My house is flooded! What do I do?
July 22, 2011 2:39 PM   Subscribe

I just got home to find my house flooded. The tank on the back of the commode cracked open and has been running all day. What do I do to dry the ceiling, avoid damage?

The bathroom sits above the garage so it's basically raining in the garage. We have cork floors which have dried off quickly but I am unsure as to what I should do. The house is from the '50's so has plaster walls and ceilings. The water looks like it basically went from the second floor straight down through the garage ceiling.

We just bought the house and I obviously don't want any damage, mold etc. What should I be doing and who should I be calling.

I've dried everything off upstairs and am now at a loss as to what to do.
posted by misterpatrick to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
I'd call an expert in the phone book, typically under Water Damage or Water Damage Remediation.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 2:43 PM on July 22, 2011

The first thing I'd do is punch holes in the garage ceiling with a screwdriver (after checking for wires and pipes). The worst thing for the plaster is to have any water sitting on it for any length of time.

Any kind of electric fan heater that you can point at the wet places will also help. It's difficult to fully assess the damage until you get everything dried out as much as you can.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 2:44 PM on July 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

Call your insurers!
posted by DarlingBri at 2:46 PM on July 22, 2011

Your Fire Dept. may be able to offer advice. Look carefully for areas where there seems to be water, knock on walls and ceiling to see if some areas don't sound as hollow as they should. Dehumidifiers and fans should help a lot. If there's wet carpet, a wetvac will help. Flooding is a whole lotta no fun; I feel your pain.
posted by theora55 at 2:53 PM on July 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: FIRST STEP: Call your insurer.

SECOND STEP: Call a company like ServPro.

This same thing happened to me a couple of years ago, and they were very helpful. They took down the sodden ceiling tiles, took up ruined carpet and carpet pad, moved everything that could be moved, carted away the mess, and went to work drying it all off. They left the fans roaring in my basement for about a week, I think, before coming back and getting them. Everything was dry and we avoided a mold outbreak.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:56 PM on July 22, 2011

nthing getting the pros in once you've called your insurance company. The insurer may have a preferred local service; if not, look for one that lists your insurer among those it works with. Time is of the essence here, and professional fire/water damage companies have access to industrial-grade equipment and can make the right assessment fast.
posted by holgate at 3:04 PM on July 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank guys. I called my agent, then my insurers and they just had ServPro call me back and they'll be out tonight.

Sounds like they'll have to open the plaster ceiling up and pull the insulation. Only area carpets were affected so thank god for that and for cork floors. Gotta love mid-century modern architecture.

Again, thanks for the quick responses I really appreciate it. This is our first house and we just moved in three months ago so I had no idea what to do.
posted by misterpatrick at 3:30 PM on July 22, 2011

« Older Can anyone identify this gold ring with an odd...   |   Outsourcing my search for the perfect shirt. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.