Flood Damage and Repair
As regular readers know, I’m dealing with the aftermath of a very slightly flooded -but finished- basement. That is, an inch of water that soaked the carpet and wiched 4″ up into the drywall and panelling.
(See what happens when you leave sunny Nevada, and go visit your Missouri relations?)
I’ve got everything apart and drying. Just to be anal, I’d like to spray the insides of the now-open wall cavities with something to discourage mold or mildew from growing after I close them up again.
Any thoughts, any recipes? Bleach solutions? Ammonia? Commercial products?
You need a good fungicide.
Simple Green-D is available at HD, along with a fogger product.
A landscape sprayer works nicely.
Just make sure you're dry before closing everything back up
I would spray with Penetreat, a borate.
Just gut feel I'd go with a garden fungicide or a borate of some sort. Do be careful, though, as some fungicides are surprisingly dangerous if they get in the eyes. (Read the labels for warnings.)
As an update ...
Right on cue, the basement was filled with an extremely strong, nasty smell. This was literally on the second morning after the flood, and after the carpet was mostly dry and the padding removed.
We did find, the day before, a section of carpet that had not been dried the first day. That was thought to be the source, but the smell still lingered - though not nearly as strong.
Since then, we've been opening up the walls. The fiberglass insulation had wicked up water, in some places, nearly a foot. We have removed the lower 16" or so, all around.
We found a number of the wall panels with mold blooms, in the bottom 6" or so. Those have been 'painted' with bleach, 1 cup/gallon.
The drywall was mostly wet to about 4". A few of the pieces showed some mold starting, and one piece had a lovely jungle growing in the bottom foot. Removing that piece immediately eliminated the last of the bad odor.
The drywall had been installed DIY-style, with the panels resting firm to the floor. This has been addressed; now there is a 2/4" gap at the floor level.
The metal stud 'track' was pretty good at holding in puddles of water. Remember, this flood was never enought to submerge the carpet - just to soak it, so the water had to have entered through anchor holes, or have been wicked over the lip by the drywall. This is a framing detail to consider the next time.
Removing the vinyl tile that was under the carpet (fear of water being trapped there) was a real chore. I don't think I've ever seen a floor so thoroughly glued down! Scraping, chipping, heating were of little avail. Finally, I put a 2" chisel in my roto-hammer, and the tile nearly leapt from the floor from fear! Even so, there were a few stubborn spots; I don't think I could have done the job without that roto-hammer.
Because of the complicated floor layout -no simple rectange here!- and the poor seaming done by the installer, we will be replacing the carpet.
The worst damage was at the door frame to the outside. Here we found the 2x8 framing was of ordinary wood, and was completely rotted to a height of about 8". Obviously, this had been going on for some time. The wood pierced the slab, and was resting directly on the earth. I've anchored the remaining wood to the concrete walls, and filed the bottom gaps with foam. Most likely, this was the entry point of the water, with the stairs themselves directing water into the gap.
Code dates on the building materials point to this basement having been finished in 1996.
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