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The Wonders of Water

January 26, 2012

My grandmother used to say “water, water, everywhere and not a drop to drink.” That phrase is all I could think about the past few days when I was sucking up lots of water out of my client’s basement. What an incredible mess.

The sad part is that it could have been easily avoided.

Here’s my simple two-step “how-to” on getting water out of your basement and preventing it from getting there in the first place. Watered down just enough for any new DIYer:

  1. Test Your Sump Pump
    • Check that it’s plugged in (duh? Yes. But I have several very funny stories born of this exact “forgot to”)!
    • Turn the pump on by raising the float (ball on rod) until the pump runs.
    • Clear dirt and debris from around the pump (no hair clogs here).
  2. Clean Out Your Drain
    • Clear leaves, dirt, whatever, out of the stairwell and away from the drain hole (nobody wants a dirty drain hole).
    • Run a hose into the drain hole and turn it on full blast to push dirt out the other side. For what it’s worth, dirt blasting is far more fun than standing in a lake of cold rainwater because your drain is clogged.
    • Place a portable sump pump in your stairwell if the drain is not draining quickly enough to keep up with water accumulation.

I also suggest that you waterproof your basement at some point. It’s not expensive and your repairwoman (Yes, I’m hoping it will be me!) will take a look and tell you if there has ever been a leak or water seepage.

If there has been a leak or seepage, me and my team (yes, I’m being a little presumptuous here, but hey, a woman’s gotta be assertive) will fix it – or show you how to fix it with DryLok.

Finally, if you do have a flood in your basement, be sure you dry everything out thoroughly and quickly. Then, periodically, check for mold. Mold is not nice and you do not want it growing in your basement.

To women holding hammers (and taking care of water),

Jo Ellen Soesbee, The ToolBox TomGirl

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