The East Coast has gotten hammered this year with a Hurricane and one rain after another. Rivers and streams are overflowing their banks almost weekly, and many homeowners may find themselves having to deal with damp, soggy homes, flooded basements and the dangers that go with it.
If you have had a significant amount of water in the basement, there are many things that may have occurred, and they can be very dangerous. Call the power company and tell them to disconnect the service, or have an electrician check to make sure it’s safe.
Some furnaces and water heaters are connected to the electrical system and stepping into standing water in the same area could be very dangerous.
Also be aware that if the flooding has come from a river it could contain sewage dead animals or other unpleasant things.. If this is the case you may have many other issues than just some water. Surfaces can be disinfected with a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water.
Once a flood has subsided, it is very important that the house be dried out as quickly and thoroughly as possible. The homeowners’ enemy, MOLD will start to grow within 48 to 72 hours. Get fans going as soon as possible. Carpets, pads and furniture that were soaked should be tossed, and if drywall has gotten wet it should be cut out and gotten rid of as well.
The methods used most often for drying out a wet house are using a fan, and/or a dehumidifier. The most basic is to get air circulating quickly through by using fans. Another method that is effective is to use dehumidifiers.
Dehumidifiers are great to remove moisture from the air. These are also very effective in removing moisture from wood floors, or if the framing in the walls has been saturated. A dehumidifier works best in a closed room, so close the windows and crank it on high!! The collection drawer can fill up fast, so empty it often or attach a hose directly from the attachment on the unit to a sump pit or other place the water can drain; if the windows are open you will just be pulling in moisture from the outside. If only using fans, then the windows and doors can remain open. A dehumidifier in a closed room can reduce the relative humidity to a low of 20 percent. When the air is that dry, it will certainly wick moisture out of the walls and floors.
if a house is not dried out quickly enough and mold begins to grow, take steps immediately to eliminate it. You need to physically remove the mold by scrubbing it off, use a strong detergent, and a little bleach wouldn’t hurt, and make sure to wear gloves and an N95 respirator mask. These will filter out 95 percent of the mold spores and similar-size particles. Mold can be very dangerous when inhaled into the lungs.
If you have a situation in which water seeps into your home through basement windows, under doors or through cracks in times of heavy rains, FloodSax may be the answer to those problems. FloodSax are the new, lightweight, compact, clean. These sandless sandbags go from 1 lb in weight to 45 lbs. in 5 minutes just by absorbing water. Once energized, FloodSax can also be placed to mitigate and redirect flood water. FloodSax are 100% biodegradable and will last for years until you need them.