Flooding! Help! Advice needed!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jack Smith, Feb 22, 2003.

  1. Jack Smith

    Jack Smith Agent

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    First the snow, then the rain, now the rapid melting. There is 3-feet of snow around my house and the ground cannot soak up anymore moisture. So now it is pouring through the three basement windows and there is no way to stop the water. I managed to put a plastic trash bag around my Sharp 9000 projector and I pray that will protect it from the moisture for a couple of weeks. I managed to move my two SVS subwoofers upstairs, but the 60 inch Proscan rptv is going to have to save itself. Its on casters, as is my Boltz component rack, but I don't think they're going to be high enough. My questions:
    1. Will the resulting moisture destroy my components (Denon 3800 DVD, Denon 5800 receiver, Directv ultimate, JVC svhs, Pioneer 606 dd/dts LD player, sub amp, two Cinepro Amps - 3kIIse and 2kII, Monster 7000 and Monster 3500 line conditioners)?
    2. Speaker cables, all Monster Z2 series on the fronts; Monster THX rated plastic covered coppers for the surrounds. These were submerged and soaked. Do I have to trash them or will they be fine?
    3. Two line conditioners, Monster 7000 and Monster 3500 (for the projector). Both cables were submerged under water. Will they bounce back?
    4. Draper motorized screen. Will the moisture kill it?

    I assume this flooding will continue for a few days yet, then at least two weeks of a very damp basement. What kind of damage can I expect to encounter? Help!!!!!
     
  2. Rich Wenzel

    Rich Wenzel Supporting Actor

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    well, make sure there is no electricity running to anything...

    do you have a sub pump, or 3?

    how about homeowners insurance?

    Rich
     
  3. Anthony.Lin

    Anthony.Lin Stunt Coordinator

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    maybe a dehumidifier would help?
     
  4. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    the sump pump is a good idea. get an automatic, water level sensing one. Home Depot. so long as the moisture doesn't touch anything, there really ought to be no issue. after all, come summer, humidity can be 100%, no? regarding the tv, although it's on casters, i'd be looking to get it up higher. maybe some friends can come over and help. same comments regarding the rack. get it up on some cinder blocks.
     
  5. RobCar

    RobCar Stunt Coordinator

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    Dehumidifiers do incredible things. At my parents' place on the east coast, they have to empty that thing all the time, and it's pulling more than a gallon of water out of thin air each time.

    I wish I had that problem. In Colorado, it's so dry that I can literally see the dust particles in the air. Dust is worse than humidity, I would guess.
     
  6. PaulT

    PaulT Supporting Actor

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    When our basement flooded 2 years ago the Insurance Adjustor had a restoration company bring in 2 giant de-humidifying fans. These things sound like a jet engine taking off and removed the moisture after 2 days. I am not sure if they can be rented if you don't go through an Insurance company.

    If you can remove your electronics from the site, all the better, however, if they have not been allowed to submerge, then once they are dry (open and inspect) they 'should' be fine.

    I would toss the speaker cables, the wicking action of the wire inside the insulation will bring the water right into it if either end has been submerged. If neither end has been under water, they 'should' be fine.

    The most important thing to do when this is done is de-humidify. This also will prevent mold and mildew from continuing to grow.

    If any electronics components have been submerged, then open them up and flush with fresh water, then allow to dry completely before you test them.

    If you are Insured, then get permission from your adjustor before you mess with anything, especially if you are opening things up. Good Luck, it is not a pleasant thing to see all that water...[​IMG]
     
  7. JohnSer

    JohnSer Stunt Coordinator

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    I had basement flooding during a similar type of snow/rainy thaw, a few years ago. In general, this is not covered by your insurance, especially if coming in a window. Depending on the policy, if you had a sump pump, and it failed, and the resultant ground water caused damage, it may be covered. Most of the time, this is only covered by special "Flood Insurance" policies. If there has been widespread flooding, and your area is declared a Federal Disaster area, FEMA low-interest loans may be available.

    Even if the basement isn't used for living space, it makes quite a mess. Those empty equipment boxes, the water disintegrates and those thousands of styrofoam peanuts cover the top of the water. If you had oil or similar chemical in an unsealed jar, it will have spread across the top of the water and leave a film on everything! [​IMG] If you don't have good insulated rubber boots, just wading around can be painful from the ice cold water (all breakers to anything in the basement need to be off). It got cold even with neoprene waders!

    I recommend moving as much equipment as you can to the next floor. Even if it is above the water line, it can get splashed on. Anything that has been submerged will need special attention, and checking prior to reuse. Get the basement pumped out as soon as possible, either with sump pumps or possibly the local fire company can bring out gasoline powered pumps. Follow-up with wet vac, and you will have to move everything to get water left behind it.

    Any motor that was submerged, may need replacement. I lost the the oil-fired furnace motor.

    Get heat into the basement, as soon as the water is pumped out (unless its electric heat and they have been submerged). Kerosene heaters work good for this, along with some box fans to help dry out specific areas. It will take a few weeks for the basement to completely dry out. Depending on how long and what type of materials were submerged, damage will vary.

    Even a few inches can cause allot of damage, I had 18"!!!! I was lucky enough that my insurance did cover it, because the sump pump got jammed with Styrofoam peanuts. I don't think the pump could have kept up, if it didn't, but wasn't going to argue that. FEMA also qualified the damage, but never cashed the check, once I knew insurance was going to pay. Hopefully everything will turn out the best for you, given what has happened.

    From someone who wished he didn't know what you are going through,

    JohnS
     
  8. NathanH

    NathanH Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm just beginning to finish my basement and your scenario is definately one I'm planning to avert.

    Mainly, I have two sump pumps - a main and a backup. The backup was recommended by my insurance agent as the best defense against a flooded basement. On top of that, the only thing to do is carry coverage for any contents in the basement.

    Anyways, the backup pump is manufactured by Zoeller, and is powered by water from the city water system. So, I have no fear of a battery backup running out of eventual power. I should be safe so long as I have water pressure. It cost me $225 total to purchase and have a plumber to install it. It took him about an hour and a half.

    Nathan
     
  9. JohnSer

    JohnSer Stunt Coordinator

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    Nathan, Just curious on how that back-up system works. Anything I can think of, would be very inefficient, and would dump extra water into the sewer or storm drain system. During "real" floods, these systems are usually over-loaded, and man hole covers can actually blow off. But, could see that they could work just to handle footer drainage problems.

    Check with your insurance agent, but even if contents are covered, if water is coming in windows, believe it is only covered by specific Flood Insurance.

    JohnS
     
  10. NathanH

    NathanH Stunt Coordinator

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    My backup system is primarily to prevent damage from main sump pump failures, extended power outages and normal water situations. Both sump pumps drain from my sump pit to the outside of my house, not to the sewer, where the line is buried and carries the water approximately 40 feet from the house down a grade. (The building codes where I live don't allow us to pump into the sewage lines, and it would probably cost me an arm and a leg anyways since my pump runs when it rains.)

    I do live next to a small lake which has a heightened earth wall built around it, but if I were to have water pouring in my windows or the sides of my house due to some catastrophic scenario, I'd be in the same situation as the subject of this thread. Perhaps his case is such that there were no realistic physical preventions of the scenario, short of recouping losses through insurance.

    Nathan
     
  11. JohnSer

    JohnSer Stunt Coordinator

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    Nathan, I've seen battery back-up sump pumps, but feel they take too much maintenance, and would have a short run-time until the battery was drained. Never seen a sump pump as you describe, but haven't really been looking in awhile. Again, just curious on operation, if it was on some sort of siphon or the water pressure drove another impeller. I am not on municipal water, so it doesn't benefit me, outside of "how it works".

    The back-up I have to the 1/2hp submersible, is a 1/3hp pedestal pump. Back-up power is courteous of a Honda powered generator. Of course there is the issue of having to be there. Normal rain presents no problem, its the after 3 days of drenching, that I have to keep a watchful eye.

    Hope the thread starter is doing OK. No follow-up posts is a little ominous.

    JohnS
     
  12. NathanH

    NathanH Stunt Coordinator

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    Its called the homeguard and is manufactured by Zoeller pumps. The pump is powered by a water line from the municipal water line coming into my house. So, it uses the water pressure to create a vacuum-type environment in the pipes that "sucks" the water up the pipe from the basin and out the house when triggered by the float. The backup is installed in the pit with my main pump in the same basin, with the backup's float above the main's, so it doesn't kick in unless the main fails.

    The plus is that I don't have to worry about replacing a battery and can operate sans power indefinately as long as there is municipal water.

    On a side note:
    The plumber told us when he installed it that a couple in which he had installed the same backup system had their main pump fail right before leaving for a month long vacation. Instead of replacing the main pump before leaving, they let the backup pump handle it. When they returned, they returned to a perfectly dry basement, accompanied by a $500 water bill. OUCH! I'd still rather have that water bill than a ruined basement.

    Nathan
     
  13. Ted Kim

    Ted Kim Stunt Coordinator

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    Having a sump pump is very important, but it will not prevent the problem as the water is coming in through his windows. The sump pump can only pump out the water that collects in the sump. And the sumps are connected to the various drains. If the water is getting in through the windows then the only way it will get pumped out by the sump pump is if the water can get to one of the drains or flow across the floor to the sump itself. So he's going to have a lot of water on the floor regardless of whether the sump pump is there or operational.

    In my in laws house, I replaced a sump pump and then the basement got partially flooded in Spring of '98. The sump pump was working perfectly, however, the water table (level) outside the house was so high that it basically was above the foundation level and hence the water started seeping into the basement. Once we cleaned up the mess, I was able to provide some additional drainage for the water that accumulated below the foundation by drilling a few holes in the plastic liner for the sump which really improved drainage alot. They haven't had any problems since, regardless of the amount of rain since -- though I did have the replace the sump pump one more time.

    The most important thing you can do is to prevent the water from accumating around your house. Its a little late now for a short term fix for Jack but I would go to this website as you need a long term solution to prevent future flooding.

    http://www.misterfix-it.com/media.html

    edit: Fixed a bad link
     

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