A wet basement can create various problems around your home over time. Besides odors the dampness in a wet basement can damage the structure of your home, and present a health risk to your family. Mold and bacteria thrive in a wet basement and cause these other problems. In fact, if you notice musty odors coming from your basement, you can be sure mold and bacteria are present. Use the following to get rid of bacteria in your wet basement.
Equipment You will Need
- Soap or cleaning solution of your choice
- Hot water
- Sponge or rag
- Latex gloves
- Protective face mask
- Water pump (optional item, to be used if there is a great deal of water in your basement)
Determine the Source of Your Leak - You may not actually see the mold, especially if it grows under carpeting or insulation. Even so, you will need to quickly determine the source of the dampness. Water in your basement can come from many sources, such as leaking irrigation or sprinkler pipes, or flooding due to heavy rain or snow. It can also come from plumbing fixtures located on the floor above your basement, or from cracks in your foundation.
Remove Accumulated Water - As soon as you determine the source of the water leak or flooding, remove it as quickly as possible. Attending to your wet basement quickly will limit the opportunity for mold and bacteria to grow. If only a small amount of water has accumulated, you can wipe it up with a sponge or rag dipped in hot, soapy water. If you need to remove a large amount of water, you will need to use a water pump. If the flooding has caused the leak, you will want to take particular precaution in being exposed to the water, as it could carry contamination from garbage or sewage. When cleaning up flood water, be sure to use protective equipment, including latex gloves and a face mask.
Disinfect the Area - After removing the initial water that has entered your basement, scrub the entire area with soap and water. Then wash down the area with a commercial disinfectant or with bleach diluted with water. Again, make sure you use protective equipment. Dispose of any damp carpeting, wood or other material that you cannot dry out and thoroughly clean.