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It's raining in the basement.
July 14, 2012 6:16 PM   Subscribe

Sink overflowed in bathroom, it's raining in the basement, now what?

Our bathroom sink was clogged, so I put some liquid drain opener in it, and then I went to flush it with hot water. I closed the door so the cats wouldn't get in and left the water running. About 40 minutes later we discovered that not only had the clog not broken, but the sink backed up.

We have bead board on the wall in the bathroom, it's damp. There's dry wall behind it.

We have oak flooring in the bathroom. We've mopped up all the water from the floor. Although it's warm (as the water was hot) it now seems dry.

The vanity was wet, so I mopped that up.

The water mostly went into the unfinished part of the basement. It's raining in there. We have a drain in the floor, and it's not standing or anything, just dripping lightly onto the cement floor. Some stuff got pretty wet. We can wipe off or throw away whatever is wet.

My big concerrns are the electrical in the basement and the wood flooring in the bathroom. Also, how much do we need to worry about mold?

Ah shit, anything else I'm forgetting?

Also, the damn sink is still clogged.

Any suggestions?
posted by Ruthless Bunny to Home & Garden (6 answers total)
 
I would call a plumber and ask them to bring their dry-out fan.
posted by batmonkey at 6:18 PM on July 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


It might be worth renting a drying fan, possibly a dehumidifier or two from a local hardware store/rental outlet.

If you're feeling spendy, there are plenty of 'disaster recovery' firms that are willing to provide these things immediately. These firms can also offer anti-fungal treatments to keep molds from growing in areas that the water soaked.
posted by BrandonW at 6:27 PM on July 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


At this point, I think you should call a plumber for the clog. Of course, if you are willing to just wait, and not mess with it, until Monday, you could avoid paying an emergency service call fee.

The electrical in the basement should be fine. Just do not turn it on for a while. Let it dry out. If it is all off until it dries, there will not be a problem.

You need a de-humifier to dry out the room. You could pay the plumber to do that. Or you could rent the machine yourself, and save a bunch of money. Also, you can rent the machine tomorrow morning yourself at Home Depot, rather than waiting for the plumber. To use a de-humifier, just plug it in, and let it sit in the room, and every once in a while, empty the water try. It is worth your while to get the de-humidifier in there as quick as possible, before any mold can form.

The lesson to be learned from this is: never leave a sink running un-attended.
posted by Flood at 6:30 PM on July 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks guys.

Great advice.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:41 PM on July 14, 2012


Make sure you seal off all rooms being dried out. I have vast experience with this issue.

You want the affected areas blazing hot. No open windows or doors. Just baking heat, a dehumidifier to collect the moisture, and a fan to blow it around.

DIY solutions include: A powerful fan, a space heater or turn on the house heat to full blast, and a dehumidifier, and burly grade extra long extension cords so you can run power safely. Consider renting a small Honda generator or the like if you are concerned about using the electric in your home.

Don't skimp on the heat - did I mention this? Also, your home might not be habitable while this process plays out.

Memail if you want anecdotes and more info, especially about how to judge of any of the drywall will need replacing. We're seeking to avoid that at this point.

Yes, mold and water damage to wood and plaster are your potential issues. Do the heat and drying right, and you may save yourself heaps of time and $$.

Best of luck! It's possible to fix this!!
posted by jbenben at 10:21 PM on July 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Actually, the water wasn't as bad as we thought.

Everything is dry as a bone this morning. So we cleaned up and we're back in businss. I think the saving grace was that we didn't have standing water, it just dripped through the floor into the basement, which is all cement. The cement isn't even wet!

I was exhausted yesterday and that is my excuse. I told Husbunny that he gets 10 bone-headed things without comment to this one colossal bone-headed thing that I did.

Thank you again to everyone!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:00 AM on July 15, 2012


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