How to Keep Mold From Developing in a Basement After a Flood

Flood can be devastating for homeowners, causing massive amounts of damage while the flood waters are present. But the real work begins once the waters have receded, especially in the basement of your home. Moisture in the basement will quickly grow mold if it is not dried and dealt with immediately. Mold is an allergen that can cause asthma attacks and sneezing if not taken care of immediately. Cleaning the basement quickly will reduce damage to the walls and floor.

A flooded basement becomes an allergen hazard after a flood.
  1. Call your local utility supplier to have the electricity for the basement shut off if the circuit breaker is in the flooded basement. Check the situation in the basement with a flashlight and do not strike any matches until the gas supply is checked by your utility provider.

  2. Throw away any absorptive materials, such as fabric, since the flood water may be contaminated with sewage water.

  3. Remove any saturated carpets and rinse them with a carpet disinfectant. Leave the carpets outside to dry.

  4. Remove the water from the basement using buckets or a pump. Dispose of the water according to the local environmental protection agency guidelines.

  5. Mop up any pooled water with a disposable mop once the basement is drained.

  6. Mix together 5 to 10 percent Borax and dish-washing liquid. Dilute the mixture with water. Scrub all wooden surfaces with the mixture to disinfect them. Dip a mop into the solution and scrub down the surfaces. Rinse the mop in a bucket filled with clean, warm water.

  7. Mix together 1 cup chlorinated bleach into 1 gallon of water. Scrub down all other surfaces with this mixture and rinse the mop as before.

  8. Open up the windows to aid in drying. Place a fan in front of the window to increase circulation.

  9. Set up a dehumidifier according to the device's instructions to remove moisture from the air.


  • Always inspect the ceiling of the basement for sagging before entering. A flood-damaged ceiling may collapse.