And some days I’m the home renovator. The snow is melting at high speed in our part of the Great White North and last weekend, Mrs Thomson interrupted my deep communion with Zack Decker to inform me of a growing puddle of water in the back part of the basement. Sigh.
Check to see if it was coming through around the basement windows (window wells were full of snow). Nope. Was it coming through the dryer vent. Nope. Oh no… do we have a crack in the foundation? I started to remove part of the ancient wall paneling (likely dating back to the early 1980s) to see if I would find beads of water running down the wall. By the time I stopped tearing away stuff without finding anything, I’d discovered that whoever owned the house about thirty years ago and had finished the basement hadn’t even taken the building code as a suggestion, let alone followed it. Big sigh.
I’ve known for a while that I’d eventually have to refinish those two rooms (my workshop and the laundry room), but it seems that events have forced me to do it this year, more specifically before next fall because I need to re-insulate both rooms.
So, off to the local lumber yard for a ‘Bagster’, i.e. a dumpster in a bag, so I can start disposing of all the wall and ceiling panels, the old insulation, floor tiles and other sundry crap before scrubbing everything down, painting, redoing the wiring properly and according to code, insulating according to code, paneling and, once the laundry room basics are done, adding some shelving.
To add insult to injury, the big puddle started drying out the day after I began looking for the leak, signifying that no more water was coming in. I’m now wondering whether I’ve attributed a foundation leak to some other cause, such as the washer leaking slightly while in operation. The next time we do a load, you can be sure I’ll be watching it like a hawk.
Good thing I’m retiring from my day job. I’ll have all the time I need to fix up the basement over the spring and summer, and not lose ground with my writing. Two or three hours a day working the renos, then write. I finished the basement in our previous house, so this isn’t anything new for me, but it still seems daunting right now and I’ve been procrastinating in terms of moving the tools and workbench out of the workshop to start a full teardown of the old finish, but all it’ll take is that one burst of motivation and then I’ll have a hard time stopping. It’ll be like a bursting dam. When it comes to this kind of work, for me it’s always like a bursting dam. That’s how we procrastinators operate.