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Theres water where ??

3308 Views 28 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  pwa
Hi to all, My wife called me at work 2 days ago and said after a severe thuunderstorm our basement had water in it.I have found the cause but after 2 days of having fans on the carpet it is still not dry.The carpet is very short pile kinda like indoor outdoor stuff with a rubber back and is on a cement slab.We sucked up as much as possible with a rug shampoo machine and I cut back a piece of carpet from the orgin of leak to find it quite wet including the baseboard.With water under the rubber backing will it ever dry?Should mold be my most urgent concern?What kinda of mess will I be in trying to scrap the rubber backing up? Thanks in advance for any help Pwa
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First off---your insurance may cover this --sometimes without a deductible---they will send in a remediation outfit with big dehumidifiers and fans.

If that's not an option---pulling up the rug may be the best option. It will mold without equipment that you can not get.

Consider a ceramic tile floor with area rugs in the future---they can be sent out for cleaning and drying.

Good luck,Mike
Thanks for tips,I live in a small town and would be surprised to find someone with the equipment so pulling it may be my best bet.Whats really bugging me is the rubber backing thats really stuck to the cement maybe even with adhesive.After looking through the archives it look like I am in for alot of scrapping.Would'nt my premiums go up if I turn it into my insurance?
Not always---talk to your agent and ask. Most agent are easy to talk to--the insurance companies them selves might not be as helpful.

Those pads do get stuck to the floor. A oing handled floor scraper makes the job go quickly.--Mike--
ok,Ill talk to my agent tomorrow and see what she says,and I am located in grangeville idaho.Thanks, Oh yea, I dont have much head room to spare but would there be some kind of insulation pad and would there be any benifit being a basement
Sorry,no insulation pad for under tile----that's what the area rugs are for.

Electrical heating can be added under the tile,but the cost is very high.
Well my insurance deductible is 1000 and it doesnt appear that its gonna dry so I pulled up a couple yards to check it out.The carpet comes right up but the backing:no:.Its funny how you cant get something to stick like this when you try.Gotta go sharpen up some scrappers for tomorrow.Think I am going to go with carpet tiles.Thanks again for the help.Probably post for help when I get there

Did you find the leak source? Also, the problem most people get into when they opt out of turning in a claim to insurance is that they think they can get rid of water for under the deductible price and be ok..
Water goes into the drywall like a candlewick, baseboards and especially insulation. It will mold, or at least here in California humidity. It usually starts behind the drywall where you dont see it. It starts with the musty smell then the visible. You should at minimal call out a reputable restoration company like Servpro or someone and have them METER the walls and areas to see if its still wet and drying. They will advise you on what next, usually even help with the insurance dealing. If you still decide to not turn in a claim, here is what most of those companies do.
Meter moisture, fix moisture leakage, remove carpet, padding, wet drywall, insulation, add dehumidifiers as the basement will hold moisture in air, add air movers if no mold is present. If mold is present, your too late. Now you must move into plan B.(Thats a whole other story)
after all is dry, repair.
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Yeah, the leak was from an over loaded downspout that was run into the ground with a gravel bed that was very close to foundation.The basement has always had the musty smell since I bought the house(8 yrs).I was thinking its because theres not a complete vapor barrier in the crawl space.Going by previous water stain maybe this has happen before,I thought maybe a water heater or pipe gave out in the past since this is the first time I have noticed a water problem.Hope it hasnt been going on less severe and unoticed,Think I will pull some base boards and maybe cut an inspection hole in drywall to whats back there? Thanks
Good luck! Take care of that outside drainage problem----Have fun. Consider ceramic and throw rugs,

Those carpet tiles do look nice and are not to costly---Have fun---Mike---
Thanks mike, fun is a three letter word, I was thinking of a four
You're welcome---wet basements happen sometimes----I'm watching mine as the water table is up-up-up
and my pumps are running ----Mike----
Its not too bad if you say it fast :) to scrape up the foam consider a shorter scraper 12-20" that uses 4" removable blades, pretty inexpensive at you local bldg supply and don't forget knee pads. They're pretty cheap and will make the job easier and safer. you can use 'olfa' blades as inexpensive replacement blades(to keep it sharp). ummmm maybe buy your buddy breakfast and then you can take turns :)
yeah the foams not to bad,I got a couple good chisels that hold thier edge pretty.I'm not gonna win any races but its easy.I got a good look at the water damage after pulling off the partical board(instead of drywall)that was used.There is a 2x4 frame in front of the cement basement wall and it looks pretty good to me.No mold but the wood is discolored kinda blackish,its kinda soft but its still wet.yeah the partical board held up great in the water:whistling2: seems pretty stupid to me.
Isn't that stuff amazing when it gets wet? Keep the fans going----punching holes in the drywall below the trim line will aid in drying. Some people just use a finishing hammer to make the holes.--Mike--
Good morning,The 2x4's for the frame work are sitting right on the floor, should there be some kind of barrier there to keep them from sucking moisture out of cement? Doesnt really matter,I wont be pulling them out if there ok.Will drywall adventually dry out or is it toast once it gets wet? Thanks for all the imput!!
Hello, pwa:

I am going to share 17 years of diversified "hands-on" insurance restoration and adjusting experience throughout the country with you based on your posts....I no longer work for the insurance carriers and consult for property owners and contractors throughout the country...this is a long get a cup of coffee and get comfortable.

Anytime that a property owner believes that they have some type of property damage loss, it is their responsibility to determine the source of loss, if possible and take steps to mitigate the loss to prevent further damage; usually by calling a mitigation vendor. This responsibility can be found in the Conditions section of all homeowner policies. Let me comment first on sections of your prior posts.

Typical Scenario for Water Loss

First, determine the source of loss and see if you can stop it by yourself...take far away photos (mandatory) of the room/area damaged and then close ups of specific damage) a qualified mitigation vendor (explain in detail later); I already have an idea, without photos, what you costs would be for an outside vendor to mitigate....a qualified water/fire mitigation vendor can discuss whether you may want to file a claim or can always file a claim and later cancel, but your policy will still be flagged....

...if you call a mitigation vendor, they will require you to sign a work authorization to authorize them to mitigate the loss, prepare Emergency Service and or Repair Estimate for the adjuster, and, possibly, even deal with the repairs. The majority of mitigation vendors want to collect the deductible up front, and, once the work authorization is signed, work can begin. Some vendors will work with you on the deductible.

The vendor should identify and inspect the source of loss, stop the source of loss if you haven't or if it is still ongoing, a plumber may be required. A good restorer should be able to give you some feedback as to the cost for Emergency Services and repairs and whether a claim should be filed or not. In this economy and with carriers getting harder to deal with, you may want to weigh the plus/minuses of filing a claim. But, don't wait too long. Depending on how bad the damage is, a decision to file a claim should be made with 48 hours or less. Depending on the degree of loss, temperature and relative humidity, the time the water damage has sat unattended and the types of materials damaged, mold can start to generate within 24-72 hours.

The initial water loss is called primary damage. If mold growth begins, this is called secondary damage and is more costly to deal with. To properly address a water loss, you need to know whether you are dealing with a Category I (clean water), Category II (gray water) or Category III (black water; outside water) water loss. This determination will determine how to mitigate so as not to contaminate the rest of the home and how to properly clean the structure of microbials and fungus.

While your efforts are gallant, homeowners, while trying to mitigate the loss themselves, may destroy evidence needed by the restorer and insurance adjuster. In addition, time is critical when mitigating a water loss. So, if today is Saturday evening, three days have passed since you recognized the interior damage. Sunday will make 4 days without this loss being properly handled. I usually recommend that property owners not try and extract water because they may be using faulty equipment and electrocute themselves.

Properly drying a structure is more than plugging in a machine. If there is any presence of mold, you do not want to use air blowers at all! This can be discussed later. Do you know why you put fans (how many fans, how many rooms, how many SF) on the floor? Do you know why the carpet was still wet?

Before fans are set up, water extraction and removal of water damaged structural items (items that cannot be dried or are damaged beyond saving or repair) must be complete. The carpet was still wet after several days because proper procedures were not followed. Without seeing any photos, I probably would have removed the carpet and scraped the floor clean. This would expedite the drying process and remove an item with still a substantial amount of moisture content. Yet, before anything is removed and disposed of, proper photos and proof of excessive moisture content must be documented. In addition, I would have documented the moisture content of the baseboards before removing. As for the drywall, I would be careful in there is any evidence of mold growth. Again, the walls and damage need to be documented and moisture tested before removing.

Removing structural items with mold without proper containment will spread millions of mold spores throughout the area and create more damage. This can be a very expensive mistake.

Being able to properly moisture test and dry a structural building involves scientific methods and documentation of moisture content and vapor pressure of the atmosphere. Performing insurance restoration for a water damage loss, fire or any other loss is a specialized field and requires specialized training and equipment. To know how to properly dry the room, there are 4 key steps that are required: 1) extraction of as much water as possible with vacuums, 2) demolition (large topic) as needed for structural items that cannot be saved (requires experience), 3) evaporation (air blowers) and 4) dehumidifiers. Yet, to know how to properly dry a structure, you, first, need to know what the existing conditions are first: moisture mapping of the entire structure must first be done of the structural items and temperature/relative humidity of the atmosphere.

Without photos, my first impression is that this may not be a covered loss. Did you take any photos of the over loaded downspout at the top and bottom? On all insurance policies, any water out of the sky that hits the ground first or flows from the ground into the home IS NOT a covered loss. To be covered, water usually has to enter the home through the air without hitting the exterior ground....enter through the roof or a broken window......or be the result of a broken pipe inside or an overflow of some sort. Of course, your policy may have endorsements that I am not familiar with.

Insurance companies pay claims that are "sudden and accidental".....immediate or short-term incidents........not long term damage. This sounds like a long-term issue.

I hope you read this entire post before opening attempting to open the drywall and baseboards...don't scrape the floor yet, either. Also, do not file a claim yet, either (Saturday, June 11th).

While agents can sometimes be helpful, keep this thought in mind........Agents sell insurance; they do not adjust losses nor determine what is an approved loss or not.......field adjusters only prepare estimates of damage and repair based ONLY on visible damage seen; they do not prepare Emergency Service estimates; field adjusters are the eyes and ears for the in-house staff adjuster; the majority of field adjusters DO NOT make policy decisions on approval or not; they only make recommendations to the in-house staff adjusters (carrier) staff adjusters and management for the carrier make the final approval on insurance claims.

If you start demo before reading this, I hope you don't throw away any of the removed structural items. If a claim is filed, the adjuster will rely on photos, moisture reading charts, and actual debris for his reports. If you dispose of the evidence of damaged items, without any documentation, you're claim could be denied. Again, I don't believe that you have a covered loss.

The carpet was not drying for several reasons. Air blowers can do more harm than good without dehumidifiers, and, I mean commercial equipment; not the type of blowers and dehumidifiers that you get at HD or buy for your home. After extraction/demo, and, if there is not any mold present, the purpose of air blowers is to circulate the moisture content in the atmosphere, so that dehumidifiers can pull this moisture from the air. As this is done, vapor pressure is released from the flooring, baseboards, drywall, etc. and, with proper drying methods, the structure becomes dry. Even the drying process is monitored on a daily basis and documented. If you circulate excessive moisture content in the atmosphere without dehumidification, you are only pushing the excessive moisture content somewhere else in the structure, and, eventually, the moisture has to land somewhere. It will land on your contents, walls, or other flooring areas. Depending on the temperature and relative humidity in the structure, this can create mold growth.

By not using proper procedures in the drying process, you will make the loss worse than it should be.

Properly testing and drying the moisture content of the slab once exposed will also be a concern, as with the walls.

This loss would surely exceed your deductible for Emergency Services, possible mold mitigation and repairs. I do not want to post actual dollar amounts, but I can discuss and generate an estimate for you to show you exact costs.

Okay, this should be plenty of information to absorb for starters.
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yeah the foams not to bad,I got a couple good chisels that hold thier edge pretty.I'm not gonna win any races but its easy.I got a good look at the water damage after pulling off the partical board(instead of drywall)that was used.There is a 2x4 frame in front of the cement basement wall and it looks pretty good to me.No mold but the wood is discolored kinda blackish,its kinda soft but its still wet.yeah the partical board held up great in the water:whistling2: seems pretty stupid to me.
Sounds strange that you would have particle board on the walls, instead of drywall; is the particle board acting as your walls and is it painted???; so, the particle board (3/4" thick ???) is acting as drywall..........behind the particle board, there should be vertical 2 x 2 fur strips to support the particle board.....there should also be 1-2" blanket insulation between the fur strips....along the lower edge of the wall, there might be a 2 x 4 to support the nailing of the baseboards. Water and excessive moisture content will be trapped between the lumber and the concrete wall. The wood can be discolored "kinda blackish" because it is totally saturated and, most likely, mold growth has started. Keep in mind, all mold looks black when it is wet.

Without commerical dehumidifiers and proper containment, you will never get this material dry.

Please contact me to get further detail. I need to ask some specific questions and get some photos.
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Holly $%^%, How come everything has to be so complicated? I dont think I could have gotten a more comprehensive reply.I decided on sat not to deal with the insurance issue.I am glad the property loss was minimum.There was not standing water it just followed the wall down hill.The point of entry was where the partical board was located.It was bulit as you said and was only used to hide the basement wall,no insulation.I have removed that and the base boards along with all the carpet and scraped up half of the foam padding.Concentrating on the damp area and working out.As for the fans:eek: they have been on since I found the water.I will call my plumber tomorrow and see if he has the equipment to dry it properly.I will try to get a friend help me post a picture,I am not the computer literate yet.Thank you for the response
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Holly $%^%, e,.----------------------------------Thank you for the response

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