Q & A for Today

Some people have questions that I have answered but still want more explanation. How do we know that? They enter these words in the search engines. The Analytics program reports these words to us. (All to your privacy).   Call 248-834-0050

Photos of wood that has gotten wet? This is pretty simple. Wood that has gotten water damage, is usually still wet, so feel the wet looking area. Also wood turns a darker color usually. That does not necessarily mean m o l d . Also if it is painted it can get a stain on it. If most of your basement base molding has a couple dark spots on it chances of it leaking at that area is pretty high. Remember carpet will not change much if it is wet.

Rod hole leak in basement? A rod hole is a hole made in the basement wall through a spreader pipe. This makes an opening in the foundation wall. There can be up to 200 of these in the average house. They are fixed with Hydraulic Cement by the foundation guy before back fill is done. A lot of these usually leak over a time period because the hydraulic cement shrinks. So why would you use that stuff again to fix it? Duh! Crack in wall that doesn’t leak? That does happen. There is a light film of damp proofing on the outside of the concrete applied to protect the concrete from the dirt chemicals. This damp proofing can itself act as a waterproofing for a short while. How long will it stretch before it breaks? Who knows? If the basement is unfinished in that area, it is not necessary to fix it till it does leak. If you are going to finish your basement keep in mind that it is not if it leaks but when.

Fixing leaks behind drywall? That is something better left to us, the professionals. Hard to find the leak and remove the drywall in a professional manner so not to cause too much damage. Then fix the leak so you won’t have to do it again in one or two years. Then re-apply the drywall and get it all done in one or 2 days. Foundation crack at beam pocket? This is one of the most common places a poured wall foundation is likely to crack. The other place would be at window corners. How to detect moisture behind drywall? That is pretty easy. If the carpet or other flooring at the base of a finished basement wall is wet, you probably have a leak. So what if you want to be a moisture detective? That is a great idea. If you have linoleum or floor tile just walk around with a good flashlight. The water will be much shinier than the rest of the floor. If you have carpet, it’s a bit more work. Take your shoes and socks off and put down a length of paper towel along the wall. Then just step on it every couple inches all along the wall. You know what a wet spot will feel like. Put a post it note on the wall. Try to find the beginning and end of the spot. It could be several feet long. There could be more than one of them, so don’t give up and don’t forget to move the furniture. Then call us for service. These types are treated by us like emergencies because this type of moisture can cause bad mold outbreaks.

What To Do If My Basement Smells Bad And I Think I Have A Leak? Do the above step first and find all the wet spots. There can be more than one. Usually the wall is not too affected. Usually it is the flooring. That flooring would be carpet with padding. So get a pair of pliers and go to the nearest inside corner and grab the carpet fuzz with the pliers and pull the carpet up off the tack strip. You will hear a little popping noise as the carpet is being released from the tack. Roll the carpet back as far as it will go. You may see a black stain on the bottom of the carpet plus the odor of mold will get much stronger. This is where it gets dangerous. If the odor gets real bad, you should get a respirator on. In this case you may have to extend the distance the carpet is rolled out. You have to find the end of the previous moisture. The important thing to know here is that most all carpet is made of plastic. Plastic does not usually get moldy. The problem is the rubber padding. Take a utility knife and cut all the padding that is wet and moldy. There is no saving this stuff. Throw it into some large construction bags to haul it out to the curb. You do not want to walk through the house with moldy padding. If your kids are sensitive they could have an asthma attack. Padding is made of Rubber which is made of rubber tree sap and very organic and mold susceptible. The carpet on the other hand is probably covered with mold just from contact. It is tough to clean but doable. You have to do both sides of the carpet and use a moldacide agent. Sometimes it works and sometimes not. Then after you do all
these spots it may be safe enough to let repair crews in. Give us a call and we can do it for you. We have all the equipment needed.

This is a video on how to cut moldy drywall out. It is in HD so you should be able to use your full screen.

What is the best carpet for a basement as far as flood damage and mold?

I had this question today from a customer who had a flood in her basement a couple months ago. After removing all the damage I was over fixing a couple leaks. I told her with using regular carpet again she might some day end up in the same exact position she faced recently with the moldy mess this time. All regular carpet except wool that I know of, is made from petroleum base plastic. Plastic carpet is pretty much impervious to mold. That is because it is non-organic. Non-Organic means it is not made of something that other living beings can eat and digest. That means, eat, digest and get energy from. The carpet is plastic and non-organic. So what is all the nay saying about using carpet in basements from? It is from the foam rubber padding installed separately under the carpet or some foam padding glued under the carpet. Some non-organic carpets come with a thin layer of organic foam padding glued under the carpet. That includes some throw rugs. What is up with the padding anyway?  The padding is made with rubber foam. Foam rubber is made from the sap of the rubber tree. Sap is a trees life force energy, like blood for humans. It is full of unused energy. Just the thing for all sorts of mold and mushrooms to eat. Just let it soak in the water for a while and the mold will grow by itself. There are mold spores everywhere.  They were probably some spores sprinkled on the concrete floor before the carpet and pad were installed and just waiting for food and water to grow.  A leak from waterproofing or a plumbing or landscaping problem takes about 48 hours for the mold spores to figure out there is an opportunity afoot. However it usually takes months for people to figure out there is something is going on. The odor is a good starter. Kids complaining about wet feet is another. Dark spots in the carpet don’t usually show up till it is too late. That takes a lot of water. What kind or carpet is usually best?  The indoor/Outdoor type usually works the best. That usually gets glued down to the cement directly with no pad or no carpet tacks. Just make sure the glue is non-organic too. This can be nice looking and not uncomfortable to walk on. All the floods I cleaned up that had this type of carpet were able to get cleaned and saved. Even if the drywall and base had to be removed because they got wet. I recommend plastic base in basements too.

Author: Robert B McGuire