Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Water, water...everywhere!

Mike and I are house-hunting...we have been for quite a while actually.  We started out pretty casual and excited to visit open houses and see what was out there last fall.  Now, we're picking up speed a little and making appointments with our realtor.  It's getting a bit more intense, as we are super-nervous about the largest purchase of our lives so far, PLUS we know home ownership will bring a slew of obstacles and challenges.  We actually had a taste of it last weekend with the dreaded...water in the basement!

Yep, that's the basement in the Cape house we were visiting for a relaxing weekend.  Unfortunately, when we got there and turned the water on in the house, the hot water heater burst about 10 hours later.  

We were lucky to find it when we did, and there was about 4 inches of water in the basement.  Our first step for clean up was to safely turn off the water in the house (we were careful to check if the water level had reached the height of electric sources or wires that may be dangerous).  After calling a plumber to come deal with the hot water heater, we had to work on getting the water out of the basement.

source for air mover
source for pump

We rented a utility pump and commercial grade air mover from our local True Value up there, and began pumping water out of the basement through the bulk head door.  

Try to laugh a bit...there are worse things in life
then a little water in the old basement! 

The next steps involved:
- Removing items that would need help drying (we put them outside in the sun)
- Sweeping water towards the pump and away from the corners of the basement and towards the pump
- Using the large commercial air mover fan (also rented from True Value) to dry out the damp spots once excess water was removed

The last steps involved lots of ice cream as a reward, a walk to the beach, and cuddling with some cute puppies to help balance the chaos of a hectic weekend!

Although it was a bit stressful, it was also a reassuring to find that we could deal with water in the basement in a pretty efficient way, even never having encountered it before.  Here's a play-by-play of how we handled it and what worked for us.

Removing water from basement:

1. Safely turn off water after checking that the water level has not risen past electrical sources
2. Call a plumber to deal with the source (the hot water heater that had burst)
3. Visit a local hardware store to rent a utility pump and commercial air mover fan
4. Set up pump safely (use an outlet that is above water level) in a central area
5. Open any windows or doors to allow ventilation to the area.
6. Remove items from basement that need to dry out.  Bring into sun or another dry/ventilated area
7. Sweep water towards pump as the water level will begin decreasing.
8. Set up air mover fan on damp areas (where excess water is already removed) and point it inward towards pump
9. Continue sweeping and moving fan as needed
10. Wait until basement and items removed from basement are fully dry before putting things back together.

*This process took about 2 full days start (time the water was turned off) to finish (when items could be moved back in).

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