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The Rick
06-19-2009, 12:29 PM
So last night, here in the Milwaukee area, we got about 5 inches of rain in a short period of time. My sump pump did a good job keeping up, but the city sewer system backed up leaving about 4 inches of standing water in my finished basement.

It all drained within an hour or two, but obviously the carpet and everything else down there is soaked.

What do the smart people of ChiefsPlanet recommend I do?

I have multiple fans and a dehumidifier running down there now. I'm considering going to Home Depot and renting a carpet cleaner to try to suck up the remaining water out of the carpet.

Two other problems I'm experiencing as a result:

1. No hot water. I'm assuming the water got to the pilot light on the hot water heater. I tried to relight it with no luck. Do I just need to wait until it dries out?

2. Can't get the wash machine (front loading, if it matters) to spin on spin cycle. We tried to use some big towels to soak up some water, and then were going to put them in the wash machine on spin cycle to help dry them out, but it won't spin.

To make matters worse, we're supposed to leave Sunday morning on vacation for a week. :(

HELP!

Gonzo
06-19-2009, 12:30 PM
You're fucked...

To the ship!

Gonzo
06-19-2009, 12:35 PM
In all seriousness... I've had this issue a few times. Go rent a rug doctor and put the sanitizing chemical they offer in it. This will keep any mold/bacteria from growing on the carpet.

Secondly, the pilot light will likely work after it has dried, unless it's clogged. I think that some more modern water heaters may have a fail safe if the base get's wet, (In case of leak).

On the washer, you likely put in too many towles and the belt burned out or broke. Is the motor running when you put it on spin?

HonestChieffan
06-19-2009, 12:36 PM
Call service master and your insurance company and let them deal with it. The carpet and pad have to be ripped out to get the concrete to dry or you have mold heaven. SM has the right dehumids and fans to do the job a lot better than you can.

Gonzo
06-19-2009, 12:37 PM
Some insurance companies won't cover basement leaks.

(Trust me, I know)

HonestChieffan
06-19-2009, 12:38 PM
I hate big leak

The Rick
06-19-2009, 12:46 PM
His sewer backed up so I think it would be covered?
Nope, called the insurance company. Not covered by default...it's extra. My fault for not adding it when we finished the basement. :(

Gonzo
06-19-2009, 12:46 PM
His sewer backed up so I think it would be covered?

Yeah.... They might.
Mine wouldn't for a foundation leak...

fucking State Farm.

Gonzo
06-19-2009, 12:47 PM
Nope, called the insurance company. Not covered by default...it's extra. My fault for not adding it when we finished the basement. :(

Fubar

Ari Chi3fs
06-19-2009, 12:51 PM
I would get out all of your star wars, star trek & lord of the rings collectibles out IMMEDIATELY!!

Brock
06-19-2009, 12:53 PM
You're talking raw sewage in your basement?

The Rick
06-19-2009, 12:55 PM
The area of the basement that's finished isn't huge. When we had the carpet installed a couple of years ago, I think it cost us about $1200. So, completely replacing the carpet will hurt, but is doable.

I'm more concerned if I have to replace other things (hot water heater, washer, etc.) along with the carpet.

Do I need to worry about the walls? I used moisture resistant drywall and styrofoam insulation. Like I said, it was about 3-4" deep so it may have barely reached above the trim...

Buehler445
06-19-2009, 12:56 PM
With your humidity up there, be sure to have it checked for mold after you've got it dried out.

Might behoove you to call Pheonix restoration.

Then a letterbomb to your insurance company is in order...

Frankie
06-19-2009, 12:56 PM
Has anybody recommended antifreeze yet?

Gonzo
06-19-2009, 12:57 PM
The area of the basement that's finished isn't huge. When we had the carpet installed a couple of years ago, I think it cost us about $1200. So, completely replacing the carpet will hurt, but is doable.

I'm more concerned if I have to replace other things (hot water heater, washer, etc.) along with the carpet.

Do I need to worry about the walls? I used moisture resistant drywall and styrofoam insulation. Like I said, it was about 3-4" deep so it may have barely reached above the trim...

Do you have any type of wal covering? (Wall paper Waynescoating sp? etc.?)

If so, you're going to need to check the drywall. It will mold.

kstater
06-19-2009, 12:57 PM
You're fucked...

To the ship!

Pretty much. It's very difficult to completely remove all the water.

The Rick
06-19-2009, 12:57 PM
You're talking raw sewage in your basement?
Well, it's not like there were turds floating around or anything. The water was fairly clear. It doesn't really smell or anything.

I don't know, maybe someone else can help me out. I'm assuming, with that much rain water gushing through the city's sewer/drainage system, it was mostly rain water that actually backed up. However, the pipes typically carry sewage.

Am I correct in this thinking?

InChiefsHell
06-19-2009, 12:58 PM
Well, if no insurance, you could try a big heavy duty wet vac, followed by a carpet cleaner with the chemicals to kill mold and mildew. I'm pretty sure the water heater will come back on after it dries out. Don't know about the dryer, but I agree with Gonzo, probably overloaded it.

Might be worth it to call a pro though, but I'm sure it'll cost a pretty penny. But they'll do the cleanup right...in theory.

The Rick
06-19-2009, 12:58 PM
Do you have any type of wal covering? (Wall paper Waynescoating sp? etc.?)

If so, you're going to need to check the drywall. It will mold.
No, we just painted the drywall...

Groves
06-19-2009, 12:59 PM
Just listen to the RedZone Podcast, you'll get advice on this situation 6 or 7 times each week.

The Rick
06-19-2009, 12:59 PM
Well, if no insurance, you could try a big heavy duty wet vac, followed by a carpet cleaner with the chemicals to kill mold and mildew. I'm pretty sure the water heater will come back on after it dries out. Don't know about the dryer, but I agree with Gonzo, probably overloaded it.

Might be worth it to call a pro though, but I'm sure it'll cost a pretty penny. But they'll do the cleanup right...in theory.
Yeah, I called Service Master based on a recommendation. I'm curious how much they'll charge. If it's at or more than it would cost to replace the carpet ($1200), it would just make sense to replace the carpet, right?

Brock
06-19-2009, 01:00 PM
Well, it's not like there were turds floating around or anything. The water was fairly clear. It doesn't really smell or anything.

I don't know, maybe someone else can help me out. I'm assuming, with that much rain water gushing through the city's sewer/drainage system, it was mostly rain water that actually backed up. However, the pipes typically carry sewage.

Am I correct in this thinking?

Storm sewer is separate from septic sewer. If the stuff came out of your sewer system that your toilets and stuff hook up to, it's raw sewage. Salvage nothing from your basement if this is the case. Certainly not your water heater.

The Rick
06-19-2009, 01:01 PM
Also, while researching this online, I found that you can apparently install something on your main line that helps to prevent this problem. Sort of like a float or "flap" that helps prevent the sewer from backing up?

Anyone know anything about this? Like how much it might cost and how difficult it is to install in a pre-existing system?

The Rick
06-19-2009, 01:02 PM
Storm sewer is separate from septic sewer. If the stuff came out of your sewer system that your toilets and stuff hook up to, it's raw sewage. Salvage nothing from your basement if this is the case. Certainly not your water heater.
I don't think this is the case...at least here in Milwaukee. I could be wrong, but based on what I understand, it's all the same? :shrug:

Brock
06-19-2009, 01:05 PM
Also, while researching this online, I found that you can apparently install something on your main line that helps to prevent this problem. Sort of like a float or "flap" that helps prevent the sewer from backing up?

Anyone know anything about this? Like how much it might cost and how difficult it is to install in a pre-existing system?

It isn't really expensive in terms of parts. In most cases, the sewer line is buried very deep, so you will probably need a backhoe to dig down to it. After that, it's a matter of cutting your sewer line and installing the device, which is usually made to clamp on to the sewer line with very large hose clamps. It can get expensive if you don't do it yourself, and either way it tears your yard up.

damaticous
06-19-2009, 01:20 PM
Had this happen to me last month. Was a PITA!!!!

Basement isn't furnished but have workout equipment, furnace, washer, dryer, tv, etc down there.

Had a really bad rain and my sewer backed up. By the time the plumbers got there I had 3 inches of pure sewer in my basement....close to 1000 sq feet. Totally gross.

I ended up having to run to Lowes and buying a submergable sump pump. Didn't help too much though.

Wasn't insured for sewage backup, so I had to cover the cost. Insurance company (AMFAM) said that I could add it but it'd ahve a $500 deductible. Blah! No thanks I said. After everything is cleaned it ended up only costing me about $250. So insurance wouldn't have helped anyway.

So after the plumbers got the drained cleared I was able to use a rubber squeege to clean the poo, pee, and rain water from my basement. I have concrete floors though.

I was told to clean the floors and 6" up on the walls with Bleatch. I ended up mixing bleatch and lysol and cleaned the floors and walls 4 times before I let anyone walk down there without shoes. Took a week to do since I work a lot.

From my experience I would do as others suggested. Since you have carpet you should at least rent a carpet cleaner with dissenfectant that won't stain the carpet. Or hire a professional crew. I'm sure it'd be worth it to have someone professional come in and do it.

damaticous
06-19-2009, 01:21 PM
Also, while researching this online, I found that you can apparently install something on your main line that helps to prevent this problem. Sort of like a float or "flap" that helps prevent the sewer from backing up?

Anyone know anything about this? Like how much it might cost and how difficult it is to install in a pre-existing system?

My flap got stuck in the open position. :(

RJ
06-19-2009, 01:24 PM
This thread contained some valuable info, IIRC, especially the stuff about what happens after you clean up.

http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showthread.php?t=207081&highlight=guru+basement+flooded

cdcox
06-19-2009, 01:33 PM
The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage Districts' web site says that only 5% of their sewer lines are combined. Combined sewers carry both stormwater runoff and sanitary sewage. So chances are you have separate storm and sanitary sewer systems, especially if you are living in an area less than 50 years old.

Even if it was a purely sanitary sewer system, when it rains some of the rainwater will enter the sewer system. This is called inflow and infiltration. The inflow and infiltration can easily be several times greater than the sanitary flow under a heavy storm like you had. So what entered your basement was sewage diluted several times. Still, there was plenty enough sewage (think pathogenic bacteria) that you probably want to treat it as if it were full strength sewage. I'd consider trashing the carpet, especially if kids play on it and such.

Your hot water heater is sealed and under internal pressure, so I wouldn't worry too much about it. I doubt seriously any sewage could get in there with only a few inches of standing water. If the dry wall got wet, I'd cut it out and replace it.

If you're going to keep the carpet, I'd definitely call Service Master.

I'd definitely get a backflow preventer installed in your sewer line. If this happened once, it will happen again.

Phobia
06-19-2009, 04:14 PM
Servicemaster will kill you in cost. They're an insurance claims specialist. I'd trash your carpet and install something different in your basement.

The Rick
06-19-2009, 10:38 PM
Servicemaster will kill you in cost. They're an insurance claims specialist. I'd trash your carpet and install something different in your basement.
Thanks. All it took was a single phone conversation with Servicemaster for me to realize exactly what you said. I didn't even want to go any further.

I got all the carpet ripped out tonight. Now, I just need to get hot water again...

Mr. Krab
06-19-2009, 10:48 PM
Btw i think you can have a 1-way valve installed to get it from backing up into your basement again.





my bad, just saw that someone else already posted about this.

Coach
06-20-2009, 12:50 AM
Thanks. All it took was a single phone conversation with Servicemaster for me to realize exactly what you said. I didn't even want to go any further.

I got all the carpet ripped out tonight. Now, I just need to get hot water again...

It could be possible that your thermocoupler may be shot, and that it may need replaced.

InChiefsHell
06-20-2009, 10:53 AM
I replaced a water heater in my house about a year ago from Menards for like 300.00. Not as expensive as I thought it would be.

You could also go with a synthetic wood floor or tiles or something so that next time (hopefully there wont be a next time, but...) you can just vaccuum up the water and pretty much be done with it...