Flooded my basement, need advice

pjmysticNovember 14, 2010

Doing an upstairs toilet plumbing repair today, thought everything was good to go, went to hardware store and when I came back I heard water running. Ran to bathroom and water was shooting out of shut off valve at great force. I was gone for about 20 minutes so was running up to at least that long.

After getting water shut off, went to finished basement and water was pouring out of 2 of my recess lights and the seams of the ceiling drywall.

Fast forward a few hours. I have the carpet pulled up and am working on drying that out.

My concern is the drywall. I'm assuming I need to replace the ceiling drywall? It would be probably a 15 X 15 section or so. It doesn't look bad right now (just the seams) but I'm assuming mold will grow if I leave it as is?

Also, I don't see how it wouldn't have run down the outside wall as well? There is no damage showing on the wall sheetrock but I'm guessing the insulation is wet behind there? Do I need to pull off that drywall as well? The last thing I want is mold problems but not sure what is necessary to do at this point.

Any help would be greatly appreciated on what I need to do and think of. I will of course make sure the plumbing repair is taken care of as well.


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This is a good example of why not to drywall a basement ceiling. At the very least, you need to get it open and position a fan so that it dries out. A dehumidifier would be a good idea as well.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2010 at 5:33AM
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We had 8" of sewage backup in our basement this summer. Our first step was to cut out the bottom 14" of the drywall walls and we found soaking insulation and wood framing behind. We got rid of the drywall and insulation right away, ran fans and humidifiers for the next couple of weeks. At that point, we found that the backside of the wood framing was still wet and turning very black.

We gutted our finished basement.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2010 at 8:03AM
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Dry out everything as needed. Inspect for water seepage in the walls - I would say remove drywall at the ceiling near the walls and feel the top of the batts to see if they are damp - do this as soon as possible. If you can dry this up fairly quickly you may get by with just some small repairs to the drywall. If the insulation is wet, then you have much more to do. See the link below for tutorials on drywall repair. You might even opt for a drop ceiling, if you have the room.

Here is a link that might be useful: Drywall Repair Tutorials

    Bookmark   November 15, 2010 at 10:48AM
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Last night, shut off valve fixed.

I cut 2 small holes (enough to get my head and an arm in) in the ceiling in the basement and a smaller one in the wall.

The first hole in the ceiling was in the floor space where the 2 recess lights are that the water was pouring out of. Sheet rock was completely dry, couldn't feel any dampness at all.

Second hole in the ceiling was directly below the toilet and it was slightly damp but not bad at all. Have a fan up there now blowing.

Smaller hole in wall toward the of the ceiling, no dampness and insulation dry.

I honestly don't get it. Could it be that it was because it was such a short period of time that the water ran and it had a place to escape that it doesn't seem wet?

Maybe it's because the other end of each of these spaces goes into my unfinished storage room which also gave the water another place to go? I have fans in there as well blowing up into the spaces now. It appears that I've caught a break (unless I'm missing something?)

    Bookmark   November 16, 2010 at 10:51AM
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