Monday, May 07, 2007

here's the deal

life just got flipped, sigh.

i did end up pulling all the carpet, and the pad underneath. the boys didn't have school today, so they [s]slave labored[s/] helped, and we got it all pulled. however, the bozos who put in the carpet didn't bother to try to scrape up a lot of the black pad that had been glued in in a previous application. i also have a feeling that there's been leaks before, and i think i know why.

there is a concrete pad (patio, for lack of a better word) that directly ajoins the foundation. there has been some settling, and off to one side, where an additional pad had been attached, and caulked. well, there's a snake den just to the south of that, which kind of caved in/sunk last summer, and that auxiliary pad tilted. i think it threw the whole patio system off, and all the caulking that had been put in place was screwed up, as well. there are marks on the wall in that room, but just where the patio hits. not where there's just dirt. when i could finally get in the room and examine the walls, i realized there were damp marks that ran from the previous marks down the wall. mark wants to test the theory, and spray it with the hose. i don't think that would do it, because we got (according to channel 7) SIX INCHES OF RAIN IN 24 HOURS.

what i do know is that people were buying pumps all over the place sunday. mark ended up having to pay twice as much for a more high-end one than he had intended. it did the job, though. as i sit now, the dehumidifier (which sat in that 3 inches of water, AND STILL RAN!) is valiantly trying to eliminate humidity from the air down there, and the concrete that is bare is actually starting to dry.

here's what's odd. i know i've owned the house for 3 years. however, i do believe there's been more water in that basement (which actually sits a good foot lower than the main basement) than just what happened yesterday. when i was pulling up the wood cleats that they use to tack the carpet down, it was SOGGY. not just wet. as in, it's so wet that you could squeeze water from it in spots, and was so bad in spots that it almost splintered when i pulled it up. and many of the "nails" tacking it to the cement were rusted to the point that they snapped off, rather than come through the wood. and this with a flat-bladed screw driver.

and the bugs! living on the bottoms like i do (i only live about a mile from the missouri river, and i have a feeling at one time, before the army corps of engineers, this was a flood plain), there's a certain expectancy of bugs. however, i've never seen so many pill bugs, and curly worms (little worms that form a "c" when they die) and water bugs, and even a few LIVE millipedes (how they survived all that water, i've no clue). it was downright scuzzy.

mark and i are debating what to do at this point. his house is in no shape to sell as it is right now. my house, barring the basement debacle, just needs a coat of paint, and a little spiffing up, since it was in relatively good shape when i bought it (barring the leaking tub, and the busted sump (which will be replaced with the sump we bought yesterday, thank god for a sump i don't have to jiggle any more!)). mark wants to sell both places, and buy a new house. i'm having a really hard time with that. i love my house. granted, the bedrooms upstairs are tiny (each room is about 10X10), and the bathroom, which is so small you have to leave the room to change your mind, sits between them, but my living room and kitchen are HUGE! my living room is 15 x 20. my kitchen? is l-shaped, and standing in the part by the living room, you can't see the stove! it's got a bay window, and a breakfast nook area (my bookshelves are actually there, lol), and an enclosed porch. it breaks my heart to think of giving this house up.

original plan? move in here, let steph & her roomie rent mark's house as long as they needed (she's already warned me it's temporary, until they can find a deal they can live with (the roomie's stepdad has offered to buy a house and rent it to them, if they can find something they can live with), then fix it up and sell it. there are a few downfalls to this house: mark can't stand in the main basement without hitting his head, there's no garage, and no outbuilding for things like bicycles and lawn mowers (liam's old bicycle actually was stolen off my front porch! yes, they're a wee bit light-fingered around here. i've had 2 lawn mowers and a propane tank stolen as well). but my porch has been my get away. i'd sit out there any time of day or night. if it was too dark, i'd crack the front door, and listen to book tapes. if i was cold, i'd sit on the futon mattress, and wrap up in my grandmother's quilts. this is hard.

now, steph will be moving in here. she doesn't need 3 bedrooms, and they can use the bedrooms upstairs while i redo the one downstairs. and while the market is soft right now, there are lots of houses for sale in this neighborhood. i like this neighborhood. it feels like it's small town, even if it is attached to omaha (florence was annexed by omaha in 1917). it's the furthest north point still claimed by omaha, but not considered a part of NORTH OMAHA (there's all kinds of nasty connotations with that. think east st louis). it sounds like some of the stuff will be going into storage, at least for now. we'll actually share storage with steph, since she won't have anyplace to put her stuff here (the main basement, while dry, is full. i really need to get down there, too).


can i cry now?


Snarled Yarns said...

I hear you girl, my basement didn't flood but the water came in about a 1/2 inch and the rabbits were terrified! after it dried out now all the tile on the floor is squishy and gross! (not to mention that wet basement smell) Come to the festival this weekend, take a load off.

Brynne said...

Oh, good luck with this whole mess! It floods a lot in Houston, too, but no one here has basements. That surprised me at first, but I guess it makes sense...

fillyjonk said...

Ugh, that stinks.

We've had lots of rain here and while I don't have a basement to flood, my garage flooded a little bit. And the whole house smells kinda crummy and "gooey" from the humidity, even with a dehumidifier running.

Trixie said...

Basements are beasts. I never wanted one and LOOK WHAT WE HAVE NOW.... I guess living in FL you just hear nothing but horror about the basements of Yankees. Luckily waterproofing is cheap and easy. It will also cover the stains on the wall and allow you sell more expeditiously.

Oh but leaving a house you like is SOOOOO hard! Obviously the neighborhood has some drawbacks (aka sticky fingered yardmen) but a new house could be just as enjoyable. New doesn't have to mean BRAND NEW COOKIE CUTTER but just a different house. A fresh start for you all.

Thinking of you, the basement and the hard decision.