Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A squish on your basement carpet is never a good thing

Tuesday was a balmy 4C outside. And when I was leaving my house at 8:30 a.m. with the kids, I heard a strange sound. But being in a rush, I didn't think much of it.

At 12:30, when the kids and I returned home for lunch, I again heard this sound. And again, I didn't think much of it. After all, I had two hungry mouths to feed.

So we went inside, I quickly slapped together some peanut butter and jam sandwiches for the kids and then ran downstairs to get more milk out of the basement fridge. And when I stepped off the bottom step onto the carpeted basement floor, my foot went squish.

And so I took another step. And it too went squish.

And it suddenly dawned on me what that strange sound was. A tap. A tap turned on all the way. I ran outside and discovered that the tap that was turned on all the way was my neighbour's. And in between his tap and my house was a huge lake.

I turned his tap off, swore a couple a dozen times and went back down to my basement. Squish, squish, squish with each step I took. The water wasn't coming from the wall next to the stairs as I first thought because the deeper into the basement I walked, the more my feet squished.And so I opened the door to the closet under the stairs and found where the water was coming from. There was about an inch of water in there. What didn't fit, had spilled out across the basement.

By this point, the kids had wandered downstairs to see what all the swearing was for. Here's Alex standing in our closet under the stairs (taken in case we need photos for insurance).
Now that's a lot of water! In a place that shoudn't have any water.The first thing I did was shoo the kids back upstairs. The next thing I did was call Ryan at work. I followed his "Hello" with "We have water. A lot of water."

He was able to come home about an hour and a half later and by that time I had managed to get everything out of the closet and use our little wet vac to suck out the pool of water. It's a big closet -- we joke that it's our Harry Potter closet because it really is big enough to put a bed in (at least big enough for a toddler bed). There was a lot of stuff in there (unfortunately) but (fortunately) most of it is in Rubbermaid bins. Ryan's comic book collection was in there -- but fortunately for him (or maybe that's unfortunately for me) the carboard boxes they were in were wet on the outside but still dry on the inside.

Once Ryan got home, he decided that our little wet vac couldn't cut this mess and he went to Home Depot to rent an industrial one.

Six hours and about 80 litres of water later, the carpet was still wet, very wet, but at least it didn't squish when we walked on it.

Now we've ripped up two ends of the carpet and have two carpet blowers trying to dry it out. Only then will we be able to figure out if anything been damaged.

As for my neighbours, we knocked on their door and they came over to chat with us about it. They felt horrible and have offered to pay for any damages. They don't know how the tap ended up on -- it was probably left on by accident and was frozen until yesterday morning.

And what's left is this: the entire contents of my storage closet is spread out across my basement, my carpet is ripped up in two places, it sounds like a wind tunnel in here with the fans and oh yeah, there's a tiny crack somewhere in my foundation that lets water in. Fun times.

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