How to Remove Water From a Flooded Room

Updated: Aug. 15, 2023

Even minor floods can create major problems if they aren't cleaned up quickly.

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Get water out fast with just a few tools.

Tools Required

  • Dehumidifier
  • Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum

There’s no getting around it: Major flooding requires professional clean-up with with professional equipment. But if you’ve got just a small amount of standing water in your basement, it’s better to tackle the project yourself rather than wait for a pro to arrive. Here’s how to safely remove water from a flooded room before it does even more damage.

Project step-by-step (4)

Step 1

Make Sure It’s Safe

Don’t plunge headfirst into a watery area without taking stock of the situation first.

  • Standing water and electricity can make one nasty safety hazard. Wear rubber-soled boots and gloves to minimize the risk of electrical shock.
  • Don’t touch any electrical devices (especially those still plugged into an outlet) until the basement has been sufficiently dried out.

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Step 2

Find the Source of the Water

The first thing you should do when you go down to the basement is find the source of the flood water. There’s no sense in learning how to remove water from a flooded room if you can’t stop the water from coming in.

  • Floods can happen for a variety of reasons, including:
  • If the flood was caused by natural, weather-related causes, you probably don’t have to worry about more water coming in (at least not until another rain storm hits) and you can start the clean-up process.
  • If something like a leaking pipe or a sump pump failure caused the flood, fix (or at least patch) that problem before attempting to get the water out of the room.

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Step 3

Pump the Water Out

The best tools for getting water out of a basement are a wet/dry shop vacuum and a dehumidifier.

  • Set up the shop-vac so that it can suction up water.
    • Take the top off and remove the air filter.
    • Place a wide, flat attachment on the end of the shop-vac hose.
  • Suck up all standing water into the vacuum. Then, deposit it outside of your house as far away from the foundation as possible.
    • Pro tip: If you’re working with water-logged carpet, pass over each section of the floor multiple times to ensure you’re drying it out as much as possible.
  • Once all the standing water has been removed, set up the dehumidifier in the room and turn it on.

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Step 4

Assess the Damage

After the water is gone, it’s time to take a look at what further repairs will need to be done to return the room to normal.

  • Flood water is likely dirty. So, anything that it touched should be thoroughly cleaned (if it can be) or thrown out.
  • Any wood or drywall in the room should be inspected. If it’s waterlogged, it will likely need to be removed and replaced.
  • If you know for certain that the floodwater came from a contaminated source (i.e. a sump pump) you should remove and replace the carpet.

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