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Flood: "Dry mud hardens as quickly as concrete"


In the German flood regions, numerous residents are currently struggling with huge amounts of mud in their homes. What to do if the entire apartment is covered in dirt? A construction expert gives advice.

Read the video transcript here

Save what can still be saved from the house.

Carpets, built-in furniture, wooden floors, paneling - components sensitive to water have to be removed quickly from a flooded house, sometimes everything except for the shell.

Because after a day or two they can go moldy.

In the German flood regions, numerous residents are currently struggling with huge amounts of mud in their homes.

What to do if your own apartment is full of mud?

Norbert Gebekken, expert for building security:

»To get to the mud, the furniture has to be taken out first.

Then the next step is to get the mud out as quickly as possible while it's still reasonably runny.

This is important because when the mud dries it can become hard as concrete.

And then I can no longer get it out with normal, simple tools such as shovels or buckets. "

This is why snow shovels are now a practical device.

And if you have one, the best thing to do is to remove the sludge with a water pump.

Those affected should react quickly.

Norbert Gebekken, expert in building safety:

“If the water flows off quickly and the sludge drains quickly, it can dry up within a few hours.

If I can hold back the water a bit, there may be a day that I can still shovel it out.

But you should just watch it and do the whole thing as quickly as possible. "

The way in which the mud got into the building also makes a significant difference: if it got through windows or doors, the house is probably not at risk.

If he has made his way over the floor slab, the statics could be threatened.

Norbert Gebekken, expert in building safety:

“If we have cracks that are larger than 2-3 millimeters in thickness, then we often have a risk, and below that, we tend not to.

Or if we can no longer close doors or windows, these are also indications that there have been such strong changes and settlements in the building that the statics can be affected.

And then you have to get an expert to assess this risk. "

Furniture and mud should only be removed if the building is still secure.

But where do you put the brownish mass?

Non-contaminated sludge can first be dumped in front of the house.

Sludge contaminated by oil tanks in the cellar, on the other hand, must be disposed of separately.

Norbert Gebekken, expert in building security:

»You should definitely not touch the mud with



You should also have an appropriate protective mask, we are now used to wearing FF2 masks.

Protecting yourself from this is an essential aspect that we have to pay attention to.

But even if it is contaminated with feces, which we often have with this flood risk, there is no immediate danger if we do not contaminate our skin. "

Empty the house, remove the mud - that's not all you can do.

Norbert Gebekken, expert in building security:

“What we're about to do is open all windows, open all doors and ensure a draft, bring the dehumidifier into the basement, dry as quickly as possible.

If we have appropriate impact sound insulation or still have cladding, then we also have to do an underfloor drying.

There are specialists who offer that. "

Immediate ventilation is all the more important as long as dehumidifying devices do not work due to a lack of electricity or no experts can be on site.

And anyone who lives in a risk area can take structural precautions in advance to be reasonably prepared.

Norbert Gebekken, expert in building security:

»There are simply measures such as building up a cellar window, installing protective walls, installing mobile protective walls, making preparations so that you can protect yourself quickly. The basement windows can also be replaced by pressure-tight windows. You can exchange the cellar doors. There are a lot of ways to protect yourself. "

Source: spiegel

All life articles on 2021-07-21

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