Water Damage

We live in a semi-arid part of the US. We don’t get much rain. The rain, when it falls, is usually no more than a quarter of an inch at a time. This has lulled me and Husband into a false sense of security when it comes to our gutters and down spouts. Why make a point to clear out the spouts when it hardly ever rains? Why check to make sure that the spouts are fully functional?

For the second time in the 30 years we have lived in our home, we have water damage in the basement due to our rain spout neglect.  The first time the extension that takes the water away from the house fell off, so the water poured out of the spout right along the foundation of the house.  The water traveled along the side of the house and came into the basement through a hole in the basement wall where a well pipe enters the basement foundation.  We replaced all the basement carpet.

This most recent time, the down spout was clogged with leaves, so the water poured over the gutter right by the foundation and traveled into  an egress window and soaked the drywall and carpet below the window in a basement bedroom. We rarely go into that room, and I discovered wet carpet and moldy drywall on Friday, about a month after the rain.  It smells pretty grisly. I suspect we need to replace the carpet in that room, and the drywall guy is coming Monday to check  out the drywall. I am pretty disgusted with our lack of diligence. I feel pretty stupid flooding our home for the second time. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have one’s entire house damaged by water.

What mistakes have you made with home ownership and maintenance?

34 thoughts on “Water Damage”

  1. Oh my God. The number of mistakes I’ve made with home ownership over the decades is too large to catalog. Suffice it to say I wish I were more handy but at least I’m smart enough to know what not to tackle and make worse.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Right now I am kicking myself for not getting some of the exterior trim repainted. The windows have an aluminum wrap (from a prior owner – not my first choice, and they are probably wrapping rotten wood based on other things I have found at this house, but they are, indeed, pretty much maintenance free) – but door frames and jams and some wide lap siding on the back porch is looking pretty sad. Some of the back porch work will require putting a ladder in a precarious position, which is part of why I have been putting it off. I can do it, I just don’t like the idea of an unstable ladder. It may become something I throw money at and have someone else perch on a ladder. (Also need to remember to call the guy I was referred to for our gutters before we get snow and ice and possibly more ice dams – those dams were a mess.)

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    Uff Da, Renee—I am sorry to hear of the water damage. That sounds really funky with the odor, and all.

    Sometimes I think the list of things we have done well would be shorter than the list of mistakes. When we moved to our house 22 years ago, there were no eavestroughs on our house. That fact was quickly (and self-righteously) added to the previous owners’ list of mistakes. We added eaves troughs. But ever since, we have been dissatisfied with the performance of that piece of equipment. Next Spring we will probably invest in a new “Leaf Guard” eave to reduce the problems we have with silver maple seeds sprouting in our eaves. Every subsequent effort we have made to cope with this has been so ineffective. I would like to keep my husband off the roof, at this late date of our lives. Right now, several times per year he is up there with scoops and hoses blowing out the eaves.

    What a mess that creates and I worry about him falling off the roof. The new eaves will be spendy, but much cheaper than a tumble off the roof.

    I must now do my PT exercises then drift off into my drug-induced nap.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Husband has allergies to mildew and mold, and it is more than he can bear to go into the damp room. I have been running a fan but it is still awful in that room


      1. That is so toxic to him, then. An incident with a leaky, hidden, spraying pipe in the basement ceiling immediately under our bedroom, resulted in a soaked, moldy subfloor and mold between the subfloor and floor of our bedroom. I kept getting sinus infections and that was the reason.

        The entire unfortunate incident started the ball rolling to a 2015 re-model of the house, including repairing that damage. It actually has been a good thing, giving us a much more livable house. But finding the leak and the mold was just de-moralizing.

        I hope you can get it dried out and repaired ASAP.

        Liked by 3 people

  4. My pink bungalow had gutters that fed a downspout that was connected to the city sewer. Rain moved quickly down the roof, through the gutters and into the sewer. That was a problem, for the sewers overfilled in every heavy rain, washing raw sewage into the Mississippi. The city sent a workman around to cut the downspout and permanently seal the pipe to the sewers.

    We discovered that heavy rains would create a little lake on the ground on the west side. The water then washed into our basement, flooding it to a depth of two or three inches. We had to collect the water and dump it into sinks. It then went right to the city storm sewers like it did before, with the only difference being that it had flooded our basement before entering the sewers. Because my office was in the basement, I was the one who had to deal with this. I had furniture there, carpets and many yards of extension chords running around on the floor. My erstwife didn’t enter the basement much, so she was not concerned about our floods.

    When she left to live in Europe, I learned that our home was virtually the only property on our block that had not yet installed a basement water mitigation system. That was my first investment after the divorce.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. In a house in the suburbs where we lived for 20-plus years, water incursion in the basement was a chronic problem. More than once we had to rent equipment to suck water out of the carpet and then use props to lift the carpet off the floor until it dried. The problem was not with the gutters—I did a good job of keeping them cleaned out—the problem was with the soil itself and with incursion at the back through the walk out basement door. During periods of heavy rain, pressure from the water table would cause water to percolate up through the floor. We tried various remedies, including grading around the house and an elaborate catchment system that involved a pit filled with coarse gravel and covered with a grate that was intended to hold and disperse excess water before it got to the house.

    I wish now that we had just invested in a sump pump system early on. The house we currently live in has one that was installed prior to our ownership and we have never had a drop of water infiltration. I know from other work putting in fence posts that the soil is heavy, sticky clay and when we do get rains the sump pump runs almost constantly. The downside to that is the realization of how dependent we are on the pump operating reliably. I’ve had to replace the pump once when, in the winter, the pump kicked on and the outlet hose was clogged with ice thus blocking the water from escaping and forcing the pump to run until it burned out. That was early on before I had learned the ways of the sump pump. Once, when during a heavy storm the power went out, I had to spend most of the night bailing out the pump well by hand. There are emergency backup systems for sump pumps that will kick in if the power goes out and I really should invest in one but there are any number of house things I really should invest in and that one hasn’t risen to the top yet.

    Liked by 6 people

  6. We’ve had some paint jobs that turned out terribly bad. 🙂 Just not at all the look we were expecting.

    When and If I ever finish our current flooring project, the main bathroom will be next.
    I am
    Not even going to try doing it myself.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. We had some windows replaced a few years ago. I finished up the inside trim. Trim is always special lumber in that it doesn’t have any knots in it. Course I was a little short of material. Went to the lumber yard, bought another board, cut it, stained it, installed it. It has knots in it. It’s at the kitchen sink window and I look at it every day. And it bugs me every day that I did that.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. How about we talk about caulk. It shouldn’t be this hard!!
    I just did some at the college. Man, it looks like a 2 yr old got into the finger painting. Sheez.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. When I added a bathroom upstairs in our current house, I had a shower unit all picked out. I allocated the space and put in the drain line according to the specifications. But then, just before I ordered it, I discovered that the shower unit was molded in one piece—most of them have a separate floor—and that the unit I had chosen wouldn’t actually fit through the doors on the way upstairs. The space I had allocated for the shower, based on the one I had planned on using, limits my choices for alternative units. That sort of stalled the final completion of the upstairs bathroom for several years while I mulled the alternatives. The bathroom is fully functional except for the shower and so there wasn’t much pressure to solve the shower conundrum. But now I think I have a cunning plan and the upstairs bathroom may finally complete in my lifetime.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I would love to know how one can be cunning with a shower stall. Most of those are, really large, attracting attention. This will be a story fit for a Trail post.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Tomorrow is my son’s birthday. He has requested an impeachment of #45 as a gift.

    While this is a very large gift, I think I will give it to him. I am just SUCH a good mom. 😇☺️

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Well, I am lying here either in pain, or on pain meds. And then I have a lot of time on my hands Either one leaves my mind untethered and here we are. Please don’t tell. I work so hard at that professional demeanor!

        Liked by 2 people

  11. I am still sniffing and wiping my eyes after completing the last episode of “Country Music.” It was exquisite. How can anyone be that good over a span of 8 episodes? I want to be Ken Burns when I grow up.

    I know what I will ask for for a Christmas Gift and the boxed set of DVDs will not show up at VS’ Gift Exchange, either.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Jacque, I am similarly weepy after watching this episode. A couple of weeks ago I posted a link to a YouTube video of Johnny Cash singing “Tennessee Flat Top Box” when Renee posted about “Band Memories”. I was so happy to see the song resurface on the show tonight.

      I saw Johnny Cash three times, once in the 70’s, once in the 80’s, and once in the 90’s. The 70’s show was at the Minnesota State Fair, when Cash was at the height of his powers June Carter Cash was on stage with him, and really tore up the stage. The show in the 80’s was at the Carlton Celebrity Room. This would likely been after Cash lost his record deal, and the Carlton Celebrity Room might be classed as a venue for has-beens. But Johnny and June didn’t give the show any less energy, and as a particularly inspired choice, had invited Steve Goodman to be their opening act. It is one of the musical events I remember with greatest fondness.

      The 90’s show was at a venue in downtown Minneapolis, I think maybe the State Theater. This was in the Rick Rubin era, and the concert was sponsored by REV 105. The DJ from the radio station was a young cool guy, and the audience seemed to be young and hip. But I was thinking, yeah, you’re all newbies – I knew him when.

      Liked by 4 people

        1. Yes, lucky you. I have seen Roseann Cash in concert but never Johnny. As a teen/young adult I loved the Johnny Cash show on TV and watched it when I could wrangle custody of the TV from my parents, which was never often enough.

          Dolly Parton also had a short lived 30 minute franchised show in which she entered the stage on a swing, singing. I loved that one, too. My mother would harrumph and call her a cheap slut, given Dolly’s appearance. Years later Dolly gave the quote, “It costs a lot to look this cheap,” which made me laugh.

          Liked by 2 people

  12. This topic makes me wince a little. I guess the thing I regret the most was the row of chinese elms I planted along the property line in the front yard. I ordered them from a catalog that promoted them as hedge plants, but they never wanted to grow as hedge plants. They had the growth habit of trees, and always wanted to grow a central leader and grow as trees. I kept trying to whack them down with a chainsaw, but to no avail. Finally had a tree service come out and take them all down and grind the stumps. Big mistake. But I suppose they did sequester some carbon while they were there, so maybe it wasn’t a total loss.

    Liked by 2 people

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