Many homes have swimming pools. Some are above ground and the majority are in-ground. There are several issues that happen with these pools that can cause flooding in a home or crawlspace. For example, a swimming pool can leak and cause a slow flood or burst (possibly from an earthquake or from old age or from faulty craftsmanship) or overflow (possibly from negligence or from a faulty fill valve). Sometimes the flooding is from a next door neighbor and other times it is from the pool owner themselves. In all cases it is important to clean up the water properly and dry the structure out quickly to guard against further damage and mold growth.
The steps for cleaning up, drying out, and fixing a flooded house from a swimming pool overflow or burst:
1. Turn off the electricity in the vicinity of the flood.
2. Turn off the flooding if possible.
3. Extract the standing water if it is safe to do so. Make sure to wear proper protective equipment as the water can be contaminated once it leaves the pool.
4. Remove affected areas that are porous, non-structural material since the water is contaminated water.
5. Setup a drying environment with low humidity to “pull” moisture from wet areas.
6. Monitor the drying daily to ensure property drying and adjust equipment as needed.
7. Clean all affected surfaces.
8. Apply an antimicrobial agent after reading the MSDS and verifying will occupants that it is safe to do so.
9. Address the issue of the flood.
10. Rebuild any areas that were needed to be removed for the drying process.
In detail they are as follows:
1. Turn off the electricity in the vicinity of the flood. Water and electricity make for a bad recipe for disaster. You can turn off the electricity to parts of your home from the circuit breaker box. Do not go near the flooding until this occurs.
2. Turn off the flooding if possible. If it is a flood from a valve, turn the valve off. There is also normally a shutoff valve for the building in a garage, near a hot water heater, or around the exterior of the building. Additionally, Old Town buildings normally have another shutoff valve near the street at the curb.
3. Extract the standing water if it is safe to do so. Make sure to wear proper protective equipment as the water can be contaminated once it leaves the pool. When a pool floodsit is important to recognize that the water is seen as Category 3 (i.e. as bad as sewage water). Why? Because of the potential contaminants in the water once it leave the pool. Think pesticides in the grass, chemicals in the dirt, droppings from animals that come into contact with the water, etc. Bacteria and viruses can be present. We can assist with this and all steps by using proper protective equipment like gloves, eye protection, water proof boots, full suites, respirators, etc. Extraction occurs with a combination of flood pumper, truck mounts, water extractors, etc depending on the situation. The majority of the water needs to be removed in order to dry the structure.
4. Remove affected areas that are porous, non-structural material since the water is contaminated water. Since the water in Category 3, the standards that dictate restoration state that all porous, non-structural materials need to be removed from the building (i.e. drywall, insulation, carpeting, etc). They need to be property bagged, contained, and disposed. The air also needs to be contained so that contaminants do not move to other areas of the home.
5. Setup a drying environment with low humidity to “pull” moisture from wet areas. Drying homes in Old Town requires the knowledge of the proper amount of equipment to use for the volume of air to be dried and type of water present. You don’t want to add too much equipment (can over dry and crack the structure) and you don’t want to not get it dried. We size the dehumidifiers, desiccants, heat driers, injection driers, airmovers, airscrubbers, etc per the volume needed to be dried.
6. Monitor the drying daily to ensure property drying and adjust equipment as needed. Use moisture meters to test the moisture level in all different types of materials as well as the air humidity to ensure proper drying. Think of areas that are not common sense like the dirt if in a crawlspace, behind the cabinets if in a kitchen, flooring if in a living room, etc. We do this daily and move, remove, add, etc equipment as needed to ensure the moisture levels are going down daily until full dryness.
7. Clean all affected surfaces. All surfaces that were affected need to be wiped down, heat steamed, drycleaned etc as needed depending on the material to ensure proper sanitation.
8. Apply an antimicrobial agent after reading the MSDS and verifying will occupants that it is safe to do so. This is usually the last step and after the areas have been cleaned and dried. To guard against microbial grown. You want to guard against fungal growth in areas like this as well as areas that are more dry.
9. Address the issue of the flood. Since the flood had been stopped now you can get the root of the issue taken care of. If it was a valve, have it replaced. If it was a crack in the pool, have it fixed. If it was a burst above ground pool, address the issue. Common sense to ensure the issue doesn’t reoccur.
10. Rebuild any areas that were needed to be removed for the drying process. Areas such as drywall, texturing, painting, baseboards, flooring, tile work, cabinets, etc can now be replaced now that the home was dried and sanitized.
If you have a flood in your home from an overflowed pool, burst swimming pool, pool leak, etc, give us a call 24/7 for emergency services. We can take care of everything from turning the water off properly, shutting off the electricity to make it safe, removing the water, drying the structure, sanitizing the structure, and rebuilding the areas that may have needed to be removed. Our services include water, fire, and mold remediation and associated reconstruction. Our number is 619.597.2003