Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Ice Cold Water = Salt Water Tears

I love to look at the "dream rooms" on those decorating websites. Take me away, take me there now.

I think that readers of my blog know that they're not always going to find sweetness and light when they come here. We all strive to make our homes a beautiful and calm oasis, but that's not always the case. Having worked for a newspaper for many years I've been conditioned to tell it like it is......and it isn't always pretty!

We should all keep in mind what we're striving for but allow ourselves the fact that it's not attainable every day, and probably not desirable every day.

After the "big water event" back in August, we've done alot of work repairing the damage done by the basement flood. I'm not very fond of water right now. And I'm not very fond of the neighbors up the road who built a really big grey house. Before the grey house was built we never flooded, neither did our close neighbors, but after construction of the grey house all bets were off.

The neighbors house behind us has had the basement carpet replaced at least 4 times in the past few years. The couple living there now bought it 2 years ago when they were transferred here. After the flood in August I felt it was important to pass the knowledge of the previous events along, because I'm not sure they were aware. There are at least 4 other homes that were severely damaged during the flood and we've all decided that we're not going to carpet our basements, we'll be installing porcelain tile and using area rugs.

We've had tons of snow and a constant succession of warm and horribly cold temperatures. Yesterday it rained very hard which melted tons of snow. Being very nervous about water I went down in the basement only to find the new sump pump and the battery back up were not dealing with problem at all. They were both running, humming along but it was apparent to me that nothing was passing through the pipe. First thing this morning I called the local heating/air conditioning/sump pump people. It seems we've had the perfect storm of weather conditions and the pipe running from the house to the leach field was frozen solid, the first time in 14 years.

Did I mention I hate water?

I'm probably the most positive and optimistic person you'd ever meet but this situation on top of 5 months of work reduced me to tears. Isn't it funny how you THINK you're dealing really well with problems and then BAM. I'm the first to admit that these problems are very minor in the scheme of things but I learned something important during my years in therapy and that was never to compare your troubles with someone else. Don't fall into the "someone else has it much worse" trap. Even though that is true it does not lessen the stress or pain you're feeling.

So feel it! Cry! Scream! Curse the H2O or whatever it is that's stressing you out. Release the steam and don't let it build. Certainly don't dismiss it because someone has it worse than you.

It's a good thing that last night we headed over to the Tap House Grill for a Mardi Gras celebration. The crawfish was great, the gumbo was mediocre and the party that was promised never really happened because of the terrible weather. No matter, we made out own good time.


Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Zanne, I hate water like that, too. I have a damp basement whenever there's a rain and snow mix and whenever the spring snows melt too quickly. I've done everything that I can think of...sump pump, special drainage run-offs, pipes placed beneath the frostline to remove excess water. It's a nightmare. So I understand how frustrating this is for you and especially since you've had a finished basement. Mine is just a basement...finishing it would be out of the question.

These storms are the pits. It's raining on top of 8 inches of snow right now so I can just imagine what's in store.

Hang in there...we'll muddle through somehow.

Just have one question about the McMansion on the hill...what did they do to cause this problem? The run-off from cutting down trees or what? Is there no recourse?

Oh, I LOVE the color in that living room and the white mantel is perfection. (I'd slap more on it, too, but it looks lovely just as it is.)

Suzanne said...

It was explained to us that water flows in a certain pattern. The grey house is on a higher location and the mass of the concrete basement foundation block the natural flow of the water and changed the direction, focusing all the water down the hill in our direction. I don't think much more can be done on our end. The former neighbor spend much $$$$ trying to improve his drainage etc, to no avail.

Hang in there Vee. I'll send you a raft!

Becky K. said...

We had similar problems and found a solution that worked for us. There is a special coating that is sold in home improvement stores. It is intended for coating cisterns and swimming pools to keep the water in. It also served to keep the water out when applied to your walls and the crack that runs across the floor at the base of the wall.

It was a tremendous amount of work to take off the previous wall treatments and get to the cinderblock. We put two coats of this on and then two coats of Dry-lock just to be safe.

No more water! It has been three years and we have had no troubles.

Hope this helps.
Becky K.

KatKit13 said...

There is nothing worse than water invading your home. I've had the same issue lately -basement seepage. My house is 10 years old. It's the apron off the garage - the water just pours off, and runs under the garage, and seeps right into the basement. ARG.

I've not gone down today to look - I'm too afraid to. ~sigh~

I hope you have it fixed asap. And Happy Fat Tuesday. A day late.