Last weekend we went to Wonderful Husbands hometown for his cousins wedding. I am always leery about leaving the house for any amount of time and a whole weekend really puts me on edge. I double checked and triple checked every packed bag, locked door, and light switch before we left. We drove down on Friday evening, stayed at his parents, and then on Saturday his parents took Little Darling home after the reception dinner and we got a hotel room to enjoy an evening to ourselves. I only cried a little bit. Sunday morning we went back to his parents for a few hours and then headed home, exhausted and ready to relax for the evening before the hustle and bustle of Monday came.
Monday morning it was business as usual, I unpacked all the suitcases and headed down to the basement to do laundry. When I opened the door and looked down the steps, something looked amiss. Our concrete isn’t really that dark is it? Hmm.. As I headed down the steps and my bare feet landed on the carpet remnant we have covering the laundry area it dawned on me. While we did get a good deal on a nice squishy carpet remnant for our basement, we did not get a squishy WET carpet! Our basement had flooded!!
Now we have lived in this house for almost 3 years, the basement has NEVER flooded. I mean, we knew it was a possibility, the previous homeowners had installed a sump pump. But, doesn’t that mean it shouldn’t flood again? I grew up in a house with a basement that flooded anytime the weather even considered raining, but I never actually paid attention to the how and why of it.
I quickly trotted back upstairs and said to Wonderful Husband- “I need you to take a deep breath and not panic….the basement has flooded”. He, of course, didn’t believe me – silly woman who doesn’t understand that a sump pump means the basement CAN’T flood. We headed back downstairs. Once he saw it, and stepped in it, he believed me. What followed were lots of words that I can’t type and keep a G rating. He fiddled and he futzed, he pulled and he pinched. We had no idea where this water had come from, or where it was going to go. We decided the best plan would be to plug in the dehumidifier, set the humidity as low as it would go, and go to bed. Problem solved, right? HA.
Tuesday morning I began my usual routine. Gathered laundry, did the dishes, and once LD was napping I headed down to pop in a load of clothes. I had honestly forgotten about the flooded basement until I got down there. The next several hours went as follows:
The dehumidifier hoses were not plugged in correctly, so the dehumidifier had been dripping water back onto the concrete floor for the past 24 hours, essentially we were filtering the water and then putting it back on the floor. I loaded the washer and turned it on. Then I proceeded to deal with the dehumidifier. I pulled off all the hoses, got the manual, and reconnected all the hoses correctly. Then I decided I should try to move the carpet so it would dry out. Unfortunately, I am quite small compared to the carpet, and soaking wet it probably weighs 3x what I do, so I settled for flipping up the corners to try and dry the floor underneath. I found a fan and turned it on hoping to aid the dehumidifier. Then I saw the drain…
We have two floor drains in our basement, one is in the back where we have the exercise equipment and one is up in the front in between the washer and the sink. While fiddling with the carpet I happened to look over at the drain and realize there was about 3 inches of water standing over it. The water was backed up to the edge of the carpet, which was probably contributing the the carpet not being able to dry out. I figured the drain cover was probably just clogged from all the dirt in the basement. I ran upstairs, grabbed a screwdriver, and popped the drain cover off… unleashing the smell.
Anyone who has ever dealt with standing water, drains, dead bodies, portals of hell, or satan himself will know the smell I am talking about. When dirty water stands for too long, all the gross, nasty, smelly dirt settles to the bottom where it sits peacefully and doesn’t bother anyone. When you touch the standing water and disturb the dirt, the smell comes to the surface and makes you wish you could just set the house on fire and call it a day. After I had recovered from the stench that was burning a hole through my nasal cavities, and realized that the drain still wasn’t draining, I called WH. He always deals with these home issues, that’s why he is wonderful. Unfortunately, he was currently away on a job and working the midnight shift, so I jolted him out of his slumber by screaming incomprehensible things such as “SATAN IS IN THE BASEMENT” and “THERE MUST BE A DEAD PERSON IN THE DRAIN”. He calmly explained to me that the drain must be plugged and I should get the plunger and plunge the drain for a while, like a toilet. Best of luck.
Now everyone just envision for a moment, me in a sundress and flip flops, trying to plunge the toilet hole of my basement. Really the only thing missing were the heels and pearls. I plunged, and I plunged, and I plunged. I made a frantic phone call to my mother leaving a voice mail screaming obscenities and declaring how badly I hate being both a grown up and a homeowner. I plunged until I got a blister on my hand. When the drain still wasn’t draining I took a step back to reevaluate the situation. At which time, the washer started to empty…into the sink…which drains… into the clogged drain.
I reflooded my own basement with the water from my washer. Add that to the list of things to never tell WH.
After that, I called it a day and went upstairs, closing the basement door and hoping demons don’t know how to work doorknobs. I ignored the basement the rest of the day until about 7pm when WH came home. We tip toed down the steps to see the damage…
The drain was clear. No water. No flood. No hell portal or demon spawn. WH looked at me, conveying that he thought I may have possibly lost my mind. I began pleading that I wasn’t crazy and there really had been water and stench and awfulness. But it was too late.
WH proceeded to drag the carpet remnant outside and toss it over the privacy fence to dry, reposition the fan to get the floor dried out, grab a beer, and settle on the couch. I proceeded to question my sanity and remind him that in the future I won’t be wasting my time plunging anything- that’s all him.
Wonderful Husband decided to humor me, and brought home a snake the following evening. Turns out, The Grudge has been living in my basement drain..