Monday, July 18, 2011


Torrential rain on Friday and early Saturday morning, July 16th caused a small lake to form in my basement. I discovered it Saturday morning when Tillie, the younger cat, placed her wet paws on my arm. The cats sleep in the basement at night. I went downstairs to discover about three-quarters inch of water covering about half the basement. It had seeped in overnight. The non-joy of a nearly 100 year old house. This Old House leaks!

Squeegee to the rescue. I pushed the water towards the floor drain and mopped up the rest. I set the three fans and the dehumidifier timers to 24 hours, 6 on and two off, to make certain that at least two were running at all times. Usually, this works well. The basement dries out in a day and I keep the fans running for an extra couple days just to get out any residual moisture. Alas, that is no the case this year. Water keeps seeping via the floor and bottom of the walls.

The ground is so profoundly saturated that the water is seeking any route. The Twin Cities had a lot of rain in the fall, higher than average amount of snow during the winter, and a fairly wet spring. The basement is a bog. Not enough to squeegee but the mop doesn’t pick up all the moisture. The fans and dehumidifier are humming but they don’t seem to make much of a dent. Everything feels wet. Mold has begun to grow on the walls. I hate to use bleach but I’ve had to spray the growth.

I moved the cat food upstairs and they don’t have to go into the basement at night. I have a large fan in the window on the second floor, which I turn on at night to bring air to cool the house. This may not be wise when the humidity is above 70 degrees because I think that I may have pulled in some moisture by mistake. I keep a couple windows open a bit on first floor so that the air will cycle through the basement and up the dirty clothes shaft that runs from the second floor into the basement. Hopefully, I have drawn out more moisture that I have brought in.

I need the fan on to sleep. I don’t have air conditioning and the fan is essential with ice packs. I don’t like temperatures about 80 degrees with humidity. I am miserable right now because the heat index has been near or over 100 degrees for the past three days and will continue for several more. I have been seeking reasons to retreat to air conditioning, going out for lunch, visiting the library or watching a movie. I would not do well in a jungle.

When I bought the house nine years ago the previous owner stated that the basement leaked after a hard rain. The next summer I learned that was the truth. The following years I landscaped the front yard to have higher soil near the house and slope it away, installed new gutters, and sealed the cracks in the backyard sidewalk that was adjacent to the house. There has been very little seepage since that time, and generally it was only after a torrential rainfall of four or more inches.

I need to install a trench drain with a septic pump to draw out moisture and then seal the walls and floor against the damp. I do not have the funds for such activities right now. Unemployment is really quite a pain when one’s home needs repair. I have several tasks, which need fixing, as well as the car, but I can’t afford the cost. Very disheartening.

Dry out the basement and get me a job.
© 2011

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