How to Dryout and Cleanup A Flood from a Washing Machine Overflow

As with most homes in the area, washing machines are within the building and many times not in the garage. When a flood occurs from an overflowed washing machine it needs to be taken care of differently than a broken water pipe flood in a wall and yet differently than an overflowed toilet sewer backup. To sum it, the type of water (i.e. contaminants in the water) are different in all cases. In the case of a flood from a washing machine this would normally be a Category 2 flood (i.e. not potable drinking water and not sewage water). It’s “in-between” or “grey” categorized water that can cause some discomfort and issues if consumed by humans. We follow several procedures set forth by entities like the EPA, New York Standard for Mold Remediation, and the IICRC Institute of Cleaning guidelines to ensure properties are dried out, cleanup and sanitized correctly.

The steps to follow are as such:

1. Stop the flow of further water damage.

2. Call us immediately to remove the water, detect where the water went, and start the drying process.

3. Remove items that cannot be “saved” and dry in-place the structure and contents that can.

4. Setup equipment to start the quick drying process.

5. Check the moisture levels daily and monitor equipment.

6. Certify that the structure and contents have been dried.

7. Address the issue of why the flood occurred.

8. Rebuild any part of the building that needed to be removed for proper drying.

1.  Stop the flow of further water damage. A valve should be located at the wall where the supply line attaches to the wall. Shut it off. Do the same with the machine. If this doesn’t work, a main shut off valve is normally located in the garage, around the perimeter of the building, and / or at the curb. We can also do all of this investigation and shutting off for you.

2. Call us immediately to remove the water, detect where the water went, and start the drying process. We would look at areas that the obvious areas and the not so obvious areas like under walls, within cabinets, under carpets, in crawlspaces, seepage under flooring, wetness in drywall, flooding into insulation, water into adjoining rooms, etc. Then we use extractors to remove the bulk of the water in order to expedite the drying process.

3. Remove items that cannot be “saved” and dry in-place the structure and contents that can. When you look at the category of water damage this is (Category 2) all standards note that items can be dried in place with some exceptions. For example, carpeting can be saved, dried in place, and cleaned whereas the padding should be removed and replaced. This is due the potential contaminents in the water and the likihood of them staying in the padding yet being able to extracted and cleaned from the carpeting above it. The standards were written as a guideline and like most guidelines there are exceptions but this gives you an idea.

4. Setup equipment to start the quick drying process. We would size the amount of air movers, dehumidifiers, injection driers, floor mat drying systems, desiccants, etc needed and which ones to suite the exact needs of the home and scenario. Different equipment is used for different scenarios and we can assist with and get this all set up for you. Basically, you need dry, warm air injected into the affected room(s) in order to “pull” moisture from the wet structure and contents over a period of a couple to a few days, as needed.

5. Check the moisture levels daily and monitor equipment. We use penetrating, non-penetratin, hygrometer, hydrosensor, infrared, see-snake, etc moisture detection equipment to monitor drying and ensure it is occurring correctly.

6. Certify that the structure and contents have been dried. We check the moisture content of the affected areas against moisture levels in unaffected areas of the home to bring them to the same level. This certifies that the affected area was brought back to normal condition. Different materials will have different inherent moisture levels (i.e. tile, wood, drywall, carpet, etc). And this will differ depending on what area you are located.

7. Address the issue of why the flood occurred. The washing machine should be checked. Possibly it was owner error, possibly its time for a new machine, possibly it needs to be serviced. We can help you find a contractor that specializes in checking them if you don’t already have one.

8. Rebuild any part of the building that needed to be removed for proper drying. Our goal is to protect your home and ensure your comfort and health as much as possible during the process. With this in mind we also want to keep the cost of unneeded repair work down. If there are areas that needed to be taken out (i.e. padding under carpeting, drywall, etc) we can repair them afterwards and/or help coordinate the work. We also work with insurance companies and can make the process go smoothly for you.

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