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Old 09-08-2008, 08:17 AM   #1
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Water behind the built in bookcase


Hi -

We just finished our basement in June. We have never had a water problem but Saturday night Hanna dumped 4 - 6" of rain and we had water leaking into the basement. Several gallons came under the built-in bookcase. We have mopped up everything, set up a dehumidifier in the room and we are addressing the drainage problem.


My concern is what is going on behind the bookcase. There is a sealed cement wall covered in insulation and drywall behind the bookcase. Does anyone know anything else we can do to make sure things are drying out back there?

Thanks, and have a good day! Barbara

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Old 09-09-2008, 07:19 AM   #2
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Water behind the built in bookcase


You definitely need to pull the built in book case if you can. You may not get enough drying of the material behind it if you don't. Dehumidifiers are the right idea, but can be way too slow if you only have one. If the bottom of the drywall got wet, you can expect that moisture has wicked up at least 12" from the water level. If there is fiberglass insulation behind it, that will hold moisture and is very hard to dry out. Without a serious drying out plan, you could create a mold farm here in short order. Personally, I would remove the bookcase. Cut out the bottom foot of drywall and replace any damp insulation. Let the framing dryout for a few days, then rebuild. The very first thing I would do is get on the phone to my homeowners insurance carrier.

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Old 09-09-2008, 07:35 AM   #3
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Water behind the built in bookcase


Thank you for that good advice. Our son is coming today to open up some foot square holes in the cabinets and pull the footing so we can get an idea of what is going on back there and more drying. We may be lucky if the water was contained to a small area of the wall.

It was surface water and we don't have flood insurance, so I don't think homeowners will help us. Once we get it open we can get a restorer in with industrial dehumidifiers and mold/mildew treatments.
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Old 09-09-2008, 08:00 AM   #4
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Water behind the built in bookcase


Dehu's and fans are your best friends.
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Old 09-09-2008, 09:03 AM   #5
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Water behind the built in bookcase


We are going that way -here's hoping that we don't have to rip our brand new bookcases! Thanks!!!!
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Old 09-10-2008, 06:42 PM   #6
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Water behind the built in bookcase


Depending on how the sheetrock was hung would dictate the amount of ,"demo' that would be needed.
I just finished removing the bottom 24" of sheetrock and insulation in a customers house due to a water problem. The water was less then a inch high but it reached the sheetrock and wicked up between 12-15". By exposing one wall, the other wall was exposed and will dry without mold growth. A company came in and vacuumed out the water and left two under rug type fans.
I would remove the bookcases and start exploration. Work to each side until you reach dry areas. Remove all wet items and let the area dry out throughly before you rebuilt.
Find out where the water came in and remedy the problem or this will be a regular issue.
Ron
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Old 09-10-2008, 09:37 PM   #7
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Water behind the built in bookcase


Thanks, Ron. We were able to cut out view holes in the cabinets at the bottom of the bookcase. The sheetrock is fine! Talk about luck. We cut away the wet part of the insulation and we have had a company come in with an industrial dehumidifier and blower. They also sprayed for mold prevention. They are coming up with a plan to correct our drainage issues.

Barbara

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