Avoiding Mold After Basement Flooding
LESLIE: Susan in Tennessee has a situation in the basement. What happened?SUSAN: Yes, my mother lives in Tennessee and I’m calling for her and she lives close to the Mississippi River and she has a basement which is – it’s a partial basement, I guess you’d say. She has windows that are above the ground. And while she was gone we had so much rain and her sump pump got stopped up and water has seeped into the basement. We’ve gotten the water out but we want to know what to do about that damp, musty smell. How can we get rid of that and do we know if there’s any mold or mildew down there? How can we treat that?
TOM: Well, you’re not going to know until you actually inspect it but in terms of the smell, that’s going to stem from humidity and moisture reacting with dirt and other things that are down there. You’re probably going to need to add some sort of dehumidification. Now do you have a forced air heating system in that house, do you know?
TOM: Well, I’ll tell you what a good thing would be for you to add and that’s called a whole-house dehumidifier. Now these are made by different companies. Aprilaire makes a really good one and I actually work with that product and it takes out like – isn’t it like 90 pints of …
LESLIE: Ninety pints.
TOM: Yeah, 90 pints of water a day.
LESLIE: And it’s not something that you have to continually empty. It dumps itself, essentially. So it takes the work out of it and it constantly kicks on and comes on in the areas where it needs the most dehumidification in your home, so it’ll constantly work in that basement until it takes that moisture to a proper level.
TOM: And the other thing to do is – and I know she lives near the Mississippi, but when you have a lot of rain you also get surface water that drains in there. So make sure that your gutter system is clean, that the downspouts are extended away from the foundation and that the soil around the outside of that wall slopes away from the house.
TOM: Because you also get humidity and moisture that comes down from rainwater in addition to any water that’s going to come up.
SUSAN: OK, well thanks so much. I appreciate it.
TOM: You’re welcome, Susan. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.