Saturday, July 30, 2011


We've been hit with a ton of storms this summer, but aside from one day when we were without power for 12 hours we've been lucky. Our area is notorious for having houses flood, but even as we saw neighbors bringing up carpet and other items that had been damaged by floods in their basement we'd been ok.
Until today. Another storm last night, not major, but the 7 inches of rain in night like we got on the 23rd but it was enough to cause water to seep in.

Here's how my day went
815 kids wake up. Start breakfast go check the basement. Seems fine until I go to the guestroom and get wet feet. Check the rest of the basement. Everything seems fine. Then I realize I haven't heard the sump at all after all these rains (usually I can hear the water rush through the pipes when it pumps out). A sound that freaked me out the first time, but now I find very reassuring. I assume the sump is the issue but it's in a pit with a cover so not sure how to check. Reset GFCI switches, unplug and replug, flip the breaker, no difference
Since we just finished an addition last year and they gave a service warranty on all work, first call is to them. Of course not open yet so leave a message saying sump isn't working

915 still haven't heard from service department so call back. The guy who answers the phone feigns surprise that my message wasn't responded to as he had received it. Promises to check on it. I get the shopvac put together and start trying to get the water up. At this point my older daughter wakes up. I tell her what's going on, and she asks if the garage sump is working. Thanks kid, I forgot about that one. Go to the garage and plug it in. Hear that wonderful sound of water rushing away from our house.

1015 still haven't heard back. Call again and am told all the reps are in a meeting. Guy says he'll have someone call as soon as they get out.

1045 finally get a call back. First she asks me if I checked the breaker on off switch etc. Then says she'll call plumber and someone should call me by the end of the day to schedule something for next week. Not ok. We're going on our trip in a week. Ok, she'll have someone call within 3 hours. Can I just call them and schedule it? She tells me they will respond faster to her. Fine

1050 She calls back, someone will be out in about an hour. Ok, now we're talking. I hop in the shower and just as I'm finished getting dressed, the van pulls in to my driveway.

1115 He checks the new sump, says everything is fine. I ask why I don't hear the gushing sound. He asks about other sumps. I show it to him. That's working too. Although he tells me that he doesn't really like that model as it's prone to electrical issues. $500 to replace. No thanks we have battery backup. Deal with that another time. So yes I basically just paid $100 to have a guy tell me my sumps work just fine. Ok now what?
Back to shopvacing. Then start to think that maybe the deck guys messed something up when they were working.  The wall of the guestroom is right up against the deck.  Is it possible that when they were excavating for the posts that they cracked the foundation? I left a message for the deck guy.

I decided to stop the shopvacing as I wanted him to see the problem as it was.

300 Finally got a call from the deck guy. He said he would be at our house in about an hour to see what he and his workers could do, but didn't think that they had done anything to damage the foundation as they didn't have to dig at that part of the house.

400 They arrive.  I could tell that the builder was on the defensive and I guess I can't blame him, as he probably figured he'd be in trouble if he had messed up. They came inside to see where the water was, checked the ceiling and foundation and couldn't find the source.  They went outside and looked under the deck and did see that the pitch of the dirt under the deck was causing pooling under the deck which could have caused some of the seepage. As they finished assessing the situation under the deck, the boss (who is probably 30 something, the son of the owner of the company) noticed that the latch on our access door isn't closing easily.  He looks at the builder (about 50) and just says "Fix this".  He didn't see the glare that his builder gave him, but I'm glad they noticed it as I hadn't and when I tried to close it later, it was a little tough.

The builder said that they would come back that evening and do some caulking along the wall towards the guest room, and move the dirt around underneath.

600 The builder comes back, pulls up the board before doing the caulking and finds the reason for all the trouble.  Right against the wall is a small pit that probably descends at least a foot.  No idea why it's there and it honestly wouldn't be anything the deck guys would have done, but to their credit they want to do right by us, and along with the caulking, which they took care of, they want to come back to shovel the dirt around to change the pitch away from the house, and then when done with that, they will also suspend a trap under the deck to held the waterflow more.

At that point it was too late to do anything about dinner aside from calling for a pizza.  After dinner I went back to shopvacing, but at this point I think the carpet in that room is a lost cause and will have to be pulled up this weekend.  Won't be fun since we have a big heavy dresser in there as well as a full size bed, but probably better to pull it than just leave it to fester while we're away.  Once we get back we can deal with getting the seepage fixed (I already have 3 people lined up to come and give estimates) and replacing the carpet.  Not looking forward to the cost of that.

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