Tag Archives: storage

When it Rains it Pours

So you know that I was a little bummed about the unexpected ignored work I had to do on the banister. I was especially upset because if you didn’t know, the Pope is coming to Philadelphia September 21-25. And the demand for lodging is massive. I was kind of excited to put the Crooked House up for rent for the week at Waldorf-Astoria rates. I’ve given up every deadline I ever hoped to have so far, but it would make me terribly, terribly sad to miss this one. And my house is in a good spot.

But with this on my mind, what do I need to change my mood? How about a flood? Not in my house, but my parents’. They have a beaver system to waterproof the basement. These baseboards are made of vinyl and create a dam. Any water that comes through the walls drains out onto the driveway. It’s kind of a weird setup with the walls on the wrong side of the waterproofing dam, but it seems to have always gotten the job done.


Until Monday, that is. We had a bit of a downpour and the gutters were clogged, so they overflowed and water flowed into the window well. No action shots but here’s where the action was. You can at least see the erosion and the missing bricks.


I disconnected the garden hose and threw it in to make a siphon and then went to get my mom to help me clean the gutters. My dad was on a conference call and I tried to leave him alone. But then the rain slowed up and I decided to go down and clear out any area that got wet downstairs. You remember what the basement looked like after my grandmother moved and I took all her stuff in December?


So basically we had to play Tetris. The living room, formally a bastion of civility, is now adorned with 10 extra chairs. (Yes, 10. After having dinner parties in college where I used the radiator for seating I want all of them.) There’s a futon mattress and a bunch of trash bags under my mom’s piano. (Did piano lesson season just end? If so, that was good timing.) A stack of boxes in the hallway.


And downstairs, that air mover that saved my kitchen ceiling’s drywall is making the carpet look like a moon bounce. This might have been fun if it weren’t to dry out a flood.


The first time I saw the rugs tenting up like that I was a lot younger. I think it was the water heater that time. And I gleefully ran all over it. Part of me might still do that at my age, but most of me will just tell everyone I know don’t carpet your basement!

I’ve been counting down my to-do list 27 months. It’s grown for most of that time, not shrunk. But now I’m counting it a little harder. Not even all of it; just the handful of jobs that need to happen before I call in the floor finishers. Overall, I think the list looks kind of short. But I need to compress the bannister restoration, so I canceled my third jug of SoyGel and invested in a can of the scary stuff.


Game of the week – guess what’s holding my basement stairs up!

Before we get to the basement, let’s resolve the insulation issue. The contractor fixed everything I complained about without giving me any trouble at all. I have to hand it to them for that. It’s still lumpy, but there’s now a good air seal everywhere, I think. And if not, they’re coming back a fifth time. The 3 windows that I ordered with the contract are supposed to arrive in late February, and after they go in, they will set up a blower door to depressurize my house and then do more air sealing.

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