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How to Prepare Your Basement for a Hurricane

Vital information for homeowners with basements as Hurricane Sandy approaches

A Hurricane is Coming, What Should you Do?

As I sit at my desk at home writing this blog it is Monday October 29th, 2012 at about 6:30 a.m. in Westfield, NJ, Hurricane Sandy is approaching us today, it is very windy and has just now started to rain.

It is too late to have a 7 Day Battery Backup Sump Pump or a Water Powered Emergency Sump Pump installed. All the stores are out of batteries and flashlights. There are no generators left for sale in the entire State of New Jersey.

Hurricanes are especially dangerous for basements because of two factors. Hurricanes have high sustained winds and a lot of rain. So the rains invade your basement and then the winds wreak havoc on trees causing branches to fall and power lines to go down. Now your everyday electrically powered sump pump won't work.

If your basement got wet before, it will again.

All you can do at this time is prepare for the worst case scenario. Look around the basement for anything on the basement floor. Remove all cardboard boxes to a higher floor in your home. Unplug and remove anything electrical devices from the basement. ACT AS IF THERE IS GOING TO BE A FOOT OF WATER DOWN HERE TOMORROW. Anything that will absorb water should go next: pull up carpeting where you can and try to remove any furniture from the basement.

If you have a sump pump make sure the area surrounding it is clear of any obstructions. You want any water that is on the floor to be able to flow to the sump pit.

Be pro-active against mold growth

Uncontrolled water, moisture and humidity can allow nature can take a foothold in your basement. A healthy home needs a healthy basement. You can't have one without the other.

We have already taken steps to clear the basement of everything we can, now let's think about mold prevention. Mold belongs in nature. Mold does not belong in your basement. Mold is alive and needs two things to thrive: food and water. Hopefully we have removed all the potential Mold Food we can. Mold eats dead organic matter like cardboard and newspaper. If you use newspaper to sop up water on the floor, be sure to have plastic bags ready to remove the wet paper from your home.

Ventilation is key

As soon as it stops raining go into MOLD CONTROL MODE. The way that we minimize the threat is by reducing our exposure to the biological pollutant called Mold and increasing ventilation. Mold has two natural enemies: sunlight and ventilation. While it may be impossible to bring sunlight into parts of the basement you can increase ventilation. Put on a mask, open all the windows and turn on fans when possible.

Once the mold has started, it will remain there until it is cleaned and vented out. Molds produce millions of very small spores which become part of the indoor air of your basement. The way to decrease the amount of mold spores in your basement is by allowing them a way out and by bringing in new air to dilute the volume of spores.

Do your own mold test to be sure

If you are outside of New Jersey, you can get the Mold Sticks to test for yourself. Visit our Amazon store to buy the Mold Sticks to test your own home:  http://www.amazon.com/As-Seen-The-Today-Show/dp/B008PDUNW4/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1349530166&sr=8-9&keywords=mold+test+kit

Should I get my basement inspected?

A-1 Basement Solutions gives free basement health inspections to New Jersey homeowners. Contact A-1 Basement Solutions at 908-322-1313, or info@A-1Basements.com for a free in-home inspection and detailed quote.

A-1 gives full service guaranteed work and competitive pricing every day.

We do everything for you. By taking care of all the details, A-1 Basement Solutions makes the job worry free. Our motto is No Problems…Just Solutions.

Knowledge is power. Learn everything you need to know about your basement: Subscribe to our blog and get our FREE E-BOOK, “Basements 101” 

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This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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