Floods Or How Water and Carpet don’t Mix

So, when we moved into our new house, there was hideous carpet everywhere. You can see it in the numerous posts about the different rooms from when we were moving in. One of the first things we did, even before we moved in, was replace the carpeting. I wanted to just do carpeting in bedrooms and hardwood or similar (we want to do strand bamboo) in the living areas. However, Matt needed carpeting in the living room. So, that’s what we did.

You may remember that we had some issues with flooding before. But we always kept it under control and figured out what was wrong and fixed it. Cuz that’s how we do. We also have an amazing sump pump. Really. It moves so much water. However, disaster struck last Thursday in the Detroit area, as some of you may know.

During a torrential rainstorm, we lost power. As it turns out, our little workhorse of a sump pump doesn’t have a battery back up. So instead we had a water back up. Within half an hour of the power going out we had about three inches of standing water in our living room. We had some electronics on the floor so as soon as I saw the problem I worked to get them all up and out of there. Then Matt and I moved everything else out of the room. Here’s a shot of the water as it was coming in. (Sorry, we had no power and the first five or so images were taken with my cell phone.)


This is a terrifying thing to see as a new homeowner. Seriously. We knew that we were going to have to remove the carpeting. We needed to get the carpet pad out of there since it had a moisture barrier and we wouldn’t be able to get the water up out of it. We wanted to dry out the carpet and see what we could save.

Good thing to note for other homeowners dealing with floods: We had no flood insurance, however, since it was due to a power outage and a sump pump back up, we would have been covered. Always call and check with your insurance. We opted not to pay the $1,000 deductible since we were sure that we would just have the problem again if we left carpeting in the living room.


So, up it went. It actually came up very easily because everything was so saturated in water. A good thing to note about removing tack strips for carpeting from a concrete sub-floor is that you can just hit them with a hammer from the side and they will mostly come up. Real time-saver.


We got a Shop-Vac and got up all of the water that we could. After deciding that we weren’t going to put a full carpet down there again, we decided that we were going to try to dry and then clean the carpeting that we really loved, and make a very large, nice area rug that could be removed, dried and cleaned much more easily in the future. We got the carpeting out onto our driveway to sit in the sun and dry that way for a while.


We took measurements of the livingroom and decided the size that we would want for our area rug and cut the carpet to size. When it was getting a bit later, we pulled the to-be rug in and put it in a small room with a heavy duty dehumidifier to get it dried out the rest of the way. We’re going to rent a carpet shampooer this weekend and clean it and all of the other carpeting in the house while we’re at it.


So, we also decided that we wanted to create a floating entertainment system. Kind of like this one (minus Twilight and with cable boxes, sound systems, gaming systems and computers on the shelves instead of knick-knacks):

To do this, Matt wants to run all of the cables from the components to the TV in the wall. So he pulled all of the drywall off the wall on the utility room side. This is the fun picture of that:


The good news about this is that we realized that the ceiling joists are running in a way that we can add overhead lighting fairly easily while the drywall is down! The bad thing is that some of the drywall was wet/molding. Which means that it had been wet before because some of the mold was far too extensive to have come from the flooding just a day or two before. So we needed to pull a lot more drywall.


After pulling some drywall in different places, it came to our attention that whoever put this house together didn’t put anything between the concrete retaining wall and the drywall on this side of the room. We’re probably going to have to pull everything, put up a watertight barrier, then replace it. *Sigh.


We also have a couple of closets in the living room. It seems excessive. When we were pulling wet drywall, we noticed the nice exposed brick still inside of this one and decided, what the heck, lets get rid of this closet. It’s dumb anyway. Here are the pictures of the process of, well, Matt, removing the closet.








We’re thinking we’re going to build our wine rack into this small alcove. We’ll also maybe install a small beverage refrigerator. We’ll be continuing the paneling and the brown paint to tie it in to everything else in the room.


More good news! All of the shelving that was in the closet can essentially be re-purposed by us to create our floating shelving for the entertainment system.

The flooring we’ve decided on as well is the wood look porcelain tile. We’ll be matching the color to the color of the wood we’re going to do throughout the rest of the house. We’re going to tile in the remaining closet and under the stairs as well. We’ll obviously be removing the carpeting from the stairs, but I also think I’d like to remove the risers and stain the supports black and stain the stair tops to match the dark brown of the tile and wood floors. I think it’ll make the room feel larger and more updated. Here’s a picture of what the wood tile looks like:

5 thoughts on “Floods Or How Water and Carpet don’t Mix

  1. Pingback: Surprise! Cherry Tree! | From House to Home

  2. Pingback: DIY Floating Entertainment Shelving | From House to Home

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  5. Pingback: Nightmare Phase Two: Laying Tile | From House to Home

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