| After making sure that there is no hazard in washed out slope
or the house itself, what you should do first is to pump water out of
the building and dry it.|
How to remove water
Drying starts with opening windows and doors. But if there is
still water left in the house, if the floor is wet and the plaster is
damp, it won't dry fast, even if the weather is warm and dry.
Therefore, you should remove water as fast as possible using pumps,
buckets, sponges, mops etc.
Before starting any cleaning jobs, put on protective clothes,
such as rubber gloves, shoes and an apron. Firstly, make sure that
there is no water left in wall or ceiling niches, as well as under the
flooring of the basement.
Do not wait but
Most of the areas which suffered from flood can be cleaned
and repaired, but some of them remain in the same condition as directly
after the water is gone.
The house, in which dwellers have immediately started its recovery,
will faster dry and return to normal state. They will have less
secondary faults caused by mould and cellar fungus.
The earlier you remove after-flood impurities and get rid of damp
building materials and furniture, which cannot be dried, the better
your house will be prepared for winter. Do not reckon on someone doing
it for you, because aid may not arrive to everyone and at the same time.
To collect water, you should use pump or advanced home vacuum cleaner
with a special function of water collection. An industrial vacuum
cleaner is even more effective because of its size and capacity. It has
extra headers to get into chinks and other hard-to-get-at places. Using
vacuum cleaner you can collect more water from floors and various
objects than using any other technique, but you should remember that
all trash collected with vacuum cleaner as well as its headers and
hoses are contaminated objects and cannot be returned to its owners
unless after the equipment is thoroughly cleaned.
Warning: do not pump water out of the basement if ground
water level near the house is considerably higher than before flood
(you can compare it with water level of wells in the vicinity). If you
start pumping out water under these conditions, new water will
continuously come, which can deform the foundation and damage the house.
When the house is water-free and all wet objects, things and
home decorations are thrown away, you can finally dry the house. Mind
that natural drying (intensive ventilation with open windows) is the
best, but some premises cannot be effectively aired this way. Besides,
the weather can be against you. Therefore, if the air is dry and warm
outside, you should turn on ventilators to fasten drying. If
it isn't, you should additionally turn on the heating system. Do not
heat the air in premises above 35°С, because high temperatures
can deform furniture and wooden decorations untouched with flood.
How can you
speed up the drying process?
Drying with heat. Additional sources of heat can speed up
drying, especially if the heating system isn't turned on. For example,
you can use electric heaters. Oil, propane and gas heating equipment
produce vapor during fuel combustion. You'll need to duct the exhaust
outside, otherwise humidity in the premises will increase. Such heaters
can be effective only if they operate simultaneously with
moisture-removing equipment. But you should bear in mind that while
extra heating equipment is running, ventilators should be also on to
improve air circulation in the premises. Generally, it isn't enough
just to keep windows open, as well as using hot air alone won't speed
up drying a lot.
large heating equipment should be used very carefully, because its
surface can become very hot and create fire or burn hazard, as well as
short circuit and shock risk, if the house is still damp.
Also, if you use gas-powered, black oil or propane-butane heaters, you
should remember that if such equipment malfunctions, it can produce
large amount of carbon monoxide, which is lethally toxic, therefore
intensive ventilation is badly needed, though the best is to install a
sensor which detects СО.
If it is damp outside, air that comes into the house
contains much vapor. In this case the best solution is to use electric
dehumidifiers (they are generally applied in new houses to remove
technical vapor and to speed up building and decoration works) instead
of ventilation and extra heating. These devices turn vapor from the air
into water and force drying. Besides, they are energy-saving:
dehumidifier uses less electricity than similar heating and mechanical
ventilation, and it is just as effective. Large dehumidifiers are
efficiently used together with small sources of heat, because the
amount of water removed every day increases if the temperature in the
premises is higher. It is desirable to use device which works at
the temperature which is kept on the same level.
Dehumidifiers usually remove about 60 litres of water from the premises
a day. Such efficiency is possible at a standard temperature, such as
23°С. You should take into consideration that this productivity
is much lower if it is cooler, and increases if it is warmer in the
premises. Dehumidifiers are installed in the rooms than don't have
access to the outside air.
Drying walls and
foundations. Air drying doesn't always have proper effect,
because new vapor rises from foundation capillaries and
replaces water evaporated from walls. This is why it is recommended to
dry using electrosmosis so that water rises less or even ceases. This
type of drying can be ordered from local companies. Water stops coming
when the device is plugged in. The device is left to operate after the
house is dry to prevent new damping.
How to know it if already
To check if materials or surfaces are dry, you should stick some food
film on them. If some areas are still damp, they will look darker on
the objects after removing the film.