Mar 132010

According to AccuWeather, we’ve received at least an inch of rain and probably closer to two in the past 24 hours.  Combine that with about 3′ of snow that just recently finished melting into the ground, and the soil has gotten pretty saturated around here.  It’s pretty obvious when we can look out the window and see ponds in the back yard and streams in the swales between our house and the neighbors’.  We’ve had several heavy rain storms over our first year of owning this house, but this one was different – this was the first one that actually came in.

Photo of the curious basement window.

This basement window is sealed tighter than an aquarium.

Let me step back for a moment.  When we had our home inspection, we did see some signs that the basement got wet at some point.  There was also a broken water heater that was leaking all over the floor, so it was difficult to know exactly where the water came from.  However, there was also this one window in the basement.  Someone had gone to great lengths to keep it shut and sealed tight: it was caulked, covered with a board, caulked more, grouted, and duct taped.  There was also a small garden hose coming out of a hole in the sill and running over to the laundry tub.  We figured they must have wanted to drain the window well, but we found it hard to believe it could be that bad.

Ok, back to today.  I was taking some tools back down to the basement to put them away, and I thought I should look around to see if any water was getting in.  I’ve done this during each big rain storm to try and get an idea of how wet/dry the basement really is.  There were a few damp spots along the base of the basement wall, particularly on the uphill side of the house (i.e. the water flows towards those walls).  But the real eye opener was that crazy window. Continue reading »