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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.

Basement - Rock Bott

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.

Basement tear 1
Tree Riddle, Banana 101.5

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.

Tree Riddle, Banana 101.5

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.

Tree Riddle, Banana 101.5

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.

Tree Riddle, Banana 101.5

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.

Tree Riddle, Banana 101.5

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.

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