Tuesday, December 04, 2007

When it Rains, it Pours

Into my basement, apparently.

But before I recount my tale of woe, let me first say a huge THANK YOU to the fiber buddies and bloggers who stopped by to say "happy birthday". I appreciate it SO much, that my fibery friends popped on over! Thank you all! MWAH MWAH MWAH!

There was copious stash enhancement from the bday, of which I have yet to snap pics. There has been knitting. And spinning. I met my self-imposed quota of handspun yarn (30 skeins) and handcarded batts (10) for Craftland, and sent those little suckers out mid-November. Hopefully they'll earn me some cash, because I vowed to put half on the credit card and half aside for MDSW in May. I would love to be able to not worry about how much I'm spending for once (I'm a splurger, I admit!) It's not like I have to add to the already embarassing stash, but I can't resist the pretties! So now I'm knitting Christmas presents (Durrow for hubby - body's just about done, just need the sleeves; the children's cotton tape sweater from Mac & Me for the toddler - 4 inches of collar to knit, then I have to sew in the snap tape to the front and finis!), working on sleeve 2 of the Tangled Yoke cardi (can I finish it in time to wear it to the Christmas parties I have this month? Inquiring minds want to know!), and I just plied 4 oz. of wool/angora/mohair blend batts to knit myself a pair of thrummed mittens. Oh! And I am 81 rows into the Hemlock Ring Blanket from the uber-talented Jared! It's a fun knit, especially since the feather and fan section is just one lace row and 4 knit rows, which I can power through. Granted, I only have 344 stitches in each round so far, and you increase to 600 by the end, but so far, it's a great time! I will also be having a big shop update hopefully by the end of the week, with lots of batts and lots of destash fibers and yarns.

So, I bet you're dying to know about the basement comment, huh? Let's put it this way - I've emailed our realtor to take our house off the market, probably for the next several months. Yes, it's that bad. Like, I should probably sell off my entire stash and maybe a kidney bad. Friday morning I ran a load of Hurricane's laundry, and when I ran down to throw it in the dryer, there was water in the laundry room. Not a huge deal, from time to time the washing machine leaks a little. So I mopped all that up, and when I turned and looked into the half bath, it was full of water, too! That's never happened before, so I thought maybe it was the tub the washer drains into (because it's almost right up against the bathroom wall - I don't know! I was grasping at straws!) and not the washer. So I mopped THAT up, too, and decided no more laundry would be done the rest of the day (boo hoo!) The rest of the day was a normal day, no excessive use of water, but when I ran downstairs real quick around dinnertime, I slid halfway across the basement floor through an inch-deep puddle of water! That's NEVER a good sign. Panicking, I ran upstairs and called the hubby, who had just pulled up outside, and then ran downstairs to get our computer out of the inch of water it was standing in. The entire laundry room and half-bath were in at least an inch of water, and it had seeped through the drywalled wall from the bathroom into the rest of the basement (which, luckily, didn't have carpeting anymore, just tile that I worked for MONTHS to lay myself). There was a stream of water flowing from the base of the toilet where it meets the floor, so I turned it off at the wall - oh, and the toilet? You can lift it up right off the floor - the seal around the base is completely gone!

Hubby and I got to work trying to mop and dustpan the water up (A wetvac! A wetvac! My kingdom for a wetvac!) The in-laws came over with a 13-pack of paper towels and a couple more mops and started helping. I emptied my linen closet of towels, threw them down to try to sop up the water in the family room section of the basement while we dealt with the laundry room/half bath area. I took pics and called the insurance company. The claims adjuster called within 20 minutes, sent a general contractor to help clean up the rest of the water and dry things out (we gave up after getting the majority of the water up, and had dinner instead). They showed up by 8:30, three knights in shining armor, who lifted all the furniture down there onto little styrofoam blocks to dry, tore all the tile from the laundry room up, cut the drywall that had gotten soaked, tore up half the tile in the family room up, set up dehumidifiers and blowers to dry things out, and put down Microban to prevent mold. I dread seeing my electric bill this month, since there have been SIX big machines running down there day and night since Friday night - they pick them up tonight. I have 3 litter boxes in my freakin' kitchen, since we can't let the cats into the basement with the Microban down, and we haven't had any more than a rudimentary internet hookup as I piggyback off of some weird "default" signal.

Hubby's cousin is a plumber, so we had him come by Saturday and see what the problem was, since we were afraid to use the water in the house and have a possible repeat performance from earlier in the evening - we'd ended up sleeping at the in-laws' house Friday night. He poked around, and was able to recreate the flood on a minor scale by just flushing the toilet a few times and running water into the drainage tub for a few minutes. Yup, definitely a backup in the main line, but he doesn't have a snake to snake out the clog. We called a plumber who did, and who luckily was having a $99 special, even on the weekend, and he spent almost 2 hours in the basement digging around. Turns out he could only get maybe 10 feet down the pipe before he couldn't go any further, because the pipe is so overgrown with roots the smallest blade the plumber had couldn't even get through. No, really. And, remember how I said you could lift the toilet right off the floor? The plumber said that means this has happened before, and they took the toilet off to snake the pipe and just never resealed it. Which means the previous owner most likely had the same kind of problem, and DIDN'T DISCLOSE IT!!! But there's no way to prove that it happened on her watch (although, according to public records, she lived there for 9 years, so chances are good). Sooooo...to the tune of an estimated (*estimated*) $6500, we have to replace the pipe with the "pipe burst" technique. Because we're in a rowhome, they can't really dig a trench through the front lawn (a small thing to be thankful for, I guess) so they have to dig up my basement floor at the front of my house, dig up the sidewalk in front of my house, and thread the new pipe right through the old, terra cotta one. WHY TERRA COTTA?!?! Doesn't sound like the best material for a water pipe that runs through ground in an area that FREEZES!! Even I knew that after one winter where I left a terra cotta planter out, and it split and then leaked whenever I poured water into it all summer. Hello? Terra fucking cotta?!?! (c'mon, you're secretly amazed I got through all of that and only cursed once, aren't you? That's because I cursed SO much Friday morning mopping up the first leak, and then Friday evening - but add copious tears that I'm almost cursed out. Almost.)

FUCKFUCKFUCKFUCKFUCKFUCKFUCKFUCK!! We have to take our house off the market, mostly to do the repairs, but also because our monthly budget can't handle a new expense like the financing of the great Alaskan pipeline in addition to a new mortgage. We're hoping to make it through the holidays by being conservative with our daily water use before we repair the pipe, because I sure as hell don't want a bunch of sweaty, burly men in my basement digging holes in everything during the holidays. What we're also hoping is that, by spring, the market will have picked up a bit and we can list our house at a slightly higher price in an effort to recoup the expense. How much do I not want to have to put $6500 (or more! Remember, it's an ESTIMATE) into a house we no longer want to live in, especially in a real estate market that probably won't support a listing price high enough to recoup our losses. Although, when we do relist, we'll have new flooring in the basement, and a brandy-spankin' new pipe that's guaranteed for 20 years for the next lucky schmuck who buys our house.

For never was a story of more woe than this of Amanda and her stupid fucking basement.

2 Comments:

Blogger loribird said...

Oh man. I'm so sorry and I feel for you. It's a bit late to wish you good luck I suppose, but I hope the repairs go as smoothly as possible. Things have GOT to be looking up soon, no?

12/05/2007 10:10 AM  
Blogger RC said...

DUDE! I have a wet vac!!!!! should've called.
too many times we've had the h2o in the basement as well so its been a good investment.

you can come over here and use my potty!

hope craftlend goes well for you!

12/05/2007 11:06 AM  

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