HELP!!! Our Washing Machine Flooded Our Basement and We're Concerned About Mold

Updated on January 03, 2008
L.R. asks from Parlin, NJ
7 answers

Hi, I was just wondering if anyone has any advice. Our washing machine broke so we purchased a new one and had it installed. Well it turns out that the delivery guys were idiots and installed it wrong and it completely flooded my basement. There is carpet down there and this just happened on Friday and it already is starting to smell. The delivery co is suppossed to be sending over an ins guy on 12/31 to assess the damage but who knows when they are going to have a clean up crew come in. My husband said that there is $1000s worth of damage. I have a 3 month old and a 3 year old and I'm very concerned about mold developing and the effects it will have on their help. I also have asthma myself. Does anyone know what how soon the mold would develop or how soon it could effect our health? Thanks

What can I do next?

  • Add your own comment
  • Ask your own question
  • Join the Mamapedia community
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

More Answers



answers from Glens Falls on

If you haven't already, take picures of the damage.
If there's gonna be any delay in someone correcting it, find out from your insurance co., if you can go ahead and use a shopvac, or rent a Rug Doctor type machine, and use it for the suction. Fans, de-humidifiers, and/or if you guys can go ahead and demo...remove the carpet yourselves, and still have it covered to get it replaced.
That's a lot of work, so if it's not too long of a wait, let the pro's take care of it. I feel for you. Mine got stuck in the Fill mode, and ran for two hours while I wasn't home. My husband was away, so his friend came over and cut up and remove an area rug, and got the fans etc.. started. He had brought a sump pump, but we didn't need that.
Mine did not have dry wall, but I'd watch for wetness wicking up your drywall or paneling, if it's a finished basement. That's where the wetness can get overlooked, and mold will grow in the walls.
Good Luck !! After seeing what Oprah had on recently. I had an after thought. Kids and families can get just as sick from harsh chemicals used in our homes. I'd be wary of what's used to clean up your mess, as it will probably take a lot, before you're all done. You don't want chemicals lingering either.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Syracuse on

Insist that they come out immediately and clean up the mess. They should replace all carpet and padding. Unless your children play in the basement I wouldn't worry about it. Unless it's let go for quite some time there won't be any of that dangerous mold. At least tomorrow is the last of the holidays so you shouldn't have a problem with people coming out to take care of it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Syracuse on

if i were you with those concerns, i would contact the delivery co. and tell them you are going to get your own co. in there to asses the damage and remove any mold or other potential issues. for the health of you and the children i would not wait, the longer it goes the more problems will arise.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I actually had this happen to me. The ins. co should send someone to a clean it all up. When it happen to me they came ripped up all the carpet and padding to the cememt floor and got fans to completely dry that. Then I got new carpet and padding. My advice to you is since this seems to the delivery co. fault make sure you get everything replaced. Tell them your concerns with mold. They shouldn't get you a problem, if so talk with a lawyer or your home owners ins.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I think mold only forms after long-term moisture and humidity. If you get a carpet cleaner in there right away to extract the water and put fans, you should be fine. I would have the installation company reimburse the cost of all your damages. Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Glens Falls on

Call your insurance company right away. Photograph everything, including the ceiling and walls, the damage, and photograph the same areas every day following so that you can track any mold growth or damage.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Buffalo on

No, mold forms pretty fast and from any time moisture stays too long. Friday to today....yes, you're growing mold and mildew.
Luckily...This is a one time moiture, it was not standing water, storm drain or sewage. The washing machine flooding is a much better scenario (fresh water).

So, Yes...I assume after this long that you are growing mold.
But, don't panic. White or yellow looking mold and mildew is what I would expect to see. It is not the toxic black mold you hear about making people deathly ill, but if you have asthma, it may bother you.

I had an issue with the storm drain backing happened twice in 8 yrs....but i grew molds...
Anything on the ground is a potential mold colony....especially if it will hold moiture, like a carpet.
Cabinets that are not solid wood...the coated pressed board cabinets all sucked in the water and molded later. Wood had a fine layer, but it could be removed from the surface.

Toxic Black mold is from long term moisture So, Get rid of the moisture. The longer it stays the more types will grow. Black mold likes fiberglass insulation. For some reason it feeds off of it and spreads.

They say the best way to control mold is control the, Get that carpeting out ASAP. As long as the wet carpetting is there...the air will be humid and the moisture will creep everywhere.

Especially after hurricane katrina, they learned bleach is not good for molds. Only on hard surfaces, not on wood or porous surfaces.

You may have to take care of this your self and bill them for it later!

Here is a link to the EPA site for mold.

1 mom found this helpful

Next question: Sewage on Carpet