The power is back on. It is time to get cleaning. From past experience, I learn that time is of the essence. Water will continue to do damage if I let it sit . Mildew grows. Furniture falls apart. Smells develop that no amount of bleach can erase.
Ernesto has use a pressure hose with steam to push all the mud He can get at, to a corner near the sump pump. It is my job to get the rest of the water off the floor. The shop vac is the right tool, but it is a manual job...a hands on experience. The vac gets set up. It is so noisy that I am wearing hearing protection. The nozzle grabs the rug and pulls water and mud and grit out of the carpet. Into the barrel it goes. Turn off the vac. Take the top off the vac. Wheel the barrel to the toilet. Lift. Pour. Repeat and repeat and repeat....for 2 days. My arms are sore...ditto knees and low back, but the water has to come out.
Next chore is to set up a dehumidifier and fans. I've had the fans running with the windows wide open. Now I close them and turn on my new dehumidifier
. Nothing happens. Expletive deleted. I have to take it back to the store. I tried it on several outlets. The outlets are working. As I am hauling the 45 pound machine to the truck to return it, a thought occurs to me. I had better read the directions. Read the directions....and learn that the little vertical
slash on the front of the machine is the power button. Oh.
Push the vertical
line. Machine turns on. It works fine.
I've had the old dehumidifier
set aside to dry. It was in the flood and my fear is that it is ruined. ..but it is worth a try. I test it carefully, expecting an electrical arc or nothing at all. It works fine. The second dehumidifier
is added to the crew of fans and dehumidifier working away in the apartment. Both dehumidifiers are full by nightfall. They are emptied and reset to run all night.
In the morning, they need emptying again. The windows are opened for fresh air. It is time to tackle the kitchenette...the one room I dread because it is covered with sewerage, mud and grit. What a mess. I don't want to start by scrubbing on my hands and knees. What can I use? First, the broom. Sludge collects into a pile. It gets shoveled into a dust pan and put outside in the mud pile. A lot of sludge leaves the kitchenette that way. Next soldier is the shop vac. This vacuum picks up everything...both wet and dry. I have to move the refrigerator around in the tiny room, but most of the sludge is in the barrel of the shop vac. Out it goes. Repeat. repeat until the floor is merely dirty. Last soldier is water and bleach. On hands and knees, I clean the floor and the cabinets as best I can. They would not pass muster , but that is all I can do for today.
Ernesto comes in the afternoon. He has plans to check the walls for water. We both suspect the Sheetrock
and the fiberglass insulation is soaking wet. No matter how hard the fans and dehumidifiers
work, We know the walls won't dry out. He cuts a neat square in the wall that confirms the insulation is soaking wet. It is wicking
up. It must be cut out and replaced. That is for tomorrow.
The next day Ernesto comes with a helper. These guys are so neat and clean...real European craftsmen. They're from Albania. They lay down a drop cloth. Both get to work removing 2 feet of sheetrock
and the wet insulation behind it. Ernesto neatly bags the stuff and takes it to the curb. Public Works trucks are still working the neighborhood. The bags are taken away.
We leave for the night with walls wide open, floor vacuumed and hopefully drying out all right. With the help of friends, progress is being made.
Tomorrow, Luther will be here to clean the sump pump. After cleaning, I will be back in business. Hurray!
Labels: Hurricane Irene part 5