A journal following the history, design, construction and operation of Bernard Kempinski's O Scale model railroad depicting the U. S. Military Railroad (USMRR) Aquia-Falmouth line in 1863, and other model railroad projects.
©Bernard Kempinski All text and images, except as noted, on this blog are copyrighted by the author and may not be used without permission.

July 17, 2019

Stage 1 Flood Recovery Went Well

The front room survived with little damage.
 Some sheet rock was removed under Falmouth
 Workers today arrived and began recovery from the flood.  The good news is that both layouts survived the demolition. The insurance adjuster from USAA called the remediation contractor and told them to be super careful around the layout. It was, "too expensive to replace!"  Thank you USAA.

The biggest job was pulling up the laminate plank floor (see video below).  I had installed that floor in 2011. I was sad to see all my work get removed. Although the flooring planks themselves are water resistant, they are not a good choice in a flood prone basement as water gets trapped underneath them.   

There was some standing water under the floor and in a few places it was starting to get a funky odor that was evident when they pulled the planks. To pull the floor, we had to move most of the plastic tubs, tools, and supplies I have stashed in closets and under the layout. It's amazing how much stuff I have accumulated. Now we have a gigantic mess in the center of the rooms. 
The workers also pulled most of the baseboards and drilled holes in the sheet rock by the baseboards to enhance drying. Luckily, it appears that very little sheet rock got wet. I suspect we had at most a 1/2 inch of water on the floor. 

The workers installed 13 fans and 2 dehumidifiers. They also sprayed disinfectant everywhere to try to control the mold. We never had mold in the basement  before. Hopefully it doesn't start now. 

Some residual water under the planks
My crew lounge and office is a mess

Tomorrow a flooring contractor arrives to discuss options. I am leaning to ceramic tile or painting. The ceramic tile in the bathroom made it through the flood with no issues.  So I would prefer that. But I won't do it if it requires removing the layout.  Also, the floor has some painted areas already. I am not sure you can put ceramic tile on a painted concrete surface. 

The least costly and perhaps simplest approach is to paint the floor, and then use area rugs for comfort and decoration. Painting would require some patching of the concrete to cover the places where the old carpet tack strips and old wall sills were located. But it would not require me to remove the layouts.

BTW I am documenting this process in case any of my readers encounter a similar problem. At least you'll have some previous experience to look at and commiserate. 



  1. Disheartening, I'm sure, but at least your layouts have survived!

  2. So glad to hear the damage wasn't as bad as it could have been.