What to Keep, What to Toss When Your Basement Floods

Updated: 06/26/2014 7:09 AM
Created: 06/25/2014 3:14 PM
By: Brandi Powell

What can you restore and what do you need to toss when your basement floods?

"In a lot of these cases, we haven't been able to save the carpet," said Eric Nelson, Lead Restoration Technician at Green Clean Restoration and Cleaning Services.

Fortunately, de-humidifiers along with a handful of "high-velocity-air-movers" helped save the carpet and walls in the Edina home he was working in Wednesday.

"In this particular case we were able to save the carpet due to responding quickly, so, yeah, it's pretty lucky on this one," he said.

"I'm seeing everything at about the 11-14 percent range, which is very common for a basement," Nelson said about the moisture levels. It's a noticeable difference, compared to the 99 percent moisture in the carpet right after the storms.

"If we respond quickly enough, we are able to dry them out," Nelson said.

The walls were also saved in time; they went from 50 percent moisture after the storms back to their normal 7 percent moisture content.

But Nelson said wall damage can be hard to spot.

"In finished basements with dry wall on the walls, the dry wall acts as a wick, and it can actually take the moisture from the carpet and actually start absorbing it up into itself, so although you may not get standing water in your basement, your drywall walls may be wet several inches up," he said.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, you should toss any wet insulation, upholstered furniture that has been exposed to water or contaminated material, food that's in soft packaging, screw-top glass bottles that may have touched the flood water and carpet padding.

As for repairs, they say don't paint or replace ceilings, wall tiles or flooring until all enclosed spaces are completely dry. Officials say to make sure you clean, rinse and disinfect wood furniture.


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