The residence was flooded two weeks after the West Lafayette flooding. Heavy rains washed soil from a freshly toiled farmer’s field down the hillside with such force against the basement wall causing one of the windows to collapse allowing the water and soil to enter the basement. This resulted in approximately eight inches of water and mud to accumulate in the finished basement. Other volunteers removed the carpet and furniture prior to the Three Rivers VIM coming to the work site.
My wife Sharon and I visited the residence on Aug. 2 to determine what was required to finish the work. While there, I sprayed the black mold areas with a bleach/water mixture and then made a room by room inspection of the basement. On the following Sunday, I expressed a need for this family at Keene UMC and after the worship service, nine volunteered, in addition of my wife and I, to assist in this project. Some could work all day and some as their work schedules allowed. Due to my having a doctor’s appointment on Monday, I scheduled Tuesday morning to start the demolition of the paneling, walls, bathroom, shelving, cabinets and the clean up of the remaining mud.
On Tuesday, a total of 69 hours were spent by 10 volunteers on the needed work. Some volunteers worked what hours their schedules allowed from 3 hours to 12 hours.
The primary area was the bathroom where the mold was most prevalent. After applying a black mold mixture to the needed areas, supplied by Pastor Dan Eggan, the toilet, vanity and the tub were removed. The toilet and vanity were able to be salvaged, but the tub with jets was put in the dumpster. All the drywall in the bathroom, bathtub, drywall and paneling from the walls were disposed to the dumpster. My pickup was loaded 4-1/2 times to haul the debris from the basement to the dumpster. At the end of the day all demolition and primary clean up was accomplished. Volunteers worked 69 hours on the first day.
The following day two volunteers from Keene UMC arrived to continue the clean up. A couple from the New Point Church came to volunteer with the efforts. The 4 of us finished the clean up efforts. One volunteer worked at the outside entrance to the basement by removing the steps and cleaning up the mud and water that was on the floor. The two volunteers from New Point and myself cleaned the basement walls and floors. We used an electric power washer, a floor squeegee and a shop vacuum. 31 hours later, all of the areas were cleaned and the floors were almost completely dry, except for the wood under the wall studs. The black mold was removed prior to the floor cleaning. I had the wife of the homeowner inspect the cleaning and she was excited by our efforts. We left a box fan running in one of the corners. The homeowner was made aware of 2 areas of previous dampness from existing problems, not related to the latest damage. I advised the homeowner that the furnace filter needed replaced. All tools and equipment was cleaned and put away.
On the following Friday, my wife Sharon and I made a return visit to check the drying process and for any black mold growth and to take some end of project photos. The basement walls and floor looked very good. The homeowner stated that some mold was starting to appear on the ceiling. I mixed up some spray and address the areas. Then I noticed the mold had a pattern to the location on the ceiling. Upon inspection, I found the air conditioning ducts were all wet with sweat and dripping onto the top of the ceiling. I then checked the furnace filter and found that it mostly plugged and had not been replaced. This restricted the return air flow to a point that there was not enough return supply air to keep the cold air moving in the ductwork. The homeowner had a new filter and I changed it out to increase the air flow. All is okay once again.
I would like to thank the Three Rivers District for supplying the means for us to undertake this task. Thank you to the members of the Keene UMC for volunteering to undertake this community mission project. Thank you to the good Lord for looking out for the homeowners and for keeping the volunteers safe.
Respectively Submitted 8/19/2019,
Three Rivers District VIM Coordinator