How to dehumidify and prevent further water damage in a basement apt?

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I need expert advice on how to dehimidify and prevent further water damage. It’s freezing cold down in the basement apartment. Smells like mildew. I’m going to move there with my young child to save. Money but need to make it livable, comfortable and safe.
q my basement apartment has water damage that caused the ceiling in the
Section of Ceiling in living room collapsed
q my basement apartment has water damage that caused the ceiling in the
Small windows at ground level allow little light. It’s very cold and damp, even in very hot days in Sumer.
  8 answers
  • Flipturn Flipturn on Jun 12, 2018
    Yes, the window does look small to me. I am wondering how much of a barrier to getting out quickly that pipe may be. Before you make the basement suite your primary residence, I urge you to make sure that you can quickly and easily open this window, and that both you and your child are able to exit through it. As a safety concern, practice it first.
  • Sharon Sharon on Jun 12, 2018
    Yes its required by most city codes there must be an egress/exit window in a basement apartment in case of a fire in the home. This requires you to dig down outside ,,,, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmnk8p4fQ5k
    There should also be smoke and gas alarms, and carbon monoxide if gas furnace.
    To dry out faster, use fans and open that window and put a small fan in the window to exhaust the air out.
    If that was flooded, I would also make sure its mold free cause it will cause you and your child lots of health problems. You can buy mold foggers.
    Don't understand the living room ceiling related to your basement apartment. But usually once its dried out, remove/cut out plaster to a square or rectangle and use drywall to fix the ceiling.
    • See 1 previous
    • Sharon Sharon on Jun 12, 2018
      Is that the basement ceiling or the first floor ceiling? Looks to me if its the living room ceiling, that you have a leak coming from probably a bathroom shower or bathtub on a second floor, if so call a plumber. Once its dry, get a drywaller to patch the ceiling or do it yourself after watching a bunch of YouTube videos.
      The water is coming from the front door stoop? Sounds like its coming from the roof, are there gutters and are they in good order including the downspouts.... add extensions to the downpouts to move it farther away from the area. If its flooding cause there is a hill or high groundwater, you will need a french drain and possibly a sump pump, catchment basins and pop ups to move the water out to the street storm drains.
      The basement window..... what was legal in the 70s doesn't mean its legal now.... in fact many places even passed ordinances banning basement apartments. Your apartment may be grandfathered in, but you will still need to bring up to code.
      Large fans like box fans are the best way to dry out from a flood. Put them in the windows too, facing one in the window to exhaust the air out. One or more on the floor. One in a opposite window blowing air in, creating airflow to dry out the room. Then you can put a dehumidifier in the room.
      Pull that carpet out if it got wet. You need to dry out the floors.
      If you have homeowners insurance, they should pay to repair the place. If you rent, the landlords' insurance should pay for the repairs. Whoever you hire, check their contractor's license on your State Contractor's Licensing Board online, and see if they have a license, their insurance is current, and they have no complaints filed against them. Serve-Pro is one company that specializes in floods in the home.

  • Janis K Harrison Janis K Harrison on Jun 12, 2018
    Get that nasty carpet up and out! It's holding all sorts of unhealthy molds & spores. Scrub & seal the floors, use area rugs for now. You can use a dehumidifier (machine -- rent or buy). They work best with your windows closed & heat up to 60+ degrees F. Find your sources of moisture/flooding/water invasion and fix it first.
    • Chr28989133 Chr28989133 on Jun 12, 2018
      Yes I’ve been trying to figure out the floor situation. Carpet is nasty but wood floor underneath is not in good shape. I will get dehumidifier I think I need a few. Maybe can get off Craig’s list. Thank you!!!!
  • Annie Annie on Jun 12, 2018
    Do you own this home? This should be covered by homeowners insurance or is the responsibility of your landlord.
  • 27524803 27524803 on Jun 12, 2018
    There will be local city codes regarding basement apartments... even if YOU are the homeowner and will be living there.... safety first.
    You do need to address the moisture issue... you may need to waterproof the foundation from the outside... and/or put in a "weeping tile" to move drainage away from the foundation and the house.
    a new sub floor and in floor heating would make a big difference toward keeping the basement warm...
    HomeAdvisor.com or Angieslist.com are free referral services that reference check and verify the companies and people they recommend...
    I would get a foundation specialist to evaluate the house... and give you information on what needs to be done... it may be simple or not... but it could be very necessary if you plan on living in the basement with your child.
  • Joseph Glackin Joseph Glackin on Jun 12, 2018
    1) Find out what leaked into that ceiling and stop it. Remove all rugs, carpet and wet flooring. Then use fans to dry and dehumidify.
    2) Decide how the space is heated. Basements often have no heat source. You may use electric baseboards or (vented) gas space heaters.
  • Deni Deni on Jun 12, 2018
    Can you clear the area outside of those windows to get light and air in? There could be a health issue with mold so you have to be sure you dry it out very well and remove all the mold areas. A Dehumidifier will help, then the ceiling probably needs to be removed until you are sure it is dry and there is no mold. Drywall the ceiling, paint and it should ok once the dampness is gone. Having windows that open and supply air will help, too. Good luck.
  • Edean Edean on Jun 13, 2018
    Check to make sure you do not have BLACK MOLD,BEFORE YOU MOVE IN!
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