Whether it results from a damaged sump pump or improper basement sealing, a flooded basement can be an inconvenience for your household. Not only is it a mess to clean up, but it can damage or destroy any belongings that you were storing in the basement. However, moisture in the basement can become more than inconvenient if you don’t respond to it correctly. Being aware of the hidden dangers of basement flooding can help you prevent further issues.

Mold & Mildew

Mold and mildew thrive in dark, moist areas, and this is especially true of the basement after flooding. Because mold poses health and structural concerns for your property, the importance of removing mold is readily apparent. Even after you’ve cleaned up the floodwaters, be on the lookout for discolorations as well as strange smells and unexplained surges in allergy symptoms. If this occurs, consider calling a specialist.

Electrical Issues

After finding standing water in your basement, most people’s first response would be to race down to save whatever belongings they can. However, electronics in the basement, especially an electrical meter, make electrocution an unexpected hidden danger of flooded basements, even when the standing water isn’t deep. If possible, shut off the electricity running into the basement before you walk down there. If this isn’t possible, or the breaker is in the basement, contact professionals to shut down the power.

Structural Damage

Having a large amount of water in the basement can pose serious threats to a home’s foundation. The pressure can weaken the structure of a home, cause cracks and fissures to form in the walls of the basement, and cause the home to be more prone to future rain damage. Excessive moisture can also contribute to a sagging floor by damaging the joists and girders that support the floor from the bottom.

Pests

The structural damage to a home, such as the cracks in the wall, can leave it more open to infestations of small animals and insects. The moisture itself, as well as any rotting wood that results, will likely attract several species of insects. This may include ants, beetles, roaches, silverfish, and especially mosquitos, which lay their eggs in standing water.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.