Monday, May 14, 2012

Our Basement flooded, no joke

If those clouds look dark and ominious, thats because they are. The are signaling a fun night ahead for Kyle and I and a flood of water in our new basement.

When I got home from work on Thursday evening the clouds were already moving in. Kyle had been doing some painting on the outside porches so I thought I would snap a few shots before the storm started.

The red siding looked great against the dark smokey skies. You could almost smell the rain about to start. The outside of the house is almost complete now that Kyle is done painting. Next on the agenda, seeding the yard with a little grass so we don't have mud everywhere and sealing the decks.

The back yard as the storm clouds moved in.

Not sure why I took a photo of the septic tanks before the rain started but it proved to be a good comparision to what it was about to look like. Please take note of where the lid is on the upper septic tank lid... please see the below photo that was taken about an hour later

You may notice that the one lid seems farther away than before. Well it is. It is a good 5 feet away from where it should be. It should be screwed into the top of the septic tank. Thats why we soon heard the over fill alarm on the spetic tanks buzzing. It sounded like a bug zapper buzzing on the outside of the house and this red light was going off. The alarm is warning us that the level of liquids in the tank has gotten too high and its time to get it pumped. So while the back yard looked like this...

...the basement looked like this.

Not only did the spetic tanks flood with the water from the back yard because they were not on properly, but the check valve that keeps things from flowing back to the house was stuck in the open position, allowing water to flow back to the house from the tanks. AND, the future bathroom plumbing in the basement was never capped off properly, SO... all that water had a perfect channel to flow right back inside. It was the perfect storm of mistakes made on our septic and plumbing.

The two white pipes are the future plumbing for the basement bathroom. That stream of brown water is flowing from the pipe to a bucket Kyle grabbed so he could bail us out bucket by bucket. The tops of the plumbing pipes had just duct tape over top and were never properly sealed and capped off.

Kyle rigged up a system to divert the water in one stream into the bucket. He then was throwing the buckets of water out the window. Mean while I was running boxes of our stuff upstairs and away from the growing pool of water.

I learned two lessons after that night. 1: Even a brand new house can having a flooded basement and 2: Every homeowner needs a Shop Vac. they are a good investment.

A big thank you to my parents who came over and brought 2 Shop Vacs, rags and hand sanitizer!


  1. Sorry to hear about your ordeal. Storms are very troublesome, as a single storm can bring much damage by hailing forth seemingly endless rainfall in a day. I think there should be another lesson to be learned here: employing stormwater management can help prevent flooding. Storm chambers can help contain storm water runoff.

  2. Oh my! What a mess. That is definitely one of the worst things to experience in your new house Ugh. I hope nothing important got damaged. To be on the safe side, it’s probably best to keep your valuables upstairs so that it would be safe in case of another flooding.

  3. It really pays to have a storm water management. In our house, my dad installed five rain barrels. The containers basically collect rainwater that can help to prevent flooding, plus he also uses the stored rainwater to water his plants.

  4. It was almost happened with me when I was living in chelsea with my cousin. We couldn't understand the situation at first in fact had to called engineer of boiler repair chelsea who helped us and get all done right. Anyway, your house is so beautiful.

  5. My wife and I love your house. Can you tell me where you got the plans?

    1. Thanks Jesse! We actually designed our home ourselves. If you like the look you can check out our layout on the tab at the top of the blog called "The House Plans". The plans are a bit small when viewed on the computer but it could give you a nice jumping off point for the layout. Let me know if I can help further.