Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Water in the basement

For the first time in the five years we've lived in our house we got water in the basement last night. There was a torrential downpour from about 8-10 pm. I haven't seen it rain that much, that fast, in a long time. I'm always worrying that our sump pump will give out at times like this, but the sump pump wasn't the problem.

We were sitting in the basement living room watching TV around 9:30 or 10. The cat was acting kind of strange and at one point I look down and thought the carpet looked funny. I got up out of my chair and... squish, squish, squish... it was wet. It was seeping in along the north and west wall - right where the TV is. I could hear the sump pump running in the back of the rec room, but when I opened the door into the laundry room there was 1-2" of standing water.

Neither one of us knew what to do but we finally gathered our thoughts and started moving boxes and things that we didn't want to get wet. Fortunately we have a lot of plastic tubs and counter space to stack things on.

Once we'd moved everything we went outside and one of the neighbors was actually paddling his kayak down the street. Water was about waist high where the storm drain is. It had simply rained too much and too fast for the drains to keep up.

We decided to go see about getting another sump pump or something. It was probably 10:30 or later by this time, so of course Menard's and Lowe's were closed. We went to Meijer and there was a crowd of people around the sump pumps. They had no drain hose though, so we ended up buying a Shop Vac instead. We needed one anyway (or so we convinced ourselves).

Fortunately it had stopped raining and by the time we got back home the water in the street had receded. It had also stopped rising in the basement, but the wet carpet area was increasing. I started shop-vaccing the water in the laundry room and Jane was scooping it into the wash basin with a pitcher. We did that until probably 12:30 am or so, then Jane started soaking up water out of the carpet with the shop vac. It was sometime after 1 am when we finally gave up and decided to call it a night. Both of us took some Ibuprofen and we went to bed.

We left fans running all night and I ran the fan on the furnace with no heat or cold on. The carpet was still pretty damp this morning, but it had dried up in the laundry room. I went over the carpet with the shop vac until I had to go to work, then Jane took over until she had to go to work.

One of my former office tenants runs a carpet cleaning business, so depending on how wet it is when I get home from work today I may give him a call. All in all, though, I feel pretty fortunate that it wasn't worse than it was. We could have already gone to bed and who knows how bad it would have been in the morning. I am also grateful that we were able to fork out money on the spot for a shop vac, as well as a daughter and son-in-law who kept in contact and offered to help as needed.

So... hopefully that's the end of that little fiasco. Some sunshine would be helpful now, and dry skies. Not real sure how that's going to work out...