Friday, July 06, 2007

When all else fails, hit it with a hammer

As I mentioned before, flood water comes into my house about twice a year. It was probably a known problem when we moved in, but it wasn't made clear to us that water actually would come into the house. We thought it would just make a mess on the patio if we weren't careful to keep the drain clear. And we were told that it was only a serious problem once every three years or so, and we probably wouldn't have to worry about it for a while.

We had a bit of a problem right about the time we finished moving our stuff in. Our attempts to fix the problem probably made it worse. I think this last thing we did would have fixed most of the problem, except that someone unplugged the pump. And there is always the possibility that the electricity will go out when we need the pump, so regardless of how careful we are, it could still happen again.

Most of the time when this happens, water just comes in this room and into the hallway, and if we notice it coming into this room we can usually keep it from going down the hall and getting anywhere else except maybe the bathroom, which is not a problem to clean anyway. I'd already removed the carpet from this room, just because it didn't go with our stuff. But the hallway carpet gets all of the flood water that comes in, which has happened almost ten times now, so it looks pretty bad in the hallway.

So, it was time for the hallway carpet to go. Really, we should have done that when we first moved in, but we didn't want to change the carpet in the other rooms connected to it, so we left it alone. This last time I just had enough, and rather than vacuum I just started ripping out the hallway carpet. That took an hour or two. Vacuuming the water and getting the carpet to dry usually takes days, or maybe a week or two if the weather isn't nice. This was much easier.

Under the carpet is this nasty padding that was also ripped out. Under that is the ugly old tile that was the original floor for the house when it was built in like 1940. And it wasn't like I was going to keep the ugly tile, but I thought that I would leave it for a bit rather than having a bare floor while I was deciding what to replace it with. But, near the walls there is this rotting strip of wood with nails where the carpet was attached, and you can't just leaving rotting wood or nails, so I pulled that up too. And of course that broke a bunch of the tiles, so I had to remove the broken tiles. And trying to get the broken tiles up broke a few more tiles, so I had to remove them too.

Okay, whatever. I decided to go ahead and remove all the tiles in the hallway. But it wasn't as easy as I remembered. Seems like most of the tiles in here came up in one piece. When I tried to lift these it just broke off the corners and left the rest of the tiles stuck to the floors.

Patience my a**, I want to kill something.

I got out a hammer and just kept pounding the floor. The tiles broke into a bunch of little pieces that were a hassle to pick up, but none of them stuck to the floor. Once I got into it, it was kinda fun. Sometimes you just get mad and want to break something, and now I've found just a whole bunch of things that need breaking. I have to wear eye protection, but I'm supposed to do that anyway.

Before I could get too excited about how much fun it was and go looking for a job breaking up tiles and knocking down walls, I got about ten tiles up and then I felt like I was going to pass out. It still felt good to get some work done, but I have to stop and rest for a bit after I've done like six tiles.

I will probably go ahead to do this in two more rooms. The carpet doesn't really look bad in the other two rooms, but now that I've seen the rotting wood and other nasty stuff under the carpet, I'd rather not have it in my house. And in spite of the pump and other precautions, I'm pretty sure that at some point I'll have to deal with another flood, and it would be so much easier to deal with if we didn't have the carpet to dry out. Area rugs would work almost as well for me, and if they get wet I can just drag them outside to clean them, or toss them out and replace them if needed.

Anyway, I was going to the library to get some books about fixing floors, to get some ideas about the rest of the floors. But of course with all the rain I'm not the only person that this has happened to, and the books are all checked out.

All this rain is very strange. It did not stay dry this week like I thought. They say that the worst of it will be done tomorrow, but there's still going to be light rain here and there for a few days next week. While it isn't like it was, and it's not raining all the time, and we even get an hour or two of sunshine here and there, I think that it has rained everyday for at least two weeks. But since the ground was already wet to start with, the water just doesn't have anyplace to go. So even a little rain can cause problems, depending on where you are.

I saw a guy on the news saying he'd had to clean up flood water a dozen times in three months.

I'm not even sure how long it has been raining. It has rained almost everyday since we have been back from Arkansas. I know that there was some rain while we were away. There was a major storm a week or so before we went to Arkansas, which made me a bit nervous about going out of town. And we don't usually get a lot of rain in June. Usually, we get some really bad storm in May, and then it gets really dry after that. The past few years they've talked about drought conditions and kept count of how many days since we've had rain and how many days the temperature has been in the 90s or even 100 or more.

Last year, there were news stories about which recreation places on which lakes were closed because the lake water levels were so low that you couldn't use the boat ramps and stuff like that. This year they were saying how there is so much water that you can't drive to the boat ramp. Some of the restaurants and convenience stores are flooded. There was too much stuff like that to list, so on the news they just reminded everyone that they should check with the individual lakes before they went to their usual 4th of July spots.


Killer said...

You should turn that flood room and the hallway into an indoor pool. It will solve the problem and possibly increase the value of your home.

dmarks said...

Not only that, it could become sea turtle and frog habitat. The frog lady would just *love* that!

laughingattheslut said...

See, that's what I need, some original ideas. A while back I had a plumbing problem, and their solution was not not actually fix the problem but to just shut off the water going under the house to the backyard. So in theory I could keep pounding on the floor until I actually broke the floor and then I could dig a nice hole and have the swimming pool.

But this is a really small room, so it would be more like a big bathtub than a real pool. And there's a rule against having pools here, even little kiddie pools. Not to mention there must be a rule against knocking a big hole in the floor.

Not that it would really increase the value of my home, or at least, not in a way that I could ever collect the money. It's a complicated thing, but if you improve the house you can ask for the new person to pay a percentage of the improvements. He doesn't have to pay it, but you don't have to move either. You can keep paying the bills on the place til you find someone willing to pay for the improvements, but there's a limit to how much you can ask for. If I spend ten thousand dollars fixing up the place, and I move next year, I can ask for nine thousand of it back. Or in five years I can ask for five thousand back or in nine years I can ask for a thousand back. Once ten years have passed, I don't get any of it back, regardless of how much I spent.

I used to like New Age shops and all the little fountains and stuff. I could maybe fill the room with a bunch of fountains, and then there would already be so much water here that no one would notice a little rain water coming through.

Philip. said...

Perhaps you should demolish the house and buy a large boat :-)

laughingattheslut said...

If I did that then we would be back to normal drought conditions next year.

Besides, it's really half of a duplex, and I don't think the guy on the other half would go for it. And just being half of a boat would look stupid.

evil-e said...

I have seen the news about your general area, much luck to you.

Princess Extraordinaire said...

Oh man...been there with the flooding that ledto the rotted carpet that led to the renovation..ugh!