Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Basement

I went searching for a post I thought I had written about when our basement flooded last spring. I can't find it. Maybe I didn't write it...

So I'll sum it up: Last spring we had a lot of rain. I mean, like, 24 inches in a 36 hour period of time. The sump pump in Hannah's closet was running nearly continuously to keep the water out of the basement. Our basement is where we live. Hannah and Abby have a room there. The laundry room, school room, playroom, office room, and sewing room are all there. Nearly 80% of our day is spent there.

One morning I awoke to Sam yelling from the basement that we had a problem. As I descended the stairs I saw water. Nearly 3 inches deep. Apparently Hannah had a bell hanging in her closet. The cover on the sump pump has a small hole, about 4" x 4" through which the drain pipe runs. Somehow, this bell, in the middle of the night, fell. Not only did it manage to fall through the ridiculously small hole, which is amazing in itself, it also managed to land so perfectly onto the sump pump so as to flip the switch and turn it off!

The carpet in the basement had been installed by the previous owners who, we have often discovered since moving here, took shortcuts when doing things. So these previous owners merely glued the carpet to the cement floor. No padding. No moisture barrier. Just glued the carpet to the cement with copious quantities of glue that, while it doesn't hold the carpet very well, adheres to the cement beautifully!

After mopping up the water and drying out the carpet, we knew we had to replace the carpet. We began to research options and came across a floor epoxy that is designed for garages. Our town had used it in the library, which is often plagued by water issues, with great success. When we first investigated the stuff it was pricey and we estimated about $1000 to do the job. The other day we checked it again and it has come WAY down in price. We should be able to do the whole floor for around $300.

I was discussing Christmas gifts with my mom and since everybody is on a tight budget this year, we agreed that work parties were the way to go for gifts this year. (One of my brothers came down last week and hooked up all our computers to a wireless system for us. We fed him and his family, in exchange.) So we decided that several of my brothers would help Sam tear out the carpet, scrape up the glue, and put down the new floor. Because of my asthma, I can not help remove the carpet or be around when they do it.

We had thought the second week in December would be good. After Thanksgiving, but before Christmas, and Sam had three days off of work in a row (I don't know how that happened...). Of course nothing goes according to plan and we have until Wednesday morning to get all the furniture out of the basement so the carpet can get pulled up. And of course Sam is working for the next seven days...

So I'll be without my basement until the 10th of December! But once it is done...! It'll be like a whole new house!
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