Sunday, July 21, 2013

7/21 - Aftermath

This image was taken about 2 miles up the road from my house, about 3-4am Saturday morning.

I still have fans and a dehumidifier going, trying to dry my basement. I actually have 2 layers of carpet,which seemed the best idea when I moved in. I put the new carpet on top of the old, indoor/outdoor carpet that was down there, to create a bit of padding over the concrete floor. Unfortunately, when the basement floods it's difficult to get that second layer of carpet dry. I'm hopeful I can get out of this without stinky carpet, because that would mean I have to remove both layers, and the top layer may not be salvageable even if I get rid of the bottom layer.

With the ground still saturated today, I decided it would be a good time to get the garden weeded. Being outside for several hours, I had the opportunity to visit with a few neighbors as they cleaned out their storm damage. It looks like I got off relatively easy.


Turns out the building next to mine had 4 to 5 FEET of water in their basements. Most of them will have to replace furnaces, and just about everything they stored downstairs was ruined.


It looks like the storm sewer in front of my house failed. You can see the high water line in the grass across the street, which explains how Superman's and my car flooded. (It turns out Superman found a parking spot pretty much right in front of my house, not down the street where he normally parks.) I heard today there was a guy with a shop vac taking cash to vacuum out people's cars, while I was at the detailing place arranging to have mine done professionally. I'm thinking my solution will be better in the long run.

It appears only my little corner of the street is affected, which is another reason I think the sewer is the culprit. There is another lawn just past the bend in the photo above, covered in straw. The straw on that tree lawn was unmoved, while on the tree lawn next to my parking spot the straw is completely gone. Also, the only lawns with garbage are on my end of the street.

I still had sections of dry carpet Saturday morning, which means the water came through in rivers and did not fill the basement to any depth. Also, I took a shower this morning, which is why I was so confused this afternoon to find my hot water tank pilot is no longer lit (and I currently can't get it to light). I have a pit and a sump pump in my basement, to pull water from around the outside of my house and push it into the storm drains. If the storm drains backed up, they probably backed up into that corner of my basement too - the same corner the hot water tank sits. I've pointed the dehumidifier at the base of the hot water tank, in hopes the issue is just the striker got wet. If I still can't light it by tomorrow morning I'll have to take a shower at either Superman's or work.

I just read the side of the water heater, and it says not to attempt repairing a flooded water heater, to just replace. *SIGH* This heater is barely 3 years old! $300 is the cheapest water heater I can find, and that doesn't include installation. I'm still hopeful the striker will dry by tomorrow morning. It looks like there actually was standing water in that corner of the basement, high enough to wet the bottom inch of insulation in the water heater, but not enough to wet anything higher. The piece of insulation I tested is about 4" tall. It almost seems like water splashed in and the insulation soaked it up, except the vent around the bottom looks silt-covered. Maybe there was an inch or two of water in that corner. Not enough to wet the floor under the furnace, which is right beside the water heater.
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I planned to do my long run this morning, until I hurt my back yesterday working on the basement. I say it's my back, but it's really my tailbone area that's affected. I always relate this pain to surgical scars at the same level, but in front. Part of me thinks I'm pulling on those muscles, which are super weak, which causes the corresponding back muscles to take the load. Another part of me thinks my tailbone, which I believe I broke as a child, sometimes gets out of whack. Either that or it's just arthritis. No matter the cause, I wasn't prepared to go long with it hurting this morning, though I was prepared to try the run this evening no matter what. If I still hurt, and if the run didn't loosen up whatever the problem (it could happen!), then I could always turn right around and cut the run short. However, I will not run without access to a shower.

This is not to say I haven't been active today. I spent a few hours in the garden. I also pulled the carpet from the landing, where Monkey Boy's cat (and my cat before him) have peed, repeatedly. I finally got sick of it, and now wish I'd pulled the carpet years ago.


The carpet backing and padding were completely soaked, as were the floorboards underneath. I scrubbed the entire landing with dish soap to cut the grease in the urine, then started soaking the landing over and over and over with Simple Green's Cat Pet Stain Remover. I have a gallon, and will continue to douse the area until that gallon is gone.

Eventually I'm going to pull all the carpet in the living room. The stairs and bedrooms are still ok, but the living room carpet shows every inch of the 12+ years it's been used and abused. There are hardwood floors underneath, but I'll likely just re-carpet the whole house at some point. I want to carpet the basement stairs, since tiling them would be pointless considering the way they are worn. The kitchen/dining area need new flooring as well. That will be ceramic, once I pull the existing four layers (you read that right, FOUR layers) of tile and linoleum.

All of this is obviously down the road a ways. It will have to be done before sale. I'd also like to have the place re-wired, maybe put in some ceiling fans. That's getting into lotto winning territory though. For that matter, if it turns out my furnace was affected by the flood, I'm getting a new one with central air. They cost about the same anyway.
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New plan. If I can't get the hot water tank lit in the morning, I'll run the park near work, then shower at work. I have a class in the morning, but my afternoon is free. Both Lowes and Home Depot say I can have same day installation if I call before noon. Looks like I'm taking a half day, unless I can convince my boss working on .NET homework from home is actually working.

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