How (and Why) Tree Destroyed His Basement Over the Weekend [PHOTOS]
Just last week, my house had an awesome finished basement. Today it is an empty pit of broken dreams. Find out how Michigan weather (and my inexperience as a homeowner) forced me into "remodeling" my basement a few years earlier than planned.
When we first walked through the house that we would later purchase -- making my girlfriend and I first-time homeowners -- one of the biggest selling points was the full, finished basement. The colors weren't ideal (yellow and black), but with some decoration and furniture -- it made for a nice little party spot / band room / playroom for the kids / guest bedroom / mancave. So much so that I don't have any pictures of it without people partying or jamming in it. That was, of course, before that bitch, Mother Nature, stepped in and ruined my fun.
I was in the basement playing guitar -- for the first time since all of the really heavy rain -- when I discovered there was water coming up through the floor. After some careful examination, I realized there was water under a decent amount of the pergo flooring, so I began to tear it up to find the source.
After I tore up all of the affected floor boards, I had gone almost 3/4 of the length of the full basement. Luckily, nothing was water damaged outside of the floor, drywall and insulation, but it is still one Hell of a task. I enlisted the kids to help me haul out all the ruined flooring, but they're only four years old, so I basically did all of that myself. When it was all said and done, this is, roughly, what I had left.
Next came the fun task of cutting off the damaged drywall. There wasn't a ton of it damaged, but we went far enough up the wall so we could seal the part of the wall that let the water in. I also had to cut out the waterlogged pieces of insulation, which caused quite a bit of itchiness on my arms.
Then I cleaned up the broken drywall, cleaned the floor by scrubbing up all the drywall dust with water, took the shop-vac to the water and turned on several fans to help dry everything I couldn't reach with the shop vac out. Finally, the basement looked like this.
It seems like the dumbest thing in the world, but the entire problem would've never happened had I turned my eaves trough extenders out towards the yard . I had it running along the sidewalk (below, left) as oppose to over the sidewalk and away from the house (below, right). Here's a little homeowner 101 for you -- never direct rain water anywhere but away from your house, especially during heavy rain like the recent tropical storm-type weather we've been experiencing.
Luckily, everything we took out is cheap to replace and sealing the leaky areas will be really simple. I was pretty intimidated about taking on a home improvement project of this magnitude, but it was actually pretty easy once I got into it. Now all we have to do is paint the floor all fancy-like (we decided to completely 86 the pergo), replace the drywall and paint the entire basement. I'll post pictures of the finished product in 2 - 12 months... I'm a procrastinator.