Water damage recovery

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by rfsmith48, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. rfsmith48

    rfsmith48 Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Colorado
    Folks,

    We live in Boulder CO. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the folks that lost loved ones, pets, and took major property damage.

    We lost the old, stained carpet in our first floor cause the water table was so high.

    I have removed and trashed the old carpet and pad. There is no visible damage to the drywall. (There was no standing water, the carpet was not 100% soaked.)

    After several days of the windows open and running fans, we still have a musty odor in this area of the house. There is no visible moisture. We do not have flood insurance.

    Questions:
    1. What are the next steps to removing this odor and its causes.
    2. Is there a better website for this sort of problem?

    This is a great website, and I greatly appreciate all the assistance I have received in the past.

    Thanks for the help,

    Rog Smith
  2. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,395
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    This may not be the very best site for the information you are seeking, but the answer to your question is not that technical. I wish there was good news for you, but I'm afraid there isn't. Your drywall is ruined and is the source of the odor. Drywall is nothing more than plaster sandwiched between layers of paper. The paint protected the outer surface so it appeared to have no damage, but inside the walls there is no such protection. Sadly, once the plaster is soaked, it is ruined. You must rip out all of the drywall that was exposed to the water to prevent mold. The wood framing should dry OK once the drywall is removed. You didn't mention anything about your water heater, but if by chance you have a gas heater, if it got flooded, it is ruined. It can not be repaired, so do not even attempt to use it. We had lots questions about this after Katrina in NOLA.
  3. philtrap

    philtrap Member

    Messages:
    74
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    thoughts and prayers... If the water was in the house and above the floor and the sheetrock got saturated you must cut out the sheetrock to at least a foot above the waters highest point. Then you need to put in a dehumidifier to dry everything out. Mold is your biggest issue and that's probably what you are starting to smell. If the water was up a foot, cut out the bottom 2 feet of sheetrock, let it dry install new, paint and you'll be OK. Use bleach if you see any mold to kill it. Hope all works out for you.

    Added- If there is insulation rip that out too.
  4. rfsmith48

    rfsmith48 Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Colorado
    Folks,

    Thanks for the replies.

    To clarify:
    There was no standing water.
    Not all of the carpet was wet.

    I will rent a dehumidifier.
    What type and concentration of bleach is recommended?

    Thanks again,

    Rog
  5. jadziedzic

    jadziedzic Member

    Messages:
    96
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Bleach is not really the right product to use on mold - it may give the appearance of removing surface mold, but that's about it. Go to the blue or orange box store and buy a product made especially for cleaning mold.
  6. philtrap

    philtrap Member

    Messages:
    74
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
  7. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,395
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Doesn't matter to the drywall if there was standing water or not. It absorbed water. It's easy to determine how high the damage is, water turns the gypsum orange. Water will wick up above the high water mark, so you'll have to experiment to find how high the damage is. Since drywall is normally installed with the long edge down, the seam is 4 feet above the floor. It might be easier to cut across that taped seam than to try to cut a straight line along the length lower down. It would be more difficult to make a new seam because there would be no taper on the edge.
  8. rfsmith48

    rfsmith48 Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Colorado
    Thanks guys,

    I have some homework to do.

    Really appreciate the responses.

    Rog
  9. rfsmith48

    rfsmith48 Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Colorado
    Guys,

    Found mold in several places.
    I can do the tear-out and drywall repair.

    How do I select a mold removal contractor? Is there any specific licensing/certification process for these folks?

    Thanks again,

    Rog
  10. rfsmith48

    rfsmith48 Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Colorado
    Folks,

    Found several short walls with mold about 6" up from the plate. VERY stinky. Several other areas had small stains with limited odors. Did not see any orange colored stains. Mold remediation guidelines from other websites talk about less than 10 square feet as a breakpoint between minor/major problems. We appear to be less than 10.

    Questions:

    Is there a spray chemical/test method to determine if a stain is visual only, or contains a mold contamination?

    Thanks again,

    Rog
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