Friends. We've been here before. See here and here. For as much as I love my 'charming' Victorian rowhouse, with all of its plaster mouldings and stained glass french doors (original, of course), it has its issues, that is for sure. Issues like super narrow staircases that mean you can't get just any tub or washer or dryer up and down them. A couch that doesn't come in 60 pieces? No chance. Neighbours who insist on playing with their 2 year old at 1 a.m. ("weeeeeee!!!!!") or give him a golf ball to bounce on the hardwood? Awesome.
This weekend we became acutely aware of another downside to the charm of a Victorian row.
A 32 year old first time mom-to-be has a particularly frustrating day at work. She is tired. She is probably cranky. Her feet have swollen to 3 times their normal size (thanks, 34th week of pregnancy). She comes home to find her super handy (and very handsome) husband putting the final coat of oil based primer on the stair treads.
Because of the fumes and her MASSIVE feet, she heads down to her newly finished basement to put her feet up and escape the fumes.
First step into the basement feels good. Basements are great like that. A little cooler than the rest of the house, and the cool on her feet makes her very, very happy.
Step two is not quite as nice.
Step two takes our very uncomfortable and pregnant heroine (or is it victim?) into the centre of the basement and into a part of beautiful carpet that makes a tell tale SQUISHY sound under her fatty fat fat feet.
There may have been swearing (but I should keep this story PG), I'm not going to lie.
The pregasaurus rex quickly scans her surroundings. The walls look fine. The ceiling looks fine. This basement has never been anything but dry as a bone.
This is NOT what a 34 week pregnant woman wants when she is still knee deep in a stair project that just. won't. end.
She calls her husband down to the basement to break the bad news. They have no idea what the problem is. The water is clean, so that is good news. The bad (and somewhat ironic) news is that we have no access to towels to start sopping up the water because the handy husband is already 5 steps in to the paint, so there is no access to the linen closet.
Later that night, on the way to dinner and a movie (which was always the plan because of the paint fumes), the husband thought he'd be a kind neighbour and call the owners to the left to warn them to check their basement for water just in case they were also having the same issue.
"Oh gosh," the neighbour said. "Our hot water tank burst this week. We hadn't heard from you so we thought everything was fine."
Um, no. Not fine. Brand new carpet soaked, so not fine. Fear of mold in a house with a new baby about to arrive, so not fine.
Anyways, we are lucky that this was the good neighbour. He immediately offered to cover any damage (or we could go through insurance) and he helped J lug away the sopping wet carpet and under-padding. Downside is that J had to spend hours cutting up carpet, taking apart all of the furniture, etc and now we have to set the whole basement up again once the new carpet is in.
If you think that this sounds like a MASSIVE PITA, it is. This, my friends, is one of the MANY reasons why I would like a detached house next time.
We've had an industrial fan going since Saturday and everything is very dry. We've also had a de-humidifier running and surprisingly it isn't gathering much water. We are going to keep it all going for the week just to make sure it is SUPER dry down there before the carpet gets installed. Plus we've been advised to spray down the concrete with some kind of solution that will kill any possible mold.
In other news, we did make some stair progress but I will update you tomorrow. I'm still in grief-mode over our basement and need a moment.