Thursday, June 23, 2011

Basement Fiasco

So the plans (or rather, ideas of plans) for the basement have come to a complete halt. Basements in general kinda weird me out because I never had one growing up so I don't know how to deal with their quirky aches and pains - i.e., dampness, smells, noises, etc. I thought having a basement would be cool and envisioned the additional 1250 sq ft as a blank canvas to divide and conquer as I saw fit. This spring pretty much stabbed my dreams in the heart.

We were told that the basement never flooded in the past. I actually kinda believe that because there's a house on our street who's owner told us theirs hadn't flooded in 17 years and this spring had 21 inches of water hanging out down there. Makes me not feel so bad about our .5-1 inch of water that crept in. However, now that the water made it's little paths and tunnels through the walls and floors, it has flooded during almost every rainstorm since. And when I say "flooded" I really mean a slight trickle mostly coming through the backdoor and some coming through the seams between the floor and walls.....let's not get carried away here. Still, that's too much water to even think about laying carpet or starting our movie theater. The big problem now is that there is serious mold growing on several of the exterior walls, as well as the interior drywall in the room the previous owners had started to finish. The walls are presently holding around 30% moisture. Anything over 20% is not good. Its damp enough that it feels wet to the touch. We had a mold test conducted for the air upstairs on the main floor and it's at high levels. Like in the "toxic risk" zone. Kinda scary huh? Since the furnace and duct work are located in the basement, the mold down there has the perfect opportunity to blow its little spores around through the rest of the house.

We met with a basement sealing company last night and our final estimate came to just under 15k!!!!

Brian and I don't know what we're going to do about it at this point (I guess I can kiss my future mini-cooper goodbye). I want our basement to be finished but I'm not sure its worth all that extra money. BUT regardless of whether or not we finish the basement, we have to do SOMETHING about the water issue or else it could lead to serious foundation problems down the road. The tar that they use to waterproof the outer walls of a basement breaks down between 60-80 years. Considering our house was built in 1923, that would give us until approximately year 2003. So great. We bought the house just in time to have to deal with this issue.

Please leave a comment if you any helpful ideas/suggestions about this. Like I said before, I'm not a basement person.

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