerely hope things dry out downstairs soon! Hugs!! 

  • LK

    Hi Lynn,  Yes, we've used DampRid for many years in the basement and in the tack room in the horse barn to keep the humidity down.  Thanks for the kitty litter suggestion.  Hadn't thought of that.  Have plenty of it from this winter!  We put a bag in each car for icy roads and on the house sidewalk and driveway if it is icy.

    The plumber finally came this afternoon and it was a small piece of gravel got through some screen and was jamming something.  My brain is too tired to remember exactly what.  

    Wish it were warmer or cooler so the furnace or AC would come on.  That would have to help some.

    Melissa,  Good idea for the humidifier.  Don't have one at the moment, other than the one on the AC.  

    I'll take the sun Em!!     It's been cloudy, damp and cool all day today.  Hoping for some warmer weather and sun tomorrow at least.

    Deborah,  Thanks!  Guess the baking soda works in the refrigerator and freezer so it should work in the basement as well.

    The new sump pump ran continuously until there wasn't much water left on the basement floor.  The last time we had water in the basement was when the water heater leaked and we put those box fans down there.  It helped.  DH is down there now using the Shop Vac so that will remove a lot of the water.  

    Looking into getting a battery backup sump pump.  Anyone have any experience with those?  DH says he wants to install it himself but, well, let's just say plumbing isn't his specialty, so I am tempted to go with having it professionally installed.

    To top it all off when I went to pick up DGS from preschool today my car wouldn't start when we got back in.  Called the car dealer and talked with service department and he said it was either the battery or the starter.  Last time we had it in there they tested the battery and it was low.  Called AAA and he came out in about 45 minutes.  Tested the starter, battery and a few other things.  The battery tested just below the replace level.  Got home okay and going to get a battery tomorrow.  

  • Deborah Bartlett

    Whew! I'm tired just from reading about your day, Lisa! Glad everything is settling into place. You can get a new car battery, and it's as simple as that! ✔

  • LK

    Thanks Deborah!

    All in all yesterday did actually go pretty well considering!  I was thinking that at least on the lower pred dose I didn't completely wig out like I did when I was on a higher dose of pred and  we ran out of propane last November!    All is good!

  • Melissa G

    Good grief Lisa! Glad the plumber was able to fix things. Were you able to get your car battery replaced today?

  • LK

    Thank you, Melissa!  DS is picking one up at his work for me today.  He will bring it out today or tomorrow which is fine.  No place to go today (that I know of)  !  

  • Marie E Natzke

    LK, we've had a flooded basement several times. We had to use bleach and water mixture to wipe the walls and floor down to kill the mold we had growing. It was very humid out at the time and the mold grew quickly. Simple green is another cleaner we used as well. The water was up to our knees and was there for over 12 hours. I know both options would be a trigger for you. We also put fans to run for several days to help dry things out. 

    We have a flood control system and a battery backup. It's like a overhead sewer. All the water from the basement goes into a holding drum in the floor when it gets to a certain level it's pumped out. The water from 1&2 floor go directly out to the sewer. When we have a flooding rain there's a door for lack of a better word that keeps the water from the sewer from backing up into the basement. We haven't flooded since we've had this system. 

    Hope things dry out for you quickly!!

  • LK

    Thank you for the information Marie!  It is so good of you to remember those things would be triggers for me.  DH put several fans down there and they have really helped.  He has also bagged up and thrown away some things that needed to go anyway.  Your system sounds like a really good idea.  We are on a septic system so do not have any sewer lines.  That's basically what our sump pump does.  The tiling around the outside of the basement walls drains into a recessed hole in the basement floor where the sump pump is.  When the water pushes the float up the pump turns on and the water flows up a pipe that goes up and out through the wall and empties outside.  We have an extension pipe that deposits the water further away from the basement wall so it isn't just coming right back into the tiling.  Today we got a battery backup system installed and also a backup/second sump pump which will automatically turn on if needed and the first one isn't working.

  • LK

    Thank you, Marie!  Hope you are not getting any more rain for awhile.

  • LK

    Sorry to hear that Marie!  We are getting rain, too.  So glad we have a sump pump that works!

  • LK

    Turns out we had a brand new dehumidifier in a box in the basement!     Opened it and turned it on this morning and have already emptied the "bucket" once.  Need to attach a hose section so it will drain directly into the basement drain.  Has already made a big difference in the dampness in the basement.

  • Emelina

    Hooray! I hope it helps to dry everything out and get you breathing better! 🤞🙏🥰

  • LK

    Spent two hours bagging stuff up in the basement to throw out.  DH has such a hard time getting rid of anything.  He has been trying but I don't think he realizes how teh dampness gets into things that weren't necessarily actually in the water.  I don't like to get rid of things either, BUT when it has gotten wet/damp, throw it out!!  Especially if it is made of cloth or paper.  Sad to say but there are boxes of things that have been boxed up for many, many years.  I check to see what is in it and if it isn't super important, out it goes.  He has been doing it when he can but and has gotten a few large bags of things out but I spent two hours and have 12 large bags to get thrown away.  Called our trash collection company.  Wanted to schedule an extra pickup but she suggested buying prepaid stickers for the extra bags.  We can buy a sheet of 10 at our grocery store for $12.50 which is a ton cheaper than the $75 charge for an extra pickup.

    Took a shower when afterwards.  Feels really good to get something like that accomplished.  I did wear my mask the whole time. 

    Lungs are complaining a little.  A little tight so used ProAir and doing better. 

  • Deborah Bartlett

    Lisa- It was nice of the lady on the phone to suggest a way for you to save money. 😀

    It sure does feel good to get things accomplished. The longer you left the stuff, the moldier it would have gotten. Plus, you would dread cleaning it up after a while. I am glad you got done with that task!

    My DH is a hoarder. It is very difficult for me. It is bad for my health. Stuff inside and outside. 🙏 I do my best to clean and to organize and to donate stuff when I can. 😌

    Pollen is bad here today. I had to use my ProAir twice. 

    Glad you took a shower after the clean up! Smart! ✔

  • LK

    Thank you, Deborah and Marie! 

    DH took all the bags outside this evening so that should help a lot.  Had to use my ProAir again this evening so really hoping I haven't irritated my lungs too much.  Really, really don't want to take too many steps backwards!!   DH suggested that I take it easy tomorrow and I may just take him up on that!  

  • Melissa G

    You accomplished a lot Lisa! I hope you are able to get some rest today! 

    My dh is also a hoarder. He was supposed to go away for work next week, I normally do a lot of cleaning when he is gone, but his trip got cancelled. Ugh, there are several things that need to go! I just may need to use the big outdoor leaf bags so he doesn't see what is getting tossed. 

  • LK

    Thank you, Melissa!

    Hi Marie!    Well, the lungs were a little unhappy this morning.    Felt tighter and that sort of rumbly, icky feeling but two puffs of ProAir pretty much took care of it.  DH was working in the basement this morning and I started to go help but he said I should not.  I know he is right but hate to have him have to do so much of it.  He is getting a little better about getting rid of some things that we just don't use or need anymore.  Thank you for asking Marie!  Hope you are doing well after your Humira injection this week!

    Trying to not get worse before Mother's Day tomorrow!!  Having family over for dinner.

  • Marie E Natzke

    LK, I couldn't help clean the basement either. So I understand what your saying. But you need to be careful you don't want to go backwards. I know how bad it is when I can't take the humira. I think I'm finally back where I was in February. I noticed a difference when I got up on Thursday. Easier to get out of bed and to walk first thing in the morning.

  • LK

    Marie,  You are so right.  I definitely DON'T want to go backwards.  Hadn't thought about what it would be like if I were in too bad of shape to take the Dupixent.  Thank you for the heads up and wisdom!!  That is awesome that you are doing so much better!!    Go Marie!!    You are in my prayers.

  • LK

    Hi Melissa!  Thank you for asking!  Thankfully it has been staying dry with the new sump pump.  Yes, DH has done a great job going through things and throwing out some things and drying out other things.  We have two dehumidifiers running and they are helping out a lot.  Have had 3 1/2 " rain since yesterday noontime and the pump has been running a lot but at least it is still running!  

  • K8sMom2002

    Yikes on the rain — so glad that your DH is cleaning things up for you and actually getting rid of stuff! What a terrific and smart idea to run the hose from the dehumidifier to the drains … 

  • LK

    Thank you, Cynthia and Melissa!  Wish I could say I thought of it (running the hose from the dehumidifier to the basement drain) but it was in the dehumidifier owner's manual!    

    So grateful for a working sump pump!  More rain yesterday and more rain and thunderstorms almost each day this week.