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kyleGR 05-06-2006 07:35 AM

water damage in basement
hello all,
just had my hot water tank go on me, releasing all of its joyous bilge across my carpeted basement. it is still damp & there is an awful stink coming from it. what is the best way to solve this?? i have had suggestions to the effect of pulling up the carpet & bleaching the concrete beneath any steering you guys could give would be most appreciated


asbestos 05-06-2006 08:54 AM

Well I am thinking if the carpet stinks it may be too late. We have a semi-basment that has been flooded 3times (don't ask) since it is a low pile carpet with no pad it shop vac'd up well and fand dried quickly. try drying it with fans. You can rent fans made for this and put a dehumidifier (you can rent one of these too) in too to help get it dry. Avoid heat as this just makes the mold grow. If it is allready dry and is stank, you could be SOL. if you pull the carpet I suppose bleaching the concrete would be a good idea, but I would say 90% of the mold/mildew/stink is in the carpet. If you have a pad that needs to go also and may still be quite wet even if the carpet seems dry. good luck

woodworkingmenace 05-06-2006 12:56 PM

If you have a "finished basement" then you may have more trouble then that carpet!

Paneling, and other wood or coverings are notorious for absorbing water and wicking it up the wall, especially the studs that hold the outter skin of what ever material you use...
(Its why people recommend that you use treated lumber as a sill plate, then put your pine 2X4s on top of that).

Direct fans to the bottom of the walls, if you DO have treated lumber as sills.

As for the carpet, if it stinks after drying, you can try cleaning it...
(When I have mold, I use Bleach to kill the mold. I recently started to use bleach and borax {As in 20 mule team Borax} to prevent the mold from coming back---will have to let you know how that works, as we just did this last week, and it will take a long time to get it back because I plan to move the washer out of the basement, but, its recommended by the "Queen of Clean" on DIY Network).

Personally, I would pitch the rug! Bleach and scrub the concrete with a mixture of 1/2 cup of bleach and a 1/2 cup of borax. That should kill the mold and prevent it from coming back. Get indoor outdoor carpeting and have it down there for your "next adventure" :)


kyleGR 05-06-2006 01:43 PM

ok, i think we have decided to pitch the carpet -- will clean it with bleach and borax. we are considering re-caparpeting or putting in cork flooring -- any thoughts on those choices?

Bud Cline 05-06-2006 02:43 PM

Call your insurance company and let them worry about it.:)

asbestos 05-06-2006 11:30 PM

1/2 cup bleach and 1/2 cup borax?
Holy dog doo. that is just out of control strong. Check around on google but my guess would be no more then 10% household bleach solution.
You insurance company may fuss and worry that your house will have a mold issue and red flag you.

woodworkingmenace 05-07-2006 07:34 AM

Actually, according to the "Queen of Clean" on DIY Network, they recommend the following:

1/2 cup chlorox
1/2 cup boron (Unless you know a chemical warehouse it comes in borax soap)
1/2 cup of detergent

Mix all this in and rub on the mold as a paste. Then, wash off liberally with clean water.

Chlrorine kills the mold.
Boron keeps it from coming back.
Detergent acts as the agent to clean it up with.

Since you dont have the boron seperate, maybe 1 cup of borax to 1/2 cup of bleach?? hmmm As I said this is supposed to be done as a paste, not as a "prewash" or something diluted like that. They had a bunch of mold on her show that they were showing ...lots of "good stuff" :)

Just check around your inner walls, at the bottom and make SURE it didnt wick up the walls!


inspectorD 05-07-2006 10:26 AM

Good job..
Getting rid of the carpet is a good start. Is the sheet-rock wet or stained? Seems like I have posted this response many times but here goes again...
You need to remove any organic materials in a basement that are close to the floor, wood(use steel),sheetrock(try vinyl panels),carpet (paint floor and use removable throw rug)or cork floors(never). Mold only grows where it is organically possible.
As for the clean up try to use a cleaner combo that will not fumigate you an kill you faster than mold!!
As for mold.. have a test done, cheap insurance to find out first of all what kind it is? Many molds are not a problem, some are deadly...don't get caught in the Hype, get facts and learn how to deal with it from a pro.

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