cookiej writes "We just completed having our basement gutted and our house decontaminated from mold. The finished basement is gone, my office floor has been removed as well as 24' of drywall around the base of the room. So, we had a full home theater downstairs along with a couple of computers in the electronics closet that were completely immersed (rainwater, not sewage). We moved them to a sheltered area outside and covered them with a plastic tarp. Since the electronics were off when the water hit them, 1) do I have a chance of recovering them? 2) If so, is there a way to clean them with some sort of liquid bath that would not damage the electronics? and 3) I don't want to bring moldy pieces back in the clean house. How could I decontaminate the electronics themselves, pre-bath? Not looking to save the speakers, just the amp, DirecTV box, video switch, etc. Thanks for any help, here, Slashdot." Read on for more details of this reader's plight.
Early last month, we had about 10" of rain in the course of two hours. Many houses in our neighborhood were damaged. We had rainwater coming in our back door and cascading down the basement steps. We have two sump pumps that weren't keeping up (and of course, no battery backup) and as the water rose in the basement, it was getting dangerously close to the breaker panel. So I made the hard decision to shut down the main power and we got the hell out.
The water reached about 6' in the basement before it drained out. Once we got back, we could not move fast enough to get all the debris out before mold set in and boy did it.
Since we are not in a flood plain, our insurance for this is woefully inadequate. While I would love to just go out and buy replacements, there are far more pressing things to re-buy (washer/dryer, furnace, water heater, etc.) and if there is a chance I can salvage some of this it might be a nice change of luck.