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How to Soak up Water Without a Pump 

It's essential to act fast when pipes leak or heavy storms cause flooding in your home to minimize the damage. Some houses have sump pumps that work to defend your home from flooding. But the pumps rely on electricity, which can leave your home exposed to potential water damage if the power goes out. 

The area in a house most prone to taking in water is the basement. These spaces are typically at least partially underground, and water can seep through the walls when heavy rain or flooding occurs. Sewage and water pipes in basements can also leak and cause flooding.

You have several options available to you to remove water from the floor without a pump if water enters your home. Discover why it's crucial to act fast and how to be safe when removing flood water from your house below.

How Water Can Impact Your Home

Water can cause significant damage to your home and possessions when even minor flooding occurs due to mold, damaged possessions and damage to the home's structure. The damage water can cause is why it's essential to act quickly as soon as the flooding begins to recede in the event water enters your home or basement.

1. Mold

Mold poses one of the greatest threats when water enters your home because it can be challenging to get rid of entirely and can quickly spread to the rest of your home and possessions. Mold can cause many health issues, and it's particularly harmful to people with breathing conditions, children and people who are immunocompromised. You shouldn't attempt to clean up mold in your home if you fall into any of those categories because it can put you at risk of adverse health effects. 

Mold can begin to develop within 24 to 48 hours of water entering your home. You should assume mold has grown in your home and on your possessions if you haven't been able to dry your home and belongings within this time frame. Mold can grow on most organic materials, and the presence of water triggers mold growth. Inspect your entire home, including the walls, floors, baseboards, carpets, rugs, books, boxes and furniture, for signs of mold. 

Signs of mold include

  • A persistent musky odor 
  • Clusters of small spots in a range of colors — most commonly black, white, gray, green or a combination

A professional can inspect and test your home for traces of mold that may be harder to detect just by looking. It's a good idea to have a mold inspector come to your home if you've had water enter your house. 

How to Treat Mold 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests cleaning any porous items that have been exposed to flooding with soap and water to prevent mold growth. You should also remove any items from your home that have been wet for over 48 hours to clean them and allow them to dry outside the home. Removing your wet items will help reduce the chance of a mold problem developing, which can spread through your walls and cause long-term health issues. 

If mold growth has already started, you must act quickly to remedy the situation. Contact a mold specialist to remove the mold, or you can choose to remove it on your own. You can mix one cup of bleach with one gallon of water and use a rag or brush to scrub away the mold. It's vital to never mix bleach with any products containing ammonia because the mixture would result in toxic fumes.

You should always adhere to the following safety precautions when dealing with mold or potential mold in your home: 

  • Don't attempt to treat mold if you have any preexisting conditions or a weakened immune system.
  • Wear an N-95 respirator mask to help prevent breathing in mold particles.
  • Wear protective gloves and goggles to prevent particles from entering your eyes.
  • Open all doors and windows and run fans to improve airflow in the home.

Cleaning Mold From Towels

If the flooding caused mold to develop in your home and you used towels to help scrub it away, there are a few steps you can follow to ensure that your towels are adequately sanitized. As always, you should follow the precautions mentioned above when dealing with mold. From there, follow these steps to remove mold from towels:

  1. Brush off any visible mold particles from the towels outdoors and away from your home.
  2. Wash the towels in your washing machine using hot water and laundry detergent. 
  3. Inspect the towels after cleaning them for any signs of mold and repeat the wash cycle if you notice any mold still present. 
  4. Air-dry the towels outdoors, where the fresh air can help eliminate odors.
  5. Place the air-dried towels into your dryer on high heat for five to 10 minutes.

Following these steps should ensure that your towels are clean, even if you used them to clean mold off of your walls or belongings. 

2. Damaged Possessions 

Most items made of organic materials absorb water, and it can take a long time for them to dry out thoroughly. Your possessions are also susceptible to mold and mildew growth that can be challenging to remove. Items like books, furniture and carpets become breeding grounds for mold when exposed to water. You may have to throw some items out depending on how much water has soaked into your possessions. 

Electrical objects in your home can also become damaged by water because the components may rust and no longer work. You should never try to plug in something that's powered by electricity unless it's completely dry. Plugging in a wet electronic device can cause additional damage to the item and also potentially shock you or cause an electrical fire. 

Your best bet to salvage your personal belongings is to remove them from the flooded area as soon as possible. Ideally, you can place the objects outside in the sun to dry. 

3. Damage to the House Structure 

Soil saturation occurs when heavy rains or snow melts take place. Your basement walls and foundation face the risk of damage because the soil saturation increases the pressure placed against the walls. The increased pressure causes water to flow into your basement through cracks, leaks or where the foundation meets the basement footing. 

The pressure exerted on the outside of your basement begins to equalize as water enters because the water pressurizes both the inside and outside. The internal and external pressures help to prevent further foundational damage. Because of this, experts recommend not removing water from your basement until the water has started to recede away from your home. You may cause structural damage if you begin to clear out the water too soon, but you should still attempt to remove any objects on or near the floor. 

How to Remove Water From a Floor Without a Pump

Once the floodwater has started to recede, you should begin to remove as much water as possible from the floor when it's safe to do so. Follow these five steps to clear your home of water without a pump: 

1. Use a Mop and Bucket

If there's a significant amount of water in your basement, you can start by using a large bucket and scooping up as much water as possible. Dump the water away from your home to prevent it from entering back in. You could also pour it down a sink or tub drain if your pipes are intact and didn't cause the flooding. Continue using the bucket method until the water level has dropped to a point where you can no longer scoop up water. 

Next, use your mop to absorb as much water as possible. Wring out the mop in the bucket and repeat this process until most of the water has been removed from your floor. 

2. Turn on Your Heat or Air Conditioning System and Run Fans

It's vital to have as much airflow as possible in your home to aid in the process of drying out your home. If you can, open all of your windows and doors. Then, turn on either your heat or air conditioning system, depending on the time of year. 

You should also plug in as many fans as possible and have them blowing in different areas to further aid airflow. You should only plug in a fan if you're not standing in water and it's safe to do so. The increased airflow in your home will help dry your possessions and decrease the chance of mold developing. 

3. Run a Wet and Dry Shop Vacuum

You can rent a wet and dry shop vacuum from a local hardware store if you don't already have one. Wet vacuums are helpful because they can act as a replacement to a sump pump and can quickly suck up water from the floor, carpets, cushions and rugs. 

Run the vacuum over any areas that still have water and try to vacuum up as much water as possible. Like the mop bucket, you should empty the wet vacuum away from your home or down a drain once it's full of water. 

4. Soak up Water With Towels

While mopping and using a wet vacuum will absorb a lot of water, there may be some hard-to-reach spots that you can only access by hand. In this case, you should use dry towels and lay them over the wet areas. Leave the towels there for around five minutes so they absorb as much water as possible. 

After this, you can take the towels outside, wring them out and hang them to dry to repeat the process. Towels typically dry quickly and are designed to absorb as much water as possible. These linens are highly versatile, and you can place them under areas that would be hard to reach with a vacuum or mop. 

When removing water from the floor with towels, try to choose ones made of 100% cotton for the best absorbency. From there, choose towel sizes based on the area you're drying. Larger areas will be easier to dry with large bath towels, but it's worth noting these larger linens could be heavy if they soak up a lot of water. Smaller options like hand towels will be more manageable and work well to dry smaller areas.

5. Run a Dehumidifier

Dehumidifiers work by absorbing water in the vicinity. You can rent dehumidifiers from a local hardware store if you don't already have one. They're a great help to absorb water that has made its way into the ground and walls. As with all electronics, you shouldn't plug in the dehumidifier if you're standing in water. Monitor the dehumidifier and empty its bucket as soon as it's filled. Turn the dehumidifier onto its highest setting to see the most substantial benefit.

 

How to Stay Safe While Dealing With a Flooded Basement

You should adhere to the following guidelines to ensure you don't come into harm while removing water from your flooded basement: 

  • Shut off the electricity: It's vital that you don't touch your electric control panel while standing in water. Stand on a wooden stool that stands higher than the water while wearing rubber boots and rubber gloves, then flip the switches to turn off all electricity. The safest way to ensure your home is disconnected from running electricity is to contact your utility company and ask them to cut the power. You should still take these precautions even if your electricity is out in case it suddenly comes back on. 
  • Wear protective gear: You should wear waterproof boots, rubber gloves and waterproof overalls, if possible, to avoid direct contact with water. An N-95 face mask and goggles to protect your eyes are ideal, as well. Debris can pass through the water and potentially harm you, so you should always be cautious. 
  • Light up the area with flashlights: Use a bright flashlight to see the extent of the damage and what you need to do to remedy the situation. A headlamp with a strap is best so you can still have both hands free, and it also reduces the chance of the flashlight falling into the water. 
  • Avoid using electric tools: You should never turn on an electric tool or appliance while standing in water. Plug in appliances like dehumidifiers or fans in another room unaffected by flooding until you can move them into the previously flooded area.
  • Open the doors and windows: You should open all windows and doors to your house and air it out for at least 30 minutes before spending time indoors if the house has been vacant for several days. Even if you've been in your home, opening the doors and windows can help air it out. 
  • Contact professionals: Contact your gas company and the local fire department if you notice the scent of gas or have any reason to believe that a gas leak has occurred in your home. Don't reenter your home until an authority has told you it's safe to do so. 

Shop Towels at Wholesale Prices From Towel Super Center 

With Towel Super Center, it's easy to purchase a wide variety of high-quality towels to use for any purpose. We offer a vast selection of towels in all colors, sizes and types. We also have wholesale prices so you can purchase a large number of towels at once and save yourself money. Having a backup supply of towels is always a great idea if your home floods and you need to use towels to help remove the water from your house. 

Place your order online today so you can rest assured knowing you have premium towels that can help you absorb any water that comes your way. 

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