Any flood recovery tips?


member since 1999
OK, we've pulled up the carpet, removed the drywall, got fans blowing. Almost everything is out of the basement, except for the mountain of wet (yuck) laundry because I *used* to use the floor as a laundry area, but I am making treks to laundromat for that issue. A friend suggested getting a dehumidifier, so husband is going to get that tomorrow. Plan is to scrub walls and floor (all concrete) with bleach tomorrow. Anything else we should be doing? Anything we should know about, having never had this pleasure before?

I have contacted insurance company but I'm 99% sure this is not going to be covered. I have this vague recollection of thinking "oh, we don't need flood insurance, we have a sump pump" when they sent out flood insurance info several years ago. :hammer: I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure we're on our on on this one.

I have servicemen coming to check out furnace, washer, dryer, hot water heater, and water softener before we start those up again. Also having an electrician come out and check circuits of the lines that were underwater and also having him move them higher up the concrete walls.

What are we overlooking, because I'm sure we're missing something obvious and important? And anyone got suggestions for the wet-dog smell? How long will it take for that to clear out, and is there anything we can do to speed it along?

It's been a weekend to remember. :wink:


Well-Known Member
Was your county declared a disaster area? If so, you can try to apply for assistance. Also, don't forget to wear a mask when in the basement.
Are you in Cook?

If there is ANY drywall involved, check for mold. And check for cracks on the concrete.

Good luck on the dog smell. Some are worse than others. My mom had a bassett hound. When he got wet, the dumpster smelled better.

Stella Johnson

Active Member
If there is drywall at all that has been touched by the water it needs to be replaced.

If your area was deemed a disaster site, you can get 1 and 2% loans from FEMA if you need it.



Active Member
Sorry for your woes. We had a flooded basement a few years back during a storm that dumped 6 inches in one hour. It was so bad a few homes had their basement walls collapse.

There are professional services that will come in and do any needed part of the process. We removed water, carpet, and put in fans and dehumidifiers ourselves. They came in when the smell started and sprayed which stopped the mildew growth (likely the smell you are smelling). They also have meters to determine moisture content and based on readings set up two huge fans in addition to what we were already running. in my opinion, it was well worth having them do the spraying as it stopped it dead in its tracks. I have asthma and difficult child has had two sinus surgeries so this was necessary.

Just a reminder to everyone to check your coverage, including on whether you need a rider for flooding (we do, it's not automatic in our policy). Our basement had never flooded and our sump pump ran only once in many years in an area where basement flooding is common. Our flooding was due to the sump pump being left unplugged. Grumble, grumble...


Well-Known Member
What kind of fans do you have? You need those big industrial fans.

I also wanted to say check on the status of you area. If you are a disaster area, FEMA will be involved so you can get funds from them.


Spork Queen
So sorry for your flooding. I was in a major flood in 1972. I can STILL smell the *smell* after all these years. We lost nearly 300 people in our tiny town.

I don't have any great advice. I know that Home Depot has in-home mold kits. I would check this out, or hire an outside firm to deal with it. That is something you definetely don't want to let linger.

Again, so sorry. :thumbsdown:


Marcie Mac

Just Plain Ole Tired
When my office was flooded out last year by a broken sprinkler head in the ceiling I called in flood recovery people who cut two feet of drywall all around the office - 8 big fans and three dehumidifiers running 24 hours a day for over a week, and there was still water comming out of the tubes - I had no idea so much moisture could be in 800 square feet.

They did use some sort of spray when they were done, and there was absolutely no moldy kinda smell. For me personally, the idea of mold freaks me out. May be worth it to call in professionals with big dehumidifiers for a few days.

Am sure glad we don't have basements to deal with out here :smile:



No real answers to life..
When we had water damage almost ten years ago from a fire, then flood they brought in ozone machines? I think that is what they called them. I wasn't sure if they brought them in for the fire or the flood, but thought they were there to deter mold growth....Could be that they have newer techniques now, but we had a company come in and take care of it.....luckily we had insurance cover it....

Another home we had, insurance company said it was in a flood area (never had a flood problem until the sump pump didn't go on one time....) anyway the flood insurance is horribly expensive and even when damage happens they tend not to cover stuff anyway.....I still think you would be miles ahead not to have flood insurance and pay expenses out of pocket than to buy insurance and pay exhorbitant premiums and not get things replaced by insurance company because "that's not included"....kinda like those ads for car insurance that say "Brad scratched into a car is not full names covered, Bradley would have been okay" apologies to any insurance people here who are wonderful, caring, generous people and give full amounts of coverage.....I haven't met you yet.....

Sounds like you are doing all the right things, hope you can recover without going bankrupt.....


member since 1999
Thanks all. We missed being in a county that was declared a disaster area by 2 blocks, LOL. Figures.

BBK, you have me just laughing - I *wish* it was our dog that had the wet dog smell... she'd be in the tub. Unfortunately, it's the entire basement that smells. :rofl:

The only things that aren't concrete left in the basement are the studs where the drywall used to be. We shall continue on and see what things smell like after getting washed down with bleach.

I figure getting a professional in today is probably not going to happen, but I'll call around and see. We've done all the removal jobs, so maybe just getting it dried out by a pro won't kill us financially.

Onwards. :smile:


Well-Known Member
The dehumidifier will help a lot. Getting the moisture out of the basement will help the smell tremendously. Drain the humidifier water thru the sewer in the basement so you don't have to continually empty it.

I'm sorry Sue, this just stinks....literally. You didn't need this. The weather has been dreadful in so many places that it makes me wonder what's happening in our atmosphere.



Well-Known Member

I just heard a product adviertised on the radio today called ZORBX and of course I immediately thought of you. It is suppose to work very well on the musty, damp smell in baseements after floods, that's what the ad said. If you type ZORBX in your search engine you will find their website.



call 911
OH LORD how I hated surviving the Flood. I've been through 2 tornados, 2 house fires, an earthquake, and a 2 floods. The floods were the worst. With the tornados your stuff is just GONE, with the fire, you could at least dry the stuff off and wipe it down. With the flood? I lost all my pictures, keepsakes, everything was in mud - and my dining room was like an indoor swimming pool. We even had catfish in there! The neighbor floated over the the side door, and used his cast net, caught them and made catfish nuggets for the entire neighborhood.

Vinegar gets rid of the mold smell. Bleach will kill the spores.

As far as pictures if you have them? Let them dry out in the sun totally (DON"T TRY TO PRY when wet) the ink will run. If there is a chance you can salvage any pics, let the ink dry totally and then peel the pictures. The ones that are saveable, can be retouched in a photo store or with a good lab.

Sun is the best thing for it all. I dont' know the extent of your damage. Ours the first time was waste high but only in the lower level of the house on the river. The second one I was chest deep the entire house through. Hurricanes! Gotta love livin in the South.

Baking soda at the Dollar store is cheap too...set it all around to absorb odor. And you can get oils to put on cotton balls around the house to help you while you are trying to sort through your stuff.

The Red Cross had some other good suggestions, but it's been years (knock wood) since I've actually had to redo the house. Maybe that's why I have so much junk now.

Hugs - Star


Well-Known Member
Sorry about the flood. I've been through it as well. You definately need a microbacterial spray and a dehumidifier. You did the right thing by removing the drywall because that black mold loves it!

Definately keep that dehumidifier going for several days. Go to your local home improvement store and ask about the microbacterial. I know a lot of folks around here used clorox in a sprayer, but make sure it kills everything!

Good luck. I feel your pain.



New Member
Not one anyone would tell you to do, IF you do it make SURE difficult child's can't get in basement. Lyme will dry up moisture, however it can also eat your skin. If you do this it won't take long and be sure to be all decked out in "spacegear" we put lyme in our basement after flood (rather husband did) it works good but you HAVE GOTTA BE SUPER CAREFUL!!!!


Just another question did you call the Red Cross to see how they are helping. Sometimes they can do some assistance when things like this happen. I am not sure what they are doing in the Chicago area. Just a thought.