June 8th, 2017 9:38 PM by Dan Howard
There is great irony in this tearful saga. Mold is needed to make the cheese that made the dip that stained the shirt, that needs anti-stain treatment………in the flooded house that Dan did not build. Click Here to Download a .PDF Copy as Printed
It started with a wonderful Sunday dinner out with the kids and grandson. It was a good meal, pleasant restaurant, great time. The appetizer was a very tasty, yet gooey cheese and spinach sauce with chunks of bread for dipping into that delightful cheese mixture. One of my “dips” turned into a “drop” between the plate and my mouth. Oops!
On the way home from dinner, my wife and I discuss what she thought I should write about tonight. She usually has the inside story on what readers would be thinking about. I deadline on this article tomorrow. She has a couple of greatly appreciated suggestions.
We pull into our driveway and realize that we had missed a heavy rain storm. The newly planted flowers were laying on their sides in exhaustion from the drenching. Great! They will stand up again and I get out of watering them today.
Please let me explain in my own defense. This is a new “home to us” and I have not yet learned everything about the place. On this glorious evening, I learn that when there is a very hard storm, water comes under the basement door and spreads across the basement.
What Does a Mold Expert Do When It is His House That Floods?
Back to the stain on my shirt. I walk downstairs into the basement while taking my shirt off. (Multi-tasking). I realize that as I step onto the concrete floor, there was a “slosh” noise, not the leather shoe on concrete shuffle appropriate for a multitasking senior with his shirt halfway over his head.
Recognizing that multi-tasking was not getting me where I want to go, I complete the easiest task at hand and finish taking the shirt off and the spot stain treated. ü
I start a new “to do” list based upon my discovery of why the shoes made a slosh instead of a shuffle. The next step is to consult a mold or disaster recovery professional. Oh, that’s me. ü
I look around to see why there is water on the floor and if whatever that cause is, whether it has stopped. I know that if the source of water has not ended, stopping the water leak is the next step.
The water leaked under the basement door. The rain has stopped and therefore the cause of the water event is ended. That is good news. ü
Triple check that there is not an electrical potential hazard relating to the abundant pool of water in the area affected by water. (üüü)
If there is a potential electrical hazard such as wet walls with outlets or an extension cord lying in the water I must exercise great caution. The choice is to safely turn off the electricity or think of the Jaws movie and stay out of the water.
I remove anything that is still absorbing water and is being damaged because of standing water. That would include the cardboard box of decorations that was moved downstairs two days ago because the kitchen cabinets are being delivered tomorrow. ü
Next step is to get out the “wet and dry shop vac” and begin to sucking up the standing water. ü
I sadly observe that the shop vac first had water moving toward the wand, and then running back onto the floor from the end of the wand. Note that water went up the hose at first and then……when about a cup of water was drawn up, that water was running back out of the wand. It was like watching someone going up the first section of a two-level escalator and then turning around and going back down the escalator rather than to the top section of the upper floor.
I remind myself, to not panic when realizing that the nice easy to carry shop vac that was purchased because it was small and light is not strong enough to suck a pool of water in a basement. ü
Go to “Plan B” and take the top off of the floor drain. Grab a broom and sweep water into the floor drain. ü
It is time to take photos of the current condition and be grateful that your wife does not upload a YouTube viral video of your panic and frantic efforts to this point. ü
Next step? Throw out the very few wet cardboard boxes. Be grateful that you are a mold aware person who knows that basement storage should be plastic bins and not cardboard. Cardboard is the “Breakfast of Champions” for mold. odor and wood destroying insects. ü
Without standing in any water, set up the dehumidifier placing the water drain hose into the floor drain. ü
Find a shirt that does not have an appetizer stain front and center. Put on the clean shirt realizing that you sadly are not a good sight to see when bare chested. ü
Be grateful that you have caught the water problem before it did any damage. Consult with your environmental person. In this particular case, this is accomplished by inward reflection: “self…..have you followed the proper procedures?” if not, go do what you should have done.
After the panic and work, go write the article due in the morning.
In summary, when faced with and unexpected and unwanted water event:
· Identify the source of the leak
· Stop the source of the leak
· If beyond what you can handle, call a professional
· Document conditions for insurance
· Verify that electricity isn’t a hazard
· Remove anything that can be damaged by the water contact and dry it
· Remove, sweep or suction standing water
· If you can’t dehumidify, open windows
· Realize that you have 24 to 48 to dry out before mold is a problem
· When appropriate, seek professional drying services
· Focus on the fact that mold and odors can damage health and the value of a home
Use the checklist above to make sure everything is done as it should be Check
Oh, one last thing on my list …..Install an exterior drain or concrete curb so that this doesn’t ever happen again!