January 15, 2009

Break Out the Rubber Boots...Again

Dear friends, I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I've actually done both. It was quite a job cleaning up after our basement flooded last week, but we finally got it done. I spent Monday and Tuesday of this week trying to make sure nothing mildewed. My craft room is in the basement and I have every inch of it packed. I had to move everything out of one area, mop everything down with bleach water, dry it out, move everything back, and then start on the next area. It took a long time but I finished it. (It helps that I had a friend coming over and I didn't want her to see it :) )

But then it happened again. At 5:30 this morning, our friend/basement tenant came up to tell us that it had flooded again. My first thought was, 'But it hasn't rained!'. No, it wasn't because of the rain. This morning's flood was brought to us by the friendly folks at Old Pipes. It seems a connection in our pipes had come loose and literally poured water all over place. When our friend woke up this morning, she heard the water and thought someone was in the shower because it was so loud.

MC had a great wet/dry shop vac that we used during the last clean up and it was still downstairs. However, it was right underneath the waterfall and the motor had completely filled up with water leaving it useless to us. The water was widespread but not deep enough on the floor to allow the pump to work. So we got to clean it up the old fashioned way--with towels and buckets.

Cleaning up the floor and drying out the storage areas were actually the easy part. You see, I have a large shelf unit along the wall where the water originated. On the shelves were totes that I store my craft supplies in, totes without lids. All of those 56 quart totes filled up with water. I took both of us to get one tote off the shelf because they were so heavy. We had to pull each item out of the tote, dry it off (or throw it away if it was too damaged) and then set it aside. Many items were wood and we had to lay them out on towels to air dry.

I felt that I lucked out during the previous flood. I had several boxes of craft books that got wet but I only lost a few books. There were a few that got wet that I had set on the bottom of a bookcase with a fan blowing on them to dry out the pages. Unfortunately, this time around, the water came down with such force that it soaked everything that was within 2 feet of the floor. Those books are now wet, along with the dry books and magazines I had stacked with them.

But it could have been so much worse. We didn't lose anything precious, nothing that couldn't be replaced. The fan that I had on to dry out the books was still plugged in, turned on and sitting in water. And it seems that we had water pouring into our breaker box. One breaker tripped but that was it.

Am I sick to death of mopping up water? Uh...Yeah! Do I want to bulldoze this house and move somewhere, anywhere else? Definitely. But I am so thankful that this is nothing major. We're all fine, and the problem was actually fixed quickly and without expense.

Our friend heard us laughing while we were cleaning up the mess and she commented that not all couples are lucky enough to have these things to go through to bring them together. Ahhh, the power of positive thinking.

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