Water Water Everywhere!

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Last spring we had a flooded basement. It was traumatic and dramatic, but it made for interesting dinner party stories.

This winter we had a slow seeping in the opposite corner of the basement. Not nearly as exciting as the flood, but just as stressful in its own drippy way.

After conferring with numerous plumbers and tradesmen, we learned the problem was the perimetre drains. They weren’t installed properly. Combine bad drains with torrential rains and, voila…carpet stains!

Work started this week. Our poor old house looks obscene flashing its naked foundation to the world.

The Best Things about a Flooded Basement

002The top five best things about having a basement flood just before Valentine’s Day:

5. When you finally get around to going out for a romantic dinner, the restaurant isn’t busy because all the normal couples celebrated on the 14th. You get to enjoy a peaceful dinner in a near empty restaurant with attentive servers. Plus, you’re so relieved to get out of your damp, stinking house for a couple of hours you don’t even care if the wine isn’t chilled or the pizza has olives.

4. You can kill two birds with one stone regarding chocolate consumption. You’ll be eating the chocolates you received to celebrate V.D. (Valentine’s Day) anyway so you don’t need to take in extra chocolate calories because of flood stress.

3. If you’re considering de-cluttering, a basement flood is a not so subtle nudge in that direction. Nothing encourages de-cluttering like having 90% of your possessions destroyed!

2. Someone else cleans out that creepy closet under the stairs where the spiders live.

And the best thing about having a basement flood?

1. Your vacuum cleaner, conveniently stored in the basement, has been rendered useless. Yes!!! The habitable portion of the house may be fluffy with dust bunnies and Chihuahua hair, but you don’t feel guilty about not vacuuming. You can’t because you don’t have a vacuum cleaner. You were flooded.

When Your Basement Floods…

035015I spent the days leading up to Valentine’s Day making plans with a man–a group of men, actually.

Not sailors, but contractors.

We weren’t talking red or white wine, French or Italian food. We were deciding how much of the walls needed to be removed, whether the carpet was salvageable and where to store all the stuff in the basement while the reconstruction work is happening.

I wasn’t reassured to hear, “This could go on for months.”

After a night of heavy rain on pre-existing snow, our basement flooded. It was just a couple of inches of water in the unfinished, cement-floored area but had soaked into the carpet in the rest of the space. I’ve learned that just a couple of inches is all it takes.

Although the upstairs wasn’t damaged, the entire house is damp and the insides of all the windows are drippy. The pot plants are loving it. The rest of us, not so much.

Big loud dehumidifiers and fans have been running continuously since the water was discovered, but the house still smells like the inside of an abandoned boat house.

We’re waiting for word from the insurance company. Will they cover the damage, or won’t they? It’s the big question at the front of my mind.

They sent a team to examine, interview and photograph, but we won’t hear until sometime next week whether all those fat premiums we’ve been paying for years will actually get us anything.

In the meantime, the work downstairs continues.