Friday, January 18, 2013

It's All About Proper Drainage

Well, that sounds gross. But it's true. After dealing with a drought for months, our area received a down pour of rain last weekend. In fact we got more than 5 inches of rain within a 48 hour period.

I promise Katsumi didn't develop freckles. That's how a wet Shiba looks.
We dealt with a decent flood in 2011 but this is the first time we had a heavy amount of rain during a short period of time in our new home. A new home that has a full basement. A full basement that contains several valuables like cleaning equipment & our deep freezer. Needless to say it's very important to us that it remains dry.

Thankfully (and it was a key selling point) our seller waterproofed the basement & installed two new sump pumps about 2 months before we bought the house. We were told we were very lucky since most homes in our little river city don't even have a basement much less sump pumps.

So as I said, last weekend was the first test for our home. The seller also previously made sure water flowed away from the house. That was our first clue that we received quite a bit of rain...

That's just after the first 12 hours. My garden is a pool!
I've heard our sump pumps in action before, but they are a novelty to me. My childhood home only had a crawlspace. And despite being along a river, we never needed sump pumps. I'm also a bit skittish so I as always pick up hearing the click & motor sound of our sump pumps.

So last weekend the rain came a' tumblin' down. And our sump pumps turned on again... and again... and again... and again. I was home most of the weekend by myself (which is never a good idea) and became obsessive with hearing the sump pumps. Eventually on Sunday night, I had to see what our basement looked like. At first, I was shocked.
Water right next to a sump pump. Something doesn't add right here.
So if you know anything about basements, you'll know this isn't a big deal. But for everyone else & pre-Sunday me: Holy Poseidon, how scary is this?! Five inches is a lot of rain, but that's nothing compared to legitimate flooding! What would we do if we had another flood season?!

So I anxiously waited for my husband to call saying he got out of work. He could fix it. He always fixes stuff. He can fix anything. I was just worried about the cost. Sure enough he finally called. I told him he would need to look at the basement & texted him a photo. He didn't respond before he got home. After a quick walk around the basement he stopped by the puddle & said, "just what I thought. We have fantastic sump pumps!"

... Er... what?

Sure enough he's right. The ground forced the water through small cracks in the basement floor. It was such a small amount of water that it couldn't flow into the corners of the basement. We have crevasses outlining the entire basement that flows water into the sump pump drain. If there would of been more water, it could of gone through the system. But it didn't thanks to how water drains away from the foundation. And the rest of the basement is so well sealed that there was only one spot.

Needless to say, I've learned a lot about sump pumps last weekend. They are a great thing thing to have in a basement. Especially new ones. We really got lucky on that part of our home. But there quite a few projects ahead...

Oh and 10. That's how many times I wrote sump pumps. Well, 11 now. I have an unhealthy obsession.
Last note: bulbs are already sprouting! It's only January, right?

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