A River Runs Through It

   The weekend that I left the hospital, it snowed. The weekend after that it snowed again, week three brought rain and this last weekend we had rain, thunder and lightening. So much precipitation has fallen, that the lands in my province are under water. Highways are impassable and entire communities are closed off behind ring-dikes! Their milk gets delivered by boat!! Floated over what is normally dry farm land!! This deluge of water has caused all sorts of regionalized flooding, including in my basement!! Enough already!!!

Flooding isn’t new, for the farmlands or my basement. Water in my basement is pretty much an annual event. It happens in spring, when the snow in the yard melts and the ditches swell to capacity, and the water eventually makes its way to my garage, the low point of my property. Then it finds the tiniest imperfection in my foundation and oozes inside. It seeps in through on the north and east sides of the foundation, and creeps across the floor at a couple of spots. If left unattended, it can spread fast and do damage. The first years we were caught off guard, but now we watch for it to start, and don’t let it get out of hand. Dealing with it is more nuisance, than catastrophe.

   Our annual spring flood-control used to involve mops, buckets, and rubber boots. It still involves rubber boots, but after investing in a wet-vac, basement water is now suctioned up.  That’s right, it gets Hoovered! Every hour it needs to be vacuumed up, so it can’t do damage. It’s a good thing I don’t sleep well, because my basement kept leaking for three days!

My house doesn’t have a sump pump. There is no point, since I don’t often get enough water to need one. Also, for a sump pump to work the water needs to drain to the hole its in. My basement floor is so uneven that the water flows everywhere but towards the drain hole! The drain, that also is my washing machine drain, is only three feet away from where the water enters my basement. It spread every direction but at the drain-hole!! How is that possible???

    I’ve done enough home construction to know that when it comes to my house, nothing is straight. Built by hand, in the mid-40’s, much of the construction was done using less than efficient methods. I’m quite certain that the eye-ball measuring tape was used more than once. I have no problem envisioning, that after a long day of mixing cement by hand in wheel barrows and pouring the original basement pad, that someone said, “It looks good to me”, and too exhausted to argue, the others around just agreed. It would explain a lot.

It is a given, that a home that is eighty-years old, will have settled. That a level plain in 1947, is not so level in 2010. Water will run to the lowest point and that point has changed substantially in the basement. Along with years of perma-frost thaw and freeze, certain areas have experienced heaving along certain lines. These slight changes in the floor over time, has caused the drain hole to be in the wrong spot! It’s not even close to the right spot!! Water just happily follows along the path of least resistance, even if it’s away from the drain!! Stupid water!!

A solution to the annual flood, would be to pour a whole new pad and relocate the drain to the low spot. That’s not going to happen. Trying to locate the imperfection in the walls, where the water gets in, is more likely. In the mean time, we’ll just get out the wet-vac and suck up what water invades the basement, and try to keep it in control until things dry up.  On the bright side, at least I’m not in an area that has to call ‘Uber Floats’ or ‘Skiff the Dishes’, in order to have dinner delivered.







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