June 13, 2010

How did you spend your Weekend?

We spent ours cleaning up water from our basement.

These pictures were taken after the water stopped coming in the basement.  There was no time to take pictures when the water was pouring in.  Yep, we had a storm among storms on Saturday morning.  In 3 hours we received 4 1/4 inches rainfall.  At one point our street looked like a river flowing past us.  It was as some would say, surreal. 

On Thursday we received an inch of rain and on Friday we received an inch of rain.  The ground is totally saturated.

Every now and then we will get some water in our basement.  By every now and then that means when we forget to clean out the gutters and even then it is a trickle of water in two spots.  The water is easily cleaned up with a mop and then of course with a gutter cleaning.  There have been times when my husband has run outside in a rainstorm to climb up on porch railings to grab a handful of leaves out of the gutter that is blocking the downspout.  You hear a whoosh and see a bunch of those helicopter thingeys and leaves coming out of the downpout with a considerable amount of water.

We now have gutter covers on the majority of our gutters and it didn't matter on Saturday morning as the rain fell hard and fast.  I went down to the basement to check on things  Two years ago I spent a considerable amount of time repointing some of the bricks in the basement and putting caulk around the floor. We haven't had a trickle of water in the basement for years. In 2008 when Iowa received a lot of rain and with the floods that resulted we didn't get a drop in the basement. 

When I turned on the light I saw a trickle of water coming in.  Then I looked over in a different area and another trickle was coming in from the corner.  Within 30 minutes there was so much water coming in that even with a wet dry vac we could hardly keep up.  Thankfully we only have an area rug that we can quickly pick up off the ground.

It took 3 of us working in 2 inch deep water to try to keep up.  We had two people at a time using wet dry vacs, emptying the water into buckets as a third person took the buckets of water and poured them down the laundry tub to drain.  It took about 15 seconds to fill a 10 gallon wet dry vac.  At one point we found where there was a small hole in the mortar where the water was coming in like a spigot.  We positioned a pan over it and then poured that into a bucket and so on. 

We worked from 8:00 in the morning until 8:30 in the evening.  The water wasn't coming in near as fast and we finally gave up for the day. 

This morning we got up and the water was dried up with only two little puddles.  While we were sipping coffee and reading the paper we heard thunder and yes, it started to rain.  I went to the basement and a little trickle of water came in but it only took a towel to dry it up. 

When we got to church this morning our Associate Pastor told us that he had water in his finished basement and the sewer was backing up.  The pond near their yard was flooded and so was the street in front of their house.  Many families had water in their basement and for some it was a first time.

Tomorrow we are supposed to have rain and there is a chance of rain on Tuesday.  I wouldn't be surprised if we start seeing animals walking 2 by 2 any day now. 

We have made a list of what we need to do.  This is going to be expensive but we need to have a custom made radius (curved) gutter to go around a curved portion of our roof.  That will help considerably to drain the water away from the house.  We need to put some different landscaping around the front of our house that will help with drainage issues.  I am going to research putting a sealant over the brick walls of the basement and I also need to go and look at all the bricks in the basement to see how the mortar is holding up. 

Of course if we have another storm like we had on Saturday it is possible that no matter what improvements we make we may still get some water in the basement.  My goal is for a trickle of water or none at all. 

I am thankful that: 1.  We were home when this happened.;  2.  There were 3 of us to work on getting the water cleaned up; 3.  The water was clean rain water; 4.  That my husband went out and purchased a second wet dry vac and it was the last large one available; 5.  My basement floor is so clean and I was able to pick things up quickly so nothing was destroyed; 6.  I was finally able to make myself take some garbage bags and clean out the junk that I had been meaning to get to; and that 7.  Compared to what happened in Arkansas with the flooding we are blessed beyond all measure.

Or yeah and 8.  We had some water "bonding" time with our teenage son.

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