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Friday, March 13, 2009

Living on Black Lake

But not "on" in the traditional lakeside property sense of "next to" or "shore side." "On" as in "immediately above," "stacked," or "vertically adjacent."

And not technically a real lake. It's just the nickname I've given the basement this week.

It's been a very snowy winter, in case you hadn't noticed. In drier climes, like Colorado, the snow sublimates - it evaporates into the air instead of melting. In Michigan the humidity, even in the winter, is too high for the snow to do that. So the only way the snow goes away is by melting. And the water has to go someplace, usually into streams, lakes and the ground.

But when it's also been very cold all season and the ground is still frozen (maybe not at the surface, but deep down it still is), the water runs out of places to go. Add 3 days of rain on top of that, and nature is just looking for outlets for the water.

Like the floor drains in a 75 year old home's basement, that appear to be connected to drainage systems instead of sewer.

Wednesday morning, after 3 days of rain, I emptied the drip bowls in the dining room (we've a leak where an upstairs dormer meets the roof), noting that there sure was a lot since the previous day. As I was making Car Guy's lunch, I used the last plastic baggie so I went to the basement to get a new box of them. There was about 3/4 of an inch of water on the floor in the workroom. Great. I headed back upstairs and told Car Guy. He carried the shop vac into the basement and filled it pretty quickly, but there was little difference in the room. He headed off to work, after we lifted the full vac over the 3" high threshold of the room and rolled it over to the utility sink. Once he was gone, I bailed out the vac (there was no way on earth I was going to be able to pick up 160 pounds to dump it in the sink) and went back in the workroom. I sucked up 9 more vacs full that morning, and it was looking pretty good, so I headed off to run my errands for the day.

The water wasn't done coming. I left the house at noon. By the time Car Guy got home from work at 4:30, the workroom was up to 1 inch or more, and there was water on the floor in the laundry area, too. And in the other section of the basement that's a storage area/craft room. Where very little is stored in plastic. Or on shelves.

So far, we've had 2 plumbers over to check out the drains. We still don't know what's the story with them, and are still pumping water out. All the cabinets we had stored in the workroom for our eventual kitchen remodel are ruined. I haven't even started going through the craft area yet. I know there is fabric and yarn that will have to be pitched. Car Guy mentioned a cleanup company coming, but we don't know when they'll be here. The good thing is that the water is clean - it's rain water and melt from the winter, not back-up from the sewer system. So at least it doesn't stink or have nasty parasites living in it.

1 comment:

Marcyanna said...

Oh No! Not all of your beautiful IKEA cabinets?!? That stinks!!!

I know what you are going through... Dave & I had our sewer pipe clog on us last fall when the remnants of the hurricane came through. Our basement drainage is tied into our sewer line so the rain overwhelmed the system. We did the bailout with the shop vac only we had to carry it up the stairs & outside as we couldn't put anything down the drain. What a clean up!

Yes, you are lucky it is only rain water. Hopefully it didn't ruin too much!