Friday, March 13, 2009

Fix it

I just had the most interesting conversation with a workman next door. It seems the owners of the house next door became quite alarmed when their basement filled up with water. They became even more alarmed after they pumped it out and it came back.

They could have just asked me the neighbor twelve feet away with a basement and asked me if I had any wet basement problems. But they didn't.  See, when they were working on that house for months and months we were in the middle of a drought and they didn't run up against any flooding. When they finally finished work and had the first tour, I asked them about the basement and how they dealt with their floods and they quickly poo-pooed any flooding and claimed if they had problems they didn't have any problems now as the water had  only come in through broken window casements and bad drainage in the yard and they had replaced all the windows and leveled the yard so there wouldn't be any more of that sort of thing. I laughed. They didn't.

Time passed. They didn't have any more tours. It rained a couple of times but nothing that would cause their basement to flood to any extent - it got a little wet but nothing too alarming. They aren't there very often so they may not have even been aware that the problem had not been solved by windows and grass seed.

And then it rained. A Lot. But before that, it snowed. Which is just water made solid. it's still wet and its still a problem. My sump pumps worked overtime. Loud as all hell but my basement never got more than damp. Their basement was a duck pond for days.

Today I ran into Mr. Workman. It seems that the lady who owns the house is going to do something about the flooding. The solution is to put in a french drain along both sides of the house going down to the pilings. The workman offered to do the same for me for a mere $20,000! I told him the past owners had all ready thrown a lot of money at the problem and I simply learned to avoid the basement during and after heavy rains.

The workman was also there to work on the upstairs fireplace. It seems it leaks. A Lot. And has for a while. To think they wanted $226,000 for that place! Flooding basement and leaking fireplace. The last time there had literature out they wanted $190,900.  They aren't going to get it not when they over looked the fireplace and pretended the basement wasn't a problem and never replaced the elderly roof. The workman said the house wasn't worth more than $165,000 and they weren't going to get that either.

Mr. Workman also had some very interesting gossip about the past owner of my house. Did you know that students in 1956 made up dirty stories about their Principals? Who knew?

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