George V. Reilly

It never rains but it pours

This afternoon I would have said that the basement was close to being finished. The painting was almost done, the carpet was due to come in tomorrow, and the window will arrive in two-to-three weeks. But we’ve had a setback.

Since the last update, I have finished painting the spare bedroom. Emma will move in there as soon as I finish writing this post. She was waiting for the paint fumes to dissipate.

After Lowe’s sent someone out to measure the new window hole, I boarded it up with some plywood and 2x4s.

Dipankar came over Wednesday afternoon and helped me paint the basement – at least the parts that we could do with rollers.

This evening, I was going around the basement, filling in the spots that the rollers couldn’t reach. I was crawling along the floor, painting the bottom of the panels on the walls, when I noticed a very small amount of water seeping out from under one of them. If I hadn’t been painting the bottom of the wall, I probably wouldn’t have noticed it.

Four years ago, we had a leak in the basement. The kitchen waste water pipe, which runs along the front of the house, had collapsed, as seventy-year-old concrete pipe is wont to do. Water had built up and found a crack in the foundation wall. We came down to the basement one morning, after a night of heavy rain, to find two inches of water in the basement. The carpet that was down there at the time was destroyed. We had to rip off half the panels on the walls to isolate the problem.

We had a contractor come out then. He drained the water from the basement, and ripped out the sodden carpet, exposing really horrible linoleum tiles. He dug down to the bottom of the foun­da­tions on the front (west) and south sides of the house, and sealed the walls on the outside.

We never got around to fixing up the basement, until the last few weeks, when we put up re­place­ment panels, along with a host of other work.

I looked around outside and found that the downspout was misaligned with the drainpipe. It’s been windy all day and raining all night. I cobbled together a funnel out of an aluminum foil pan, which seems to be working.

In retrospect, we recall seeing occasional small amounts of water at the bottom of the west wall, but we had never done anything about it.

I’m going to defer the carpet layers from tomorrow until next week, so that I can do something about sealing the inside wall. And that means that I have to rip down the panels that we put up last weekend. Aaaargh! At least this happened before the new carpet got put down.

What has to be done to complete the basement?

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