You come home and find a present in your lower level. All that rain today and this is the day your sump pump decides to quit. Squish, squish, squish through your lower level you walk assessing the situation. Can you deal with this yourself? Maybe. Here are some things that may help deal with the problem and help you determine what is next.
1. IS THE WATER STILL COMING IN? CAN YOU IDENTIFY WHERE IT IS COMING FROM?
This may seem obvious but it is very important. Some floods are obvious; water emanating from the overflowing sump pit, a broken basement window, etc. Sometimes it is not so easy; for instance, a water softener may only flood when it regenerates. We have helped some dry their carpet only to get a call a few days later telling us that the EXACT SAME FLOOD happened. Incredibly frustrating for the homeowner and very expensive. So, stop the water and get the problem fixed.
2.WHAT IS THE SOURCE OF THE WATER?
There are three categories of water:
Clear: This is fresh, clean water (a water pipe breaks, a filling hose on the washer ruptures, etc.)
Grey: This is water that has been used, it has things in it (the drain on the washer comes out, rainwater, dishwasher leaks, etc.)
Black: This is generally sewage or close to it (Ejector pump fails, floor drain connected to city sewer backs up, etc.)
Clear and grey water can be extracted and the carpet dried. SERIOUSLY consider replacing carpet that has been exposed to black water ESPECIALLY if you are on city sewers. Complete disinfection of the carpets is almost impossible.
3. IS THERE CARPET CUSHION THAT IS WET?
You may not think that there is any padding under your carpet but don’t assume that. Is there a metal piece (bull nose) where carpet and concrete or tile meet? That is a sure sign that there is a cushion under the carpet. Don’t go by feel either. Many cushions over concrete are quite thin. Good chance there is pad; most carpets have pad unless they are glued down. The pad must be removed if it has been wet for more than 36 hours. Even if it has been less than 36 hours, removing the pad greatly speeds up the drying process.
4. HOW MUCH AREA IS WET?
Always assume that more area has been affected that it seems. Often we look for visual clues, but water travels along the ground and will spread father than you think. Even if the carpet feels dry, the pad my be damp and in need of removal. A carpet will generally be wet underneath about three feet farther than the surface wetness.
This is just a brief guide to help you. If any of this seems to be a bit more than you can handle, call for help! Although expensive, the expense of professional help is minor compared to the amount of damage that water can do to your home and the long term effects of mold on your family.