Thursday, September 8, 2011

Basement Waterproofing

GOES 8 satellite colored infrared image of Hur...Image via WikipediaTwelve years ago, I was heading off to work like any normal day.  We were expecting it to be a rainy day, with heavy wind and rain, since Hurricane Floyd was working his way up the east coast.  While I was fully expecting the inclement weather, I was not expecting everything that was to come that day.

I was in the office for our weekly departmental meeting.  I had just gotten into the conference room to begin the meeting when my cell phone rang.  It was my wife calling to tell me that I needed to come home.  Our basement was flooding.

When I got home, there was about an inch of water on the basement floor in the laundry room.  Fortunately, we never lost power that day.  I went up to the Home Depot and bought a shop vac so that I could start trying to clean up the water.  Unfortunately, it seemed like the water was flowing in faster than I could remove it

I went back up to Home Depot and spoke to somebody there to try to see what else I could do.  They told me that I needed to try to make sure the water was flowing away from the house.  I bought some downspout extenders.  I also bought some sort of gravel to try to grade the area near the house to help things drain away from the house.  I was quite a site working outside during the hideous weather.

Once I finished working on the outside of the house, I went back inside to work on the inside.  I would use the shopvac to suck up the water from the floor, then when it was full I would dump it down the drain.  After several hours of this I had all the water off the floor.  I set up a dehumidifier to help dry the carpet area and remaining moisture.

I was going to have to be traveling soon for work, and I did not want my wife to have to worry about a flooded basement again while I was gone.  It was at that time that I made a call to a local company that specializes in waterproofing basements.  It cost me a few thousand dollars to get the work done, but it was well worth the investment.

Shortly after we had the work done, we had a couple of minor trickles of water.  We had to have the waterproofing company come out a couple more times.  Finally, one of the technicians found a spot in the front foundation that was slightly cracked which he sealed with cement.  Since then, we have not had a single issue with water in the basement.

Even though for the past 12 years, I always get a little paranoid during heavy rains.  I always end up going downstairs during particularly bad storms just to make sure we haven't sprung a leak.  After the past two weeks, though, I think my worries are over.

First, we had Hurricane Irene come through.  Even though we lost power for half a day we stayed dry.  The last few days it has been raining constantly with the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee.  In the last 24 hours we have had over 6 inches of rain.  Still bone dry.  Yep, waterproofing the basement is one of the best investments I ever made.

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1 comment:

  1. Horray for a dry basement. Since we live on top of a hill, the only wet basement we ever had was due to a burst pipe!



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