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condo flood. rugs are soaked. AC or no...?
June 27, 2011 6:45 PM   Subscribe

condo flood. rugs are soaked. AC or no...?

my girlfriend came home to find the toilet supply line in her bathroom had burst during the day while she was at work. the entire 1st floor was flooded to semi flooded. half of the condo is wall to wall carpet. we're in the process of using the wet-vac on the carpet as i type. i have fans circulating air. My question is: do we shut all the windows and doors and turn on the central air in an effort to remove all of the humidity in the condo (it's unfortunately a warm humid evening here). or should we keep everything open? i've seen both suggestions. just wondering which is better. ultimately, we're trying to avoid pulling up the carpeting and having to install new. bonus: any tips, tricks, etc that will help us dry out this place would be appreciated.
posted by ps_im_awesome to Home & Garden (8 answers total)
 
Get a dehumidifier. My boyfriend had an unfortunate brewing explosion at his carpeted house involving 5 gallons of beer. He literally had to keep dumping out all the beer that thing sucked up. The carpet was completely dry in a day or two.
posted by janerica at 6:51 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yes -- dehumidifier all the way. I had a pipe burst in my apartment two years ago and the dehumidifier was the best thing to have handy; I evaporated about thirty liters of water out of the air (and ultimately the wall-to-wall carpet) of a small one-bedroom apartment.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:05 PM on June 27, 2011


Definitely second the dehumidifier suggestion. If possible, borrow a friend's to have two. I would definitely keep the windows open with fans in them to keep the air moving.

That said, at this rate it looks like it might just be easier to pull up all of the carpet and do new floors. Once fully soaked, carpet never really dries without stinking. I have seen this happen many times and it is always easier to replace the floor and sub-floor if necessary rather than dry out carpet. Carpet can warp, mildew, mold, etc...

In many cases, it makes sense to use homeowners insurance, which you can get for a condo, for this process to make sure that everything is covered.
posted by Nackt at 7:05 PM on June 27, 2011


Fourth the dehumidifier. If there's any way you can arrange for it to drain via hose attachment, even better.
posted by thomas j wise at 7:06 PM on June 27, 2011


Yeah, dehumidifier. And maybe rent a blower fan.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 7:06 PM on June 27, 2011


I've seen this done professionally. The rooms are sealed and the dehumidifier is run for like a week straight. Kick on the heaters, too. The space will be over 100 degrees (no one can stay during this process) but it is a hell of a lot better than toxic mold.
posted by jbenben at 7:16 PM on June 27, 2011


When my office flooded it was exactly what jbenben says. Heat + multiple dehumidifiers + everything closed.
posted by magnetsphere at 7:57 PM on June 27, 2011


Just had this happen to me a couple of weeks ago. You have three days to dry out the walls before mold sets in. If you can get them dry by this time you should be in the clear, but if not you'll probably end up replacing the wallboard.

I called Stanley Steemer. They came in with an infrared camera and set blowers and dehumidifiers all over the affected half of the house. You'll want another place to sleep, because they are VERY VERY LOUD. For 5 rooms and about 800 square feet, they charged me $1900 for the dry-out. They had to remove all my baseboards and knock hammerhead-sized holes in the walls near the bottoms, which also will need to be replaced. My homeowners' insurance covered all this minus my deductible.

Especially if you have insurance, don't try to do this yourself. By calling someone in, a lot of the documentation for insurance purposes was done for me by experts who knew what to look for. They also knew what to do and how to tell if I needed to be worried about replacing the wallboard. Lastly, if I do end up seeing mold growth despite all their reassurances, I'll be able to file it under the existing claim. If I hadn't made a claim and there was some future problem, I don't think it would be as easy to go back and make one after the fact.
posted by tkolstee at 7:41 AM on June 28, 2011


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