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helpwithmyhouse 10-01-2012 09:13 PM

cleaning up water leak
We have a water leak in our house that showed up on our floor. We're still trying to figure out where it's coming from, but also trying to get some of the water up. My question is, should we use a fan to try to dry it out before we know for sure if there is any mold?

nealtw 10-01-2012 09:29 PM

If the leak is new there probibly not much chance of mold yet. A shop vac that can vacumm water is a great tool. Heat and air are good but you need to get the moisture out the window or something as speading high humidity thru out the house is not good either. Tell us about where the water should up. What,s above it like bathroom, roof window doors or what have you.

And welcome to the site.

helpwithmyhouse 10-01-2012 11:00 PM

The leak showed up in our hallway, right outside our bathroom and on the other side of the washing machine. We have had trouble with the washing machine drain before (backing up). Recently the gas company came and sent a camera down our main vent (doing this to all the houses in the neighborhood for survey reasons, they said). The clean-out vent is right next to the washing machine drain, so we are wondering if they loosened something that then went into the drain pipe and clogged it causing water to overflow. We only saw a little bit of mold, but most of the wall board was clean. My husband cut it out and shop vac'd everything up. I will spray everything down with bleach water and then set a fan on it to dry out. The faucet for the bathroom sink is also right in among these pipes. Anything else we should do? We have wood floors - how much should we worry about the water not drying out under floorboards? There were only a couple of planks affected. We live in the Sonoran desert and it's still in the hundreds here, so we're not terribly worried about humidity. But it will start cooling down (to nineties for high) next week. What should the next step be? And thank you!

One other question - does water and bleach kill mold? Reading all sorts of things on the web saying yes and no.

nealtw 10-01-2012 11:12 PM

Bleach is not the first choice for poress material.
I would run the washer again and watch it drain, be prepared to hit the off button and prove it is the problem or not.

nealtw 10-01-2012 11:14 PM

I think you just have to cross your finger on the floor being wet, it will depend on how wet it got and how deep it went.

helpwithmyhouse 10-02-2012 09:47 AM

It's funny that you posted that link, because that is one of the links I read last night. I ended up using vinegar instead because I had it on hand. I think I will get some tea tree oil today. The mold was very, very minimal - just on the wettest part of the wall board at the bottom. We cut it out, but we want to spray everything down just for good measure in case there are roots we're not seeing.

Everything is drying out. It was pretty clear when we pulled the washer out that the drain pipe had been over-flowing based on where the water was. We'll run the water in the bathroom (on the other side of the wall) to make sure nothing is leaking there now that we have the wall open to the pipes. And we'll clean out the drain pipe. We'll test it again before we board the wall back up.

As you said we are crossing our fingers that the floor will dry out quickly. We took off the baseboard in the hallway and are using paper towels to wick away the water and moisture in the gap between the wall and the floor. They had already stopped becoming wet last night. We did realize that the water spread under the floor toward the hallway a little more than we thought, so it also got under the cork floor in our kitchen (where the washing machine sits). That's on the other side of the wall from our hallway.

Thanks, again, for your help and quick replies!

nealtw 10-02-2012 04:02 PM

If the water got under the floor the back side of the wood is not sealed or protected. If it is bad enough to warp it and you have mold already it may not be a good idea to waite and see if it will lay flat again. You may want to start looking for someone good at floor repairs. In the mean time, good luck and I hope you got it in time.

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