As you all know I live in Seattle. Yes, what you are thinking is true. It literally rains here 400 days a year 😉
Since rains is the norm here, not many people have pools installed on their properties. Girl Ninja and I, however, discovered two weeks ago we were bucking that trend and are now the proud owners of a sweet pool…
…in our basement.
Maybe we can call it a wading pool? A kiddy pool? How much you think I could charge families for swimming lessons/practice?
Now I’m no handyman, but as far as my investigative skills can tell, the water is coming up through the pores of our concrete floor right where it meets the cinderblock wall going to the crawl space.
When I peeked in to our crawl space I was expecting to see a lot of wet dirt, but the opposite was true. At least the top layer of dirt is dry as a bone (I’f I dug down about 4 feet in the crawl space to reach the depth of the basement floor I’m sure there would be a different story).
After a bit of online reading, I’ve learned that as heavy rains come, the water table rises.
What’s the water table?
Basically, if you dig down deep enough (no matter where you live), eventually you will hit water. That point is the water table. When it rains heavily, the water table level rises.
It’s rained enough lately that the water table level is now at (or above) the level of our basement. As a result, water is being pushed up through our porous concrete floors/foundation.
Moral of the story
I’m pretty sure we are screwed.
As far as I can gather, the only way to keep the water table level below our basement during heavy rains is to have a french drain installed in our basement.
And after getting my first bid, the numbers aren’t pretty. Looking like it will cost me upwards of $6,000 after all is said and done. (I have another estimator coming out Tuesday).
This makes me depressed for a few reasons:
- I feel like this is a sunk cost. Meaning, we aren’t adding value to the property, simply trying to maintain value. Buyers expect their basement not to leak and aren’t going to pay for a problem that isn’t theirs.
- It’s really tough getting bids right now. I called one company and the secretary tried to book me for a March 24th appointment. Ummm, Lady, there is water gathering in my basement, I don’t necessarily have the luxury of letting it continue to accumulate for another month or two.
- This is the first “not fun” money we’ve put in to the house. We’ve dropped $8,000 on our house so far, but it’s all been for beautification purposes. Installing a french drain is probably the least sexy way possible to spend $6,000. Guess those quartz countertops will be put on indefinite pause.
At the end of the day, we don’t have much of a choice but to have the work done. It’s pretty annoying, and YES it totally makes me rethink this whole homeownership thing. When I was renting, the biggest headache I had was the time my landlord didn’t cash my rent check.
Those were the days.
Homeowners: Have you had any unexpected or totally annoying repairs spring up on you?
Renters: Point your finger at me, laugh, and say “Told you so!”