You know that stale air musty house smell when you come back from vacation? After our week at the cottage last month, that’s exactly what Matt and I came home to. And then we walked down into the basement.
There we sniffed a distinct eau de damp.
Turns out that at the very start of our holiday, while we were lakeside, there was some water flowing at home.
A torrential downpour washed half the gravel down the driveway, overran the sump pump in the cold cellar and seeped through the foundation in the laundry room.
Believe it or not, we escaped with very little damage. The worst was some damp carpet in the long room and beside the laundry room. Some of the baseboards have swelled a little bit as a result, but overall it’s not too bad.
The cold cellar is about 6 inches below the rest of the basement, and the floor is concrete, so even though it appears that area was the sloshiest, the water didn’t seep into the main basement. Thank goodness.
Running the dehumidifier for a few days dried out the carpet.
The biggest bummer is that we had patched the laundry room foundation before we left on vacation… or we thought we had.
At one point, the laundry room window was a door into the basement. When we found occasional puddles on the laundry room floor, we figured that was the most likely source.
Matt dug out the foundation, I found a membrane at Home Depot, we stuck it onto the foundation and back-filled the hole. (Forgive the bad iPod photos. We temporarily misplaced the real camera).
Well, either we missed the location of the leak, our patch didn’t work, or the freak volume of rain would have overwhelmed the foundation anyways. Hence the eau de damp.
Back at the farm after our vacation as we were drying out the basement, we watched on TV as more torrential rains flooded a town nearby. When the storms rolled into our area, the rain spewed over the edge of the gutters and puddled right next to our apparently porous foundation. Uh-oh.
A break in the storm found Matt and me outside in our raincoats and boots. Matt fetched the extension ladder, I held it secure, and he climbed up on the roof to empty the eaves troughs.
Our pine trees shed like crazy, and their needles clog the downspouts. When the second wave of the rain hit, the gutters flowed like they should.
We’ve had more rain since then, and Matt has been super vigilant about making sure the water runs away from the house and that the basement stays dry.
So far so good.
The problem of the clogged eaves troughs and downspouts has been solved. Now if only we could solve the where-the-heck-is-the-water-getting-in? problem.
Who else has come home to a not so pleasant surprise after vacation? Have you ever dealt with leaky foundation issues? How often do you clean your gutters? I swear I did them a few months ago. Anyone else ever done some mid-storm water diversion?