flooding in basement - need help fast!

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Exactly! Perfectly put.

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Everybody needs a $400 pair of waders from the Orvis catalog at a time like this.
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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.
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On Mar 2, 5:13 pm, snipped-for-privacy@mucks.net 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.
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Joe wrote:

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.
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wrote:

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 air circulation.
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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, YMMV.

Not sure of your local, but I'd be concerened about criters visting, both two and four legged variety!

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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.
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OK, now that was uncalled for - I just spit/spilled and choked on my beer..... Geeezzzz.....
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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 better.
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Just let it run. If it is a decent pump, it can go for many hours, maybe days. We run pumps here for 24 x 5 for years.
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24 hours a day? Do you live in a bayou?
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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.
Joe wrote:

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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!
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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.
Cheers, Banty
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P&M
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 of features.
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 handle.
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 ShopVac.
**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 better technique.
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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'till the water's gone.
--
Steve Barker




"Joe" < snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com> wrote in message
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