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The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Tips for wet basement owners

  • The recent rains caused many homeowners to find ways to cope with minor, or in some cases, major flooding damage issues.
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  • The recent rains caused many homeowners to find ways to cope with minor, or in some cases, major flooding damage issues.
    Tom Folder, owner of Durham Hardware, discussed some of the more critical concerns that must be addressed after flooding damage to a house.
    “If you have a basement, most basements require a sump pump, before the flooding not after,” Folder said.
    A properly installed sump pump is essential for any home with a basement. It will allow the water to be drained out quickly, without the need for outside pumps to be brought in after the flooding.
    The next problem to be dealt with in almost every moderate to severe flood is soil and sewage contamination to the property carried in by the flood water. This is one, if not the major, problem after a serious flood. The house must be disinfected rigorously; anywhere that the flood waters may have carried the contamination has to be thoroughly cleansed.
    Black mold occurring in water soaked walls and floors is another serious threat to be dealt with. The health threat to humans cannot be underestimated.
    “If you see black or green mold, that means that the spores are growing and will be inhaled by anyone in the house.” Folder said. “This is very hazardous to the younger and older residents.”
    Folder states that fans and dehumidifiers should be used to dry out the house and then a thorough inspection of the damage should be carried out.
    Wiring that has been underwater needs to be replaced. Wet wiring will heat up and can cause combustion. The circuit breakers and grounding leads should also be carefully examined for leakage or damage and replaced if needed.
    Any wall material in the house that has been in contact with flood water should be checked for mold growth. If wall sections need to be replaced, Folder says that the homeowner should carefully check the frames and that anywhere on the framing of the house that has been in contact with flood water should be treated to kill any possible mold colonies, before the wall material is replaced.
    “If you don't do this, the mold on the frames will grow and ruin the wall material.” Folder said.
    Folder stated that biggest problem that occurs during any serious flooding is the contamination caused by sewage from floodwater. This is a very serious potential problem. Folder stressed that this is an essential step in repairing flood damage.
    One of the last things that Folder advised homeowners about in dealing with flood damage is not to use a bleach water mix to disinfect. Folder said that the possibility of bleach interacting with chemicals either already present in the home or that had been carried in by flood water was too great and some potential bleach and chemical interactions can produce fumes that are fatal for humans.
    Page 2 of 2 - Folder added that all of the materials, tools and treatments needed to clean up homes after a flood are available at most hardware stores.

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