Posted: August 18, 2016
Keep sending your flood-related questions to Paul’s House Facebook Page.
Question: My friend in Albany had 3 inches of flood water in his garage and utility room. Does he need to be concerned with the Sheetrock? The garage has concrete floor and the utility room tile flooring.
Answer: Your friend needs to be concerned about mold growth on organic products such as sheetrock, baseboard, and wood products.
He needs to remove the wet products from the garage and utility room – baseboard trim, sheetrock (and insulation if there is any in the walls) up to at least 1 foot. If the water has wicked up into the insulation or the sheetrock paper higher than 1 foot, go to 2 ft. Sheetrock sheets are 4’ tall and it’s wise to use 1’ increments to decrease waste. Another consideration to think about is that labor costs to install and finish the sheetrock will be a premium cost due to the fact that the seam is very low in relation to the floor and will be difficult to install.
When in doubt always remove moist or wet sheetrock and insulation because it will hold water and create a large mold problem which will be more expensive to fix than taking out the wet materials now. The objective is to remove any item that is wet or will prevent any wood surface from drying in a timely manner.
When measuring moisture content with a moisture meter it is best to use the pin type meters that penetrate insulation and wood surfaces. The pins should penetrate and measure the moisture content at all depths of the assemblies. Every moisture measurement should be below 15% moisture content before closing up the wall assembly with either new insulation and/or drywall. Pin-type moisture meters can be purchased on Amazon for under $40.
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