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.