The longer water sits in the basement or crawl space, the more time it has to contribute to the conditions of the home.
Water that sits in an area like the basement, doesn't move, doesn't filter, and is allowed to do so, can breed problems.
Water normally carries bacteria and other microscopic organisms with it. Standing water allows these bacteria to multiply in your home. As water evaporates these bacteria can become air born which will effect your air quality. Standing water also directly effects the amount of moisture in a basement or crawl space which will, again, effect your indoor air quality.
A basement that has an increased level of moisture has an increased chance of harboring mold colonies. Mold requires cool, damp and dark conditions to thrive in addition to a food source. A food source for mold is anything that can be organically decomposed or digested by the mold (wood, cardboard, paper, clothing, pictures, wood stairs, etc.)
Dealing with water quickly is the key to success:
As I mentioned, the longer the water stays untouched in the basement, the more of a chance it will effect, and the longer it will have the ability to effect the indoor air quality of the basement and the home.
Moping up, dry "vac-ing", and drying out the area will help you gain back control of the usable space. Run a dehumidifier and turn the heat on to warm up the basement - this will help the water to be moved off of the floor or the basement.
Don't let the water sit
Move the water, clean it up
Dry out the space - dehumidifier, heat and fans.
The longer the water sits the longer it has to cause problems in the basement - especially in a finished basement.
If your basement or crawl space has even a brief history of this occurring, seriously consider having a GrateDrain system installed in the trouble spots to help keep this from happening again.
Related Reading and Links
Read about the Top 6 Basement Mistakes that contractors and homeowners make. See what other readers have asked in Safe'n'Dry Basement Blog's Reader Questions Section
Ask Jacob A question Directly on Pioneer Basement's Help Forums!