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Mr. Bananas
Urgent - Washing machine overflowed in basement

I live in North NJ and my washing machine overflowed the entire cycle! The drain pipe from the washing machine runs into a sink and something was blocking the sink so it overflowed while I was out of the house.

I left my basement windows open for the last 4 days but the carpeted areas of my basement are still wet. What should I do?

1. Should I keep the windows open or close them?
2. Should I turn on the baseboard heaters and use other heaters to dry the area?
3. Tear out the carpet?

I'm afraid of causing a humid environment for mold to spread.

Really appreciate any advice!

MLB Construction
Re: Urgent - Washing machine overflowed in basement

first rip out the carpeting and toss it. then install a few box fans and a dehumidifier and let them run for about 2 days. after everything dries out and it doesn't feel damp down there anymore, get a moisture meter and check the bottom 12" of all the walls. if they're wet, you might have to cut out the bottom portion of the walls and base trim and replace them. if there's any insulation behind the walls, you'll have to cut it out up to where there's dry insulation.

then don't forget to unclog your sink

A. Spruce
Re: Urgent - Washing machine overflowed in basement

Another option would be to get some carpet fans from a rental yard. These are squirrel cage type fans that duct out along the floor, made to be slipped under the edge of the carpet to blow air underneath and dry everything out. The problem with this is that all that moisture is going to activate the dirt odor that is already in the carpet and pad, so as MLB suggests, pulling the carpet might be the better thing to do, at least in the area directly affected. I would then replace the carpet with a solid surface such as tile of vinyl.

This emergency is why it is imperative to make sure that the sink is always devoid of anything that can block the drain, including a wash cloth or rag hung over the edge that might get pulled in if it gets wet with the waste water in the sink.

Mr. Bananas
Re: Urgent - Washing machine overflowed in basement

Thanks guys! I'm going to rip out the carpet tonight and just let it air out with the windows open for now.

I went to Home Depot and looked at the dehumidifiers but the ones they had in stock (GE and LG) had horrible reviews ******; so I'm going to wait for the Frigidaire to get here from Amazon.

Re: Urgent - Washing machine overflowed in basement

Many carpet cleaning companies offer water extraction for flooded carpets. You usually pay by the gallon for that and it's pretty darn effective but only the start of the process. It' usually a lot less than new carpet though!


Re: Urgent - Washing machine overflowed in basement

If you have built in air conditioning, run that instead of getting de-humidifiers as the home HVAC is a giant dehumidifier.

Mr. Bananas
Re: Urgent - Washing machine overflowed in basement

I don't have a central AC duct in the basement. I moved to NJ in June and I've been delaying buying a humidifier but it is really needed out here.

Anyway, I did end up ripping up the carpet and I'm glad I did. The basement has concrete and a lot of the humid smell (the one from even from before the minor flooding) went away. The walls were concrete and only some parts were wood/drywall.

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