“Now I have to go home and face my husband,” the aquafit instructor said with a grin. She collected floats and weights much slower than usual.
“Oh oh…what did you do?”
“I was at my car, ready to come to my 8:00 a.m. class. Something told me to look in the basement. I went back into the house and looked down there. Stuff was floating all over the place. I shut the door and went to our bedroom. I woke my husband to say he had to deal with it . He was not pleased. I haven’t talked to him since.” It was now 2:15 p.m.
Driving home, I thought about the two huge rainfalls we just experienced. Islands are not threatened by flooding. Yet, water ran in strange places while it pooled in others. For the first time, I had to bail out my woodpile.
That night, just before retiring, I decided to check my crawl space for water. Claustrophobia stops me from descending into that part of my home unless someone is with me. I wouldn’t trust a cell phone reception. It was too late to call someone to say I was going down into the “horrors of homedom”.
I decided to just take a peek through the opening. It’s located in the floor of the closet of the spare bedroom.
I opened the closet doors and lifted the hatch cover. As usual, a faint mustiness rose that made me want to slam down the lid and leave. Instead, I flicked on the light switch. Now on my tummy, I slithered over to the gaping hole, grasped the first step of the ladder and, upside down, took a peek.
Being upside down, I couldn’t determine the depth of water. Before all the blood rushed to my head, I lifted my torso out of the opening. There was nothing better to do than go to bed and have a good night’s sleep. The rain had stopped so the situation wouldn’t get worse. Certainly worrying all night was not an option.
The only problem would be how to get water out of the crawlspace. There’s no drain and only raised vents to the outside. It would mean lugging it out, bucket by bucket, through the opening and into one of my bathrooms.
‘Why am I a homeowner?’ I wondered. ‘I don’t know how to deal with this mess.’
Instead of letting dread clutch my peace and tear it to shreds, I decided it was all or nothing. I prayed aloud, “I’m not the only one who lives here apparently. Where are you guys when I need ya in person? Get some skin on and come and help me!”
Once I was in bed, I ran through the checklist of men I might be able to call. I had emailed my Walking Buddy to say I had water removal as a priority so couldn’t walk the next day. I decided who I would call first in the morning, rolled over and fell into a good sleep.
About 9:30 the next morning, just as I was having breakfast, the phone rang. It was my Walking Buddy, “Mike is willing to come over and take a look at your water problem to see what’s needed.”
“You darling! That’s fantastic. Thank you.” I didn’t think I could love that woman any more than I already did, but my heart was suddenly swollen.
Mike came over later. I told him, “I’ll go down with you.”
He went down first and as I lowered myself, he said, “Where’s the water?”
“It’s just down towards that end of the house.” I pointed in the direction where the water had pooled. I crouched down to go and check it out.
There was no water! “It’s gone! Omigod! It’s disappeared!”
Mike crouched down and moved toward the area with a flashlight, “Yah, you can see there’s been water here, but there’s none here anymore. You just need some heat to dry out the damp cement.”
“Mike! I can’t believe this! Where’d it go? Do you see how hard it would be to get water out of here?!”
“I’ll say. Likely have to take out a vent, get a pump and a good long hose.”
Both of us wanted to know where the water came in and, even more, where it went out. The only explanation we could find was the hairline cracks in the cement on the floor. The water table must have risen with so much rain that water came in through those cracks. Obviously it left through those cracks.
After Mike left, I called a neighbour to see if he had a fan to help dry the space. He came over and made sure the heat source down there was set high enough to dry the place. We also set up a plan for ventilation to keep the air moving while it dried.
Does prayer work?
No, there was no team of angels bailing water in the middle of the night. However, I slept peacefully, a friend sent her husband to help, hairline cracks let the water drain back into the earth and a neighbour helped with the drying process.
Works for me.