Buy This House: The basement held up okay

I’m reminded of the flood of August 2001. I had just bought my house a few months before and my finished basement was a land of wet carpet and soggy walls. I pulled the carpet out, commiserated with my new neighbors, who had worse damage, and happily took cleaning supplies from the Red Cross.

This afternoon, while at the hairdresser, I got the blaring flood warning on my phone. I ignored it. Got a text from my landlord*, told myself I’d get to it later. Ignored voicemails from my husband. And then a neighbor came to the shop to tell me to contact my spouse because the unit below us flooded.

Like 2001, the units with basement bathrooms had water coming up through the pipes and water flooding in from the outside. I highly suspect the drains near the basement door sent water inside the units.

Our basement, did okay.

We got some dampness along the wall, thankfully. We are the first basement in the row and so ours is the first house water hits. Thankfully, the drain outside the basement door held and did not blow off due to water pressure shooting out of it like in 2001. The drain is the black dot in the photo. I should note, water from the gutter shot off the drain attachment.

I don’t want to brag because that’s just asking for the Fates to teach humility, but we’ve done several things to prevent a flooded basement like 2001. When we had the basement renovated we put in three French drains. Those catch the water coming up and divert it to the sump pump. On the advice from a neighbor we bumped up the horsepower of the sump pump. That has helped. Now the only problem is when we lose power. Without power the basement is up poop creek. Another big help is that we don’t have a basement bathroom. Water would have to come up 4+ feet through the washer drain for us to get something. We don’t have a laundry sink, so the washer is the only plumbing down there.

So the basement is just one example of where we put in all the unsexy but practical investments in the house. You won’t see the drains, or notice the sump pump, and the dehumidifier comes with the house. Upstairs there is unseen insulation and all the pipes and wires are all 21st Century. Unsexy and unseen.

Buy this house it’s worth it. Oh, and be awesome. The current residents are awesome and great and we need someone awesome to replace us.

*While our house is on the market we are renting.

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