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Dale's Christmas  flood cleanup.  RSS feed

 
Dale Hodgins
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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My friend came home on the 24th, to find that his office and portions of the rest of his basement had flooded. The floor is covered with two layers of carpet and one of underlay.

The incoming water line had a small rupture outside of the building. I turned off the water at the street and dug a small well for the water and mud to flow into.

When a basement gets wet, it's really important to dry it out thoroughly and quickly, so that mold does not develop.

The cleanup process was very simple. We cut the carpet and underlay into suitably sized pieces and hauled them out the door. A large vaccum was used to clean up the water.

After we cleaned up all of the water that would drip out of everything, the bigger job became setting up a system to dry everything thoroughly. There is a large woodstove in the kitchen,  only eight feet from the basement door. I took the door off and taped plastic over the entire opening. Then I inserted a fan at the very top,  so the hottest air could be extracted and sent to the basement. The kitchen door is propped open slightly,  on an angle that causes the air to pass directly over the woodstove. The office door is left open during the day.  At night, the air is allowed to find its way out naturally from this house that is over 100 years old.

This was finished by about noon on Christmas day. Now there's nothing to do but wait for the woodstove and dry air to do it's job. Everything is dry to the touch now,  but I'm encouraging him to continue burning tons of wood and ventilating to the basement for the next several days.
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Rufus Laggren
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Location: Chicago/San Francisco
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I've done similar for many years, courtesy of site drainage problems around our family's 100yr houses. Works. Faster w/a big squirrel cage blowing at floor lever, but just keeping the air moving around a space w/a room fan and adding a bit of ventilation to the outdoors makes a big difference. However, it does take 3-6 days to achieve dryness on stuff like wet wood. Don't know how long it would take to dry a stud wall that got it's toes wet. Probably want to cut out the bottom 12" (or as high as the soak reached). 12"x18" squirrel fans w/sheet metal can be had salvage from medium size air handlers; luck of the draw finding them.

I guess this means the New Year has a real good chance of being better... for somebody, at least! <g>

Rufus


 
Dale Hodgins
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Yes, a squirrel fan moves much more air. I've had many from old furnaces.The flood happened at a very inopportune time, when rental shops were closed. The little fan moves quite fast and manages to keep the kitchen cool, even though the woodstove is going full blast.
 
Mike Cantrell
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Location: Mid-Michigan
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Everything is dry to the touch now, but I'm encouraging him to continue burning tons of wood and ventilating to the basement for the next several days.


You're exactly right. Don't be afraid to twist his arm, because dry to the touch is a long way from dry.

If I had a count of all the claims that I've handled that started with, "Mike, I thought I had it dry, but..."
Oh boy.


Keep going. Keep drying it.

Also, the dryout/water mitigation companies generally do free inspections, so he could call them to come probe around with a moisture meter and find out what's all the way dry and what's not.

 
Dale Hodgins
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Thanks Mike. It looks like moisture testing will be done as part of the insurance claim. I often do various household repair things on this house. He's going to try to get me double time for Christmas day. That would be $80 per hour. Merry Christmas to me.

I was very busy leading up to the 24th when the problem was discovered. I had only spent $8 on Christmas gifts. My usual plan is to shop until closing on the 24th when prices are negotiable. Luckily, I harvested apples on the 23rd and I was able to distribute them to friends and relatives. I also installed some trim and changed some faulty electrical outlets, as gifts. People don't need more crap. This job saved me from buying useless stuff and I turned a profit while others ran up credit card debt.
 
Mike Cantrell
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He's going to try to get me double time for Christmas day. That would be $80 per hour. Merry Christmas to me.



Reasonable enough. Don't ask though, just bill it. "Holiday rate." Handwritten on one of those invoice pads from the hardware store is sufficient. Nobody will bat an eye. Merry Christmas!
 
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