Thursday, May 08, 2008

We procrastinated and it kicked us in the butt

A storm is coming, and this time we are prepared. There's a front headed here as we speak that has tons of rain and high winds. But in contrast to the last storm, we have two functional sump pumps, plus a portable back-up just in case one of the first two fails.

The reason that I mention this is that a few weekends ago, we were up until almost three AM attempting to rescue the basement from imminent doom. You see, we had only one functioning sump pump. Since we're in a rental and had survived one rainy season without said pump, we figured that we'd be OK this go round. Man, were we wrong. Let me explain why.

One gloomy Sunday afternoon we headed off to the pool for a swim (That's where you go when it's pouring rain outside, right?). We were there for about three hours and then headed home. At some point Tom wandered down into the basement and discovered a flood. So, we kicked it into high gear, got the kiddos in bed quickly, and tackled the problem. Long story short - we spent the next seven hours sucking up water, pulling up the carpet and the very wet pad, sucking up more water, drying towels that were used to suck up water, watching the radar on the Internet, and trying to figure out how the heck to deal with the incoming water with a well that was full and a wet-dry vac that was smoking. Our big problem was a cell that was heading our way at about 1am. We were tired but had basically stayed ahead of the water for most of the evening, and didn't want to lose the entire basement carpet as we had saved it thus far. So we decided to stay up and do what we could.

Our biggest problem is that the pump broke almost a year earlier - it actually hasn't worked since we moved in. This was a case of procrastination NOT paying off (No, Tom, it DIDN'T work this time). Anyway, when you call the plumber in the middle of the night asking for them to show up with a sump pump, they politely tell you that the plumbing supply place is NOT open at 1am on a Sunday, and that because of the flooding over the past few hours they have none left in stock. They also tell you that they would be GLAD to show up in the morning and get you all fixed up, and we tell them that we'd LOVE to see them then. I'd like to point out here that we live in the land of the 14 hour Walmarts, Targets, the 12 hour Home Depot, and the city that rolls itself up at about 9 on Sunday. This made out night VERY LONG because we couldn't go buy anything at 1am that would have helped us.

So, Tom hit Home Depot at 6am (three hours after we went to bed), the dryer ran all night, the rain stopped at about 3am, and the plumber came and fixed the sump pump at 11am. Then, the rain started again and it rained for three days, but never quite as heavy as that Sunday night. Oh, and did I mention the part where Tom leaves town for a week on Monday? Yeah, tired man on a plane, and tired woman left alone here with a damp basement and wet carpet. (I rented a commercial dryer, hired folks to replace the pad and reinstall the carpets, and had it cleaned. No toys were harmed in this flood - and we have a clean carpet!)

So I sit here now listening to the thunder rolling in, knowing that the pump, both pumps actually, work. AND I sit here knowing that I can go to bed whenever I want and my basement will be high and dry in the morning. Makes me smile - to myself of course. Don't want to be TOO obnoxious, we wouldn't have had this trouble in the first place if we hadn't procrastinated.

1 comment:

TTHBTK said...

I can't even imagine the whole flooded basement thing. Ours is unfinished and houses the washer and dryer (so it also has a drain in the floor, which is slightly sloped toward the drain). So, when it rains, the water comes in some (maybe a general coating on the floor) but then goes down the drain. The biggest problem becomes making sure to wash any laundry that has made it to the floor before it gets musty.

And here's a phenomenon I've noticed with household and car repairs: everything costs $1000. 1000 is the magic number. Maybe I'm relying on some shaky science, but it's my theory and I'm sticking to it.