So you have had a water mishap? Do you need to be drying out a concrete floor? This is a situation many people find themselves facing, being the victims of a natural catastrophe or simply a plumbing malfunction. This is what recently happened to me and I will share the experience here with you.
In our home, we had carpeting in the three bedrooms, four closets, and one short hallway. The other floors were existing or freshly laid (by me) ceramic tile. Well, to make a long story short, I drove up to the house one day after picking up my daughter from third grade school.
Immediately I saw the problem and said, “Honey, do you see any reason that we should be having water coming out from under the front door?” Nope, you guessed it; she did not have the correct answer either although with her fertile imagination she came up with some improbable doozies.
Guest Bathroom Blues
What had happened, as it turned out, was that at some point during the day, the hot water supply line to the sink in the guest bathroom had burst and sent a jet of water that blew a hole in the sheetrock ceiling and then just filled the house with water. How long it ran is anybody’s guess but you don’t want to see my water bill.
Anyhow, the concrete floor was soaked under the carpet and padding. Leave that for more than a few hours and you are asking for serious health problems. After I turned off the main water supply and swept the water out of the house I had my insurance company dispatch the water remediation company that they work with. Now, if you just have a small concrete floor that needs drying out, you can just do what they did for me but on a smaller scale.
The first thing they did was pull the carpet and padding and got it out of the house. Next, any built-in wooden cabinets in the kitchen need to have holes drilled in their bases so that humidity can escape and the air can circulate underneath them.
Circulate and Ventilate
And that’s the key to drying out any concrete floor: air circulation. Once that is established, there are two more factors that are imperative. For the first, the condition needs to exist in which the concrete is obliged to give up its moisture through evaporation. In most places this will happen naturally, but is this sufficient? No.
The reason is that when your concrete floor gets wet, anything in the area will be affected. Rapid evaporation and removal have to be facilitated so that no more damage is incurred and health-threatening mold and mildew do not find a place to grow. So the other factor that needs to exist is a way to get the recovered water out. You will see how the de-humidifiers do this.
Remediation companies will set out air blowers for air circulation and large dehumidification units to take the moisture out of the air. These dehumidification units filter the air they take in and have hoses which pump accumulated water out into your sink or tub.
Your homeowner’s insurance should cover this if your problem is as big as mine was, even including the electricity bill for the blowers and dehumidifiers. Yes, this was substantial. My circuit breakers could not keep up.
If your problem is smaller, just remember: air circulation and evaporation. Keep it up until the job is done.
See Also: Above Ground Concrete Slab