There is a valid reason why homeowners prefer homes with basements, as this area can be used for all sorts of purposes. If you don’t want to invest in your basement, you can leave it unfinished and use it as a storage room. Apart from keeping wine and various food supplies in your basement, you can also put things you rarely use down there.
If you want to spend some money on renovations, you can turn your basement into a living space. This area can easily become your new study, a spare bedroom for guests, an entertainment area for your friends, or a private gym.
However, for this space to be functional, it needs to be clean and sanitary. If you have recently had a flooding incident or a nasty mold infestation down there, you need to thoroughly sanitize this area before you can use it again. If you do not clean it from top to bottom, it will become a home to various germs that can quickly spread through your home and impact your health.
It is essential to sanitize your basement after a flood caused by sewage backup. Since this water is contaminated with all sorts of toxic materials, you need to disinfect this area as soon as possible.
If you are wondering how to sanitize your basement properly, here are several tips.
The Difference Between Sanitizing and Disinfecting
A lot of homeowners use these two terms to refer to the same thing. However, there is one important difference between sanitizing and disinfecting you need to be aware of. While sanitizing destroys most bacteria in half a minute, disinfection kills all dangerous organisms in about 10 minutes.
Drying out the Basement
Of course, you cannot begin to clean your basement until all the excess water is gone. Also, it is important to dry out the basement so that mold won’t settle in. Using a fan can help you get rid of moisture, but a professional dehumidifier is a much better solution. This device doesn’t come in handy only after a flood incident. It can also be used to regulate moisture levels in your basement and prevent mold growth. In addition, it will remove allergy triggers from the air, improve air quality, and even have a positive impact on your utility bills.
Prepare for Cleaning
If your basement has a door that leads into your living space, cover it with a plastic sheet and secure it with tape so that all those odors do not spread through your house. Keep your cleaning supplies close to the door so you can grab everything you need without having to walk through your home in protective gear. Speaking of which, wear clothing with long sleeves, as well as gloves and boots. Before you start cleaning the basement, make sure you have enough chlorine bleach, mops, and scrubbing brushes.
Sanitizing the Basement
Using clean water to sanitize your basement is not a good idea. It won’t kill the germs or keep them from spreading through your basement and your home. Instead, use bleach to get rid of surface bacteria. Clean with a mixture of water and chlorine bleach and scrub all unfinished floors and walls with it. Leave all surfaces to dry and then scrub them once again.
Mold can often appear after a flood. If you notice that it has appeared in some places, it’s imperative to contact a mold remediation company before any mold spore spread throughout your home.
It might seem like steel wool or harsh metal brushes would do this job better, but they can seriously damage the surface of the concrete and widen already existing pores.
When you are done with cleaning, remove your protective gear and wash or throw away the clothes you have been wearing.
Preventing Flooding Issues
No one enjoys sanitizing their basement after a flood or mold infestation. However, it is just one of those things that need to be done. Fortunately, there are ways you can prevent flooding incidents from occurring in the first place. With clever waterproofing measures, you can keep your basement dry and free of mold. Let’s take a closer look at them.
Install an interior drainage system – Since concrete is porous, it’s impossible to prevent water from seeping through it unless you have a vapor barrier in place. However, you can install an interior drainage system that will collect all that water and direct it toward the sump pit, preventing it from flooding your basement. It can be installed in just one day since it does not require any excavation, which makes it more practical and affordable than an exterior drainage system.
Install a sump pump system – When there is a rainstorm in Des Moines, IA, all that water can saturate the soil around your foundation and accumulate under your basement. It is just a matter of time when it will infiltrate your porous walls and floor and end up inside. However, a sump pit can collect all that water before it can cause any damage and a sump pump will direct it away from your home.
Maintain your gutters – Gutters are an important part of your waterproofing system, but they need to be cleaned regularly. Also, be sure to inspect them for cracks and holes every once in a while, especially after a long winter.
If you wish to keep your basement dry and free of mold, contact Foundation Recovery Systems, and schedule a free inspection.