pegkerr: (Deal with it and keep walking)
[personal profile] pegkerr
As you may or may not know, it was a tough winter here in Minnesota (yay, it's Spring! Yay!) I dealt with the shoveling, even when the pile of snow outside my driveway reached over six feet in height. But a more serious problem was revealed when all that snow started to melt.

Delia, fortuitously, happened to be home because of a doctor's appointment. She called me at work to let me know that water was pouring into the basement. I managed to snag the last Shop-vac for rental at the local hardware store and although there is a ton of stored stuff in the basement, most of where the water reached was in plastic bins, and we moved everything else out of the way in time, so there was no damage. That was the good news.

At first, I thought it was backing up from the floor drain. I had the guy comes out who routers out the roots every year and a half--it had been just done last July--and he said the drain was clear. When the rain came back, we realized that it was pouring under the side service door and running down the wall into the basement.

I called the insurance company. I called a contractor. Problem is: the foundation wall on that side of the house is leaning, perhaps from underground water pressure. It's set the door frame ajar (I probably had heat pouring out of there all winter, too.) "It's probably been doing it gradually for five or six years," the contractor said, looking at me as if to say, Why haven't you dealt with it before now, lady?

Oh, yeah. Rob got cancer, what, six years ago? I've been distracted.

He gave me an estimate and a list of priorities: shore up the basement foundation wall; that's absolutely critical. $2,600.00. Next, radon testing and abatement (am currently testing now to see if it's an issue--if it is, that'll be $2,000.00). Then install gutters on the house (need to get an estimate from another contractor). Get another contractor to bust up the sidewalk that runs flush beside the house and relandscape away from the house. Get a carpenter to re-align the door and re-do the stairs to the basement. He also suggested installing drain tile ($3,600.00), a sump pump ($350.00) and encapsulation ($900.00).

Okay. Am dealing with it. Calling contractors, calling the state to find out about homeowner low- cost loans. My family will probably help.

The adjuster is coming out Monday to confirm, but I've been told to expect that my homeowner's insurance will cover none of it.

I had planned to go to England this summer. Not sure whether I'll be able to do it now.

I've been dealing with it rather well, all things considered. The one really bad moment was the day I was out in the pouring rain, trying (fruitlessly) to break up the ice on the sidewalk that was pooling water against the foundation, getting soaked in the water sluicing off the roof, and crying because Rob wasn't here to help me with this, and how could he do that to me?
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