After you dry as much as you can get a mister and apply a light
coat of 50% bleach to water on everything that will not be ruined by
bleach. Most importantly ventilate the area as much as possible to
keep mold from forming.
On Mar 2, 5:13 pm, email@example.com wrote:
I noticed the very bottom of the couch got wet. At first we thought
that the legs saved it but when I reached under to move it it was
sopping wet. I'm going to stand it on its end and spray the bottom
with some bleach and hope it dries out. What is everyone's
recommendation about leaving the basement hatch open tonight? There
are no more big wet patches on the floor but most of the floor is
still wet. It's supposed to go down to 36 degrees tonight, not sure
how much it will dry. I feel pretty good though (thanks Sam Adams!),
good to get through my first real home crisis - hope I can help
someone else on this excellent newsgroup one day.
The couch should have a light fabric dust cover across the bottom. Rip
it off and sponge off as much water as you can. The set it on something
so you can run a fan to dry it quickly. I wouldn't spray it with
bleach, but you could - carefully - wipe off the exposed frame with a
cleaner with a little bleach in it.
While you are down there making a mess, take a scrub brush and scrub the
floor with a little bleach in the water. Mop up as much as you can, run
fans, and open up when the temp is warmer. If you have the heat on, it
should dry more quickly.
On the bottom of some couches, there's a thin fabric that serves no purpose
other than cosmetic. If yours has that, cut it off completely. Cut some 2x4
blocks to put under the legs, raising the couch up a foot or so for better
Don't down play the sun's influence/ability. If you have a good sunny day
drag it outside and let the sun hit it for a day on the wet material. It
will help dry it and the UV and frsh air is great for odor elimination,
Not sure of your local, but I'd be concerened about criters visting, both
two and four legged variety!
There are these newfangled things called window screens. He may have to
import them from Europe, though. Very expensive. Made from some sort of
metal, most of the time. And, they require professional installation.
It is a good idea to have a spare ready to go in when you have a serious
problem like this. (In fact, having a battery powered back up is a darn
good idea also; but that's another thread.)
At my old house my pump would run nonstop for days at a time, and it lasted
years. Now that was a submersible; I understand they last longer because
the water cools the motor.
At my new house the pump has never run. All things considered, that is
You didn't say whether the basement was finished or not. Is floor
surface concrete, tile, carpet?. Do wall coverings (if any) extend down
into the standing water? If it's just an unfinished basement, a wet-vac
will do fine. A large fan will help a lot. What's the weather like
outside? Consider opening the basement windows if the air outside is
dry, (low humidity) even if it is cold.
It's finished. No carpeting. I just recently bought the house and
figured I'd see how it functioned in all four seasons before I bought
a carpet. It was my one note of solace going through my mind this
morning. It's drywalled but there is about5 inches of molding all
around the walls so the water never made it above it. I assume the
drywall behind it is damaged but it doesn't show yet. Most of the
standing water is gone now there are just pockets left that I'm
sweeping toward the pump. It's about 43 degrees outside today and the
rain finally stopped. I'll keep the cellar door open and get some fans
going. Thanks to all for the help and moral support - my first stop
will be Home Depot - second will be the liquor store! Happy hour
starts at noon today!
BTDT and Soooo have the T-shirt.
The drywall behind the moulding won't necessarily have damaged. Wait and see.
I cleaned up and re-stained moulding after a big problem that I got an interior
drain system to fix. Ten years have gone by no issue with the moulding. BTW -
that may be the reason for a whole five inches of moulding...
Do get a dehumidifier - I used it and a big fan when I had problems.
You're doing all you can do. Join the club. Fix the pump connections if the
pump is working well and fast; think about what backup system you may want (I
have a generator and transfer switches) maybe wait another year, go ahead and
finish (I did get carpet those ten years ago - still is great).
You're right - the immediate thing for your ailment now that you've gotten rid
of the water is putting your feet up and a beer or two.
First off, I have had loads of floods for a variety of reasons, never
as deep as yours, but mostly what I lose in floods are the boxes I
keep things in. Most things dry off fine. and every tool that has
ever gotten wet was fine in the long run. More at the end.
Yes, you'll need a wet-dry vac. I have a 5 gallon one that I have
used several times. I dump the water in the utility sink next to the
washing machine. I have a strainer to keep things other than water
from going down, and I may have to reach in the water to clean out the
strainer. The vac turns off automatically when it is full. If it
was much bigger than 5 gallons, I wouldn't be able to lift it up
without spilling everything.
I decided I wanted to be able to vacuum out the flue of my oil furnace
and wanted to use "fine dust" filters, or something like that, to be
able to vacuum soot without -- I'm not sure which would happen with a
regular filter (which is good enough for other dry things) -- ruining
the vacuum or blowing soot into the air from the vacuum exhaust. So I
needed one in the Shop-Vac brand where the hose comes out the side of
the bottom part. It's in storage now but iirc it is 8 gallons. It
was the minimum size in gallonws that would take the fine dust
filters. If you don't plan to vacuum your oil or coal flue, or
fireplace**, there is no special reason to get one like this.
It turns out, Shop-Vac sells many different models with the same
number of gallons and same horsepower, via different outlets. I went
to Lowes, Walmart, Sears, and Pep-Boys, (and HD but they sell a
different brand) and I didn't see the exact same model twice. I'm not
just talking about the color (Walmart and Lowes iirc have their own
colors but they are plainly or explicitly ShopVacs) but combinations
My 5 gallon one doesnt' have a real handle, but other 5 gallon ones
do. (Mine has two depressions on each side of the top, and when I've
carried it by the hose, every once in a while the bottom comes apart
from the top, very bad when full of dirt, but usually happens when it
is empty. Still bad) So I would look for a built in, one handed
Even the 2.5 horsepower motor seemed like plenty, but the new one had
a much bigger one I actually ended up buying the new shop-vac at
pepboys because it had the biggerst motor and was just 10 dollars more
than the same size with fewer features. Now that one is in the storage
locker until the next time I do the furnace, and I'm still using the 5
gallon 2.5 HP one for the last flood (left the bathtub running.
My new one came with a nice tool for vacuuming wet floors, with a
rubber sqeegee built in, but I accidentally lost it, so I continue to
use just the plastic ipe and no nozzle. It works fine frankly, even
vacuuming the water out of the cement pores. I had a plastic office
size wastebasket that filled with water from the ceiling drip, and it
vacuumed out in 8 to 12 seconds. What slows one down is when he is
near the end and he has to hunt for water and wait uuntil it flows
back to where he has already vaccuumed
Shop-Vac is made in the USA, Penssylvania is their hq, and they were
very nice to deal with. I wanted to get two simple legs (without the
tool rack on them) and they sent them for free (maybe she assumed they
were missing, but I didn't even say it was a new vacuum) and they
arrived in 3 or 4 days.
Ridgid is sold by Home Depot and is very similar, but I'm happy with
**The fireplace can be sprayed with quite a bit of water mist and then
shoveled out. The water keeps down the ash dust. Not sure which is
Tools got wet wehn there was a flood from the kitchen sink above. The
box that a new reciprocating saw was in got wet and warped, but the
saw inside seemed dry and worked fine, but I had waited weeks to use
it. It probably did get wet because all three labels on it were sort
of messed up. Many hand tools rusted, but by using a wire wheel on a
bench grinder, and WD-40 or oil, they all looked and worked great when
I was done. They came out so nice I wire wheel many of my handtools,
and those I got second-hand usually look as good as new and better
than when I go tthem. Not sjust tools but almost anything metal
comes out looking great, except not my aluminum cookie baking trays.
(Not stained from water, but I can't get them really clean.) I use a
medium wire wheel. Maybe if I used 'fine' I could do the baking tray,
but medium or coarse is probably faster for everything else.
WEAR GOGGLES. With a new wire wheel I found one of the wires
sticking out of my forehead. It was stuck there, a half hour after I
had finished using the tool. I had to pull it out! Without gogggles
it might have been stuck in my eye. And old wheels lose wires too. I
frequently feel something hit my cheek, not usually hard, but too hard
for an eye.
Oh, yeah, mold. Many people are very worried about mold, but even
though I live in Baltimore which is supposed to be very humid, at
least in the summer, and I have had floods winter and summer,
including when it is raining and the humidity isn't low during a ran
iiuc, mold has not been a problem. Even though I'm using a humidifier
now, I didn't adjust it high enough I guess and the carpeting dried
from the last flood in three or four days without any effort on my
part. I didn't even vacuum the wet carpet, only the vinyl tiles in
the basement (because getting wet has made a few of them come up and
have to be reaffixed .
Oh, yeah, 2 at the bottom of the stairs and 2 in the doorway came
loose and broke at the same time. I guess they were almost broken to
begin with and when they were not attached to the floor anymore, there
was nothing to hold them in one piece. I screwed up and lost a few
parts, so I'm going to get replacment matching tiles from under some
furniture where its absence won't be noticed.
For a little while on day two, I thought I smelled something, but it
wwent away by daay 3 or 4. I know from other floods that the only
thing I have to do is remove rustable things from the carpeting, or
there will be rust marks.
I am not at all saying that all houses will be like this. But I
wouldn't assume that mold will be a problem until it is.
Of my 12 or more floods*** I have had, mold was somewhat of a problem
once. I think it was maybe because of the smallest of all water
entries, the one with the downspout that didnt' drain away from the
house, and the sheet rock at that corner of the basement was
continuously wet for months. When I solved the waterproblem, I kept
using bleach to kill the mold, and I probably kiilled it the first
time, but since the wall didn't become white again, I kept at it. Or
come to think of it, it had probably died before I used the bleach the
first time, but because the wall had black spots, I thought it was
still growing. Finally I realized I have to repaint. Now when I
paint in the basement, I use mold resistant paint or add a little
bottle of additive to the paint im using. When there was mold in that
corner, 10 or 15 years ago, mold also started to grow in the laundry
room behyind the workbench. That was too hard to reach, but when I
solved the little corner in the other room, that mold stopped growing,
and it's not a problem. If I ever have the dresser out that holds up
the workbench, I'll repaint.
And even when there was a little mold, it never bothered me, even when
I was in the basement. Not everyone is allergic to mold. There are
molds lots of places besides wet basements and most people are exposed
to it once in awhile with no bad reaction. And if you're not
allergic, it's not a problem.
***Backed up sewer 3 times, overflowing bath tub 2 times, burst hose
in kitchen one time, burst hose to washing machine once, burst tube to
humidifier once, end of life leak in water heater once, overflowing
condensate from central AC several times or days on end while I tried
to solve the problem, loads of rain so that the sump pump couldn't
keep up even though it was running full blast, once in 28 years, small
amounts of water coming in when the cement block at the bottom of the
downspout sank backwards, and I always forget one or two.
ONe more thing, I'm sure my carpeting and the basement "persian rug"
is synthetic. If you had wool or any animal or plant based sutff, I
think that is what they are talking about when they say that things
will never dry out.
I had a neighbor two doors away who whined after the flood that her
wool carpet in the bawsement was ruined. I wanted to say, Why did you
put wool carpeting in a basement?
Also the pad. I don't if anyone uses non-synthetic pads anymore, but
as long as I'm going to get the carpeting wet once in a while, I don't
think it's a good idea for me.
So you see I have few of the problems that some others do, but maybe
God makes up for that by giving me more floods. :)
Too late to do a check now, but for example if I spill a half cup of
water on the cement floor in the basement, it's all evaportated and
there is no trace of it 24 hours later. Maybe less, since I don't go
in the laundry room so often that I would know. Except where water
has gotten in between things, like a box sitting on the floor, where
the water seeps in but wont' come out for weeks, even a bad flood with
an eitght of an inch of water water on ten or 20 square feet on the
floor, the part of the floor that doesn't have things on it is dry
within 48 hours .
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