How to dry out basement

Page 1 of 2  
We had a bad storm last week and water came in the window well because the gutter had a blockage reducing it's flow (inconviently spilling all excess water right next to the window). The carpet got probably 10 - 20 gallons of water spilled on it. From time to time small amounts of water has gotten in (due to gutter backups) so I figured no big deal; a fan usually dries it out in a day or two. This time I tried to soak up water using towels and then ran a fan (and dehumidifier), but it's a week later...The carpet is still a little wet, and the basement smells terrible with the windows shut.
I have to keep the window open and draw air through with a box fan while the air conditioner runs upstairs...no creating super-humid conditions. I'm willing to tear out the old carpet (if necessary). I can rent an industrial dehumidifer (Ebac DB80), but what should we do about the smell in the mean time. If we close everything up, the whole house smells like mildew...if we don't close the house, will it ever dry? Should we get a HEPA air cleaner?
The water appears to have run on the outside of the drywall (this is a finished basement), but not doubt that some water went into the wall. The Red Cross flood manual said wallboard soaked (I would not call it soaked) with clear rain water can be left to dry...I'm comfortable replacing drywall, but I'd rather not if it can be avoided.
Also, should we worry about the couches being a breeding groud for mold/mildew? Are there tests that we
Thanks, Chris
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Chris Snyder wrote:
We had a much more minor flood when our washer hose broke and flooded kitchen and part of dining room. We are on slab, and about half the dining room rug got soaked (no pad, on tile). Hubby rented a heavy duty wet vac, with a squeegy type floor nozzle which worked miracles getting the water out of the rug and off the floor - the terrazo was dry as the nozzle went over it. We put fans in the dining room and laid stuff under the wet part of the rug to keep it off floor and hasten drying. It was totally dry within 24 hours, and there didn't appear to be any damage to baseboards or drywall because we got it up fast - it got about an inch deep in the kitchen. I realize your carpet and padding may dry much more slowly, but I'd try the vac and ventilate it best you can. Dehumidify as best you can and keep it dry.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If you are smelling mildew, you have mildew, and no amount of dehumidifying is going to kill it. You need to get rid of the mildew.
You *may* be able to pull up the carpet and kill the mildew on the bottom of it with a strong bleach solution. However, this will possibly rot the backing and/or leak through to the face, and then you've ruined the carpet. But I'm betting it's a loss anyway.
Mildew is highly allergenic, and you don't want to submit yourself or your family to this stuff.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

A backup sump won't help you in a heavy storm for 15 hours. You need a generator to power the pump you already have. You should also have a spare pump and check valve handy because those things only die at the worst times.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

And even a generator has a limited run time... although I suppose with a gas or LPG you _might_ be able to get a re-supply, depending on the weather/power conditions (Gas stations don't pump when there's no power). You can't keep large amounts of gas on hand or in the generator unless you are careful to keep it fresh.
There's no perfect solution except an external perimeter drain on a lot high enough to allow for drainage even when it's flooding around you.
Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

drain, sump and dehumidifier. I'm guessing an emergency pump would only have to run a few times a day to keep the basement from flooding. Why wouldn't a Basement Watchdog handle it? I was just prepared to buy one. We are pretty high but on the downside of a mountain. The town put a drainage swale? in above our subdivision when it was being divided but we still have poor drainage in some areas of the yard. I never could figure out why some parts of the yard drain well while other parts puddle for days. But, I do know that when this carpet is due to be replaced (we just installed it), I will have a more "flood-friendly" flooring down there. ==
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Just remember that however bad this storm was, you will probably see at least one that is worse someday.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@noplacereally.com said...

A natural gas generator and a stand-by pump (or better yet a hot spare setup slightly higher than the main pump) is very close to a perfect solution. The side benefit is that if you buy a decent sized generator you can use it for other things as well.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Brad wrote:

I have one of these. It produces plenty of gas and can pump hot air at 400cfm. 'It' happens to be my wife and I do love her so..
so would you! look here: http://tinyurl.com/if6o
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Ummm, no, our water-powered backup sump pump ran twice an hour, ejecting about 25 gallons at a pop, for over 5 days, during a power outage. Our basement stayed bone dry, while our neighbors who had electrically powered ones ended up with swimming pools.
Not all mechanical devices - especially backup ones - run on electricity. ;-)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Water powered? How does it work? Where do you buy something like this? I have only seen electric ones.
Crayola
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Michael Cunningham wrote:

Do a Google for "sump ejector". Here is one style: http://www.basepump.com/Basepump.htm
Jim
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In alt.home.repair on Tue, 29 Jul 2003 17:08:18 -0400 Speedy Jim

It sounds great.
Except this line: Uniquely mounted on the ceiling above the sump pit, it doesn't have to fight the downward force of the water that most
==I think it has to lift the water out of the sump, which is just as difficult as pumping it out from beneath. (Maybe even harder?)
pumps must push up vertically. For this reason, it consistently removes more water per hour than other water powered backup sump pumps and even rivals the best battery powered backup sump pumps, short- and long- term.
==I don't deny that it does that, but I think it would be for other reasons. ;)

Meirman
If emailing, please let me know whether or not you are posting the same letter.
Change domain to erols.com, if necessary.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Ours is made by Zoeller. It uses city water pressure to drive the pump. Basically, you hook it up to a water line, and set the float switch to activate above the level of your electric pump. Obviously there's a need for additional plumbing for the supply water and to eject the sump water, but it's well worth it. You never need to worry about a power outage or running a generator.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I can't imagine it would be that much, for most of the civilized world. ;-) A few thousand extra gallons of water would raise my bill by about $5.00. :-)
In any case, when the backup pump goes on, it's really quite loud. You can't miss it, and it would be really obvious that the main sump isn't running.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 01 Aug 2003 17:31:16 GMT, "THEOLDONE"

Citations ?
Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
MOLD WILL Kill , Paranoia, Phobia,!!! Run for the hills and live ???? RUN RUN Mold IS everywere, everyone ..Forget Lead Paint , Absestos, Fiberglass, its MOLD Now,........ Mold is everywhere, -- In reality People.. It is natural , just keep your house and basement below 65% humidity and mold will not grow , if you have leaks , fix them , mold grows at 70 % RIH
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Others say 55% http://www.environmentalhazards.com/mold-fungus/stachybotrys-mold.htm
http://www.dexacohomeinspections.com/MoldInformation.html
http://www.mold-help.org/stachybotrys_chartarum.htm
..

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@iwantnospam.com said...

Water-powered pumps don't work too well for those of us with wells.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.