A Tale of Two Floods

Well, we’ve been in the house almost four weeks and so far we’ve been flooded twice1.

Last Friday I headed down the stairs for my breakfast, to the kitchen which is in the basement. pitter … patter … splish. splash. splosh. I’m standing in about an inch of water, in the kitchen, at 8am, in my slippers.

We’re new home owners, we have no idea how to cope with this crisis. So I shouted upstairs for Kevin and together we started to mop. About 6 full buckets later, the level was definitely dropping but we still couldn’t figure out where it was all coming from. The water was clean, not soapy or muddy (or worse!) so we figured it was rain water as it had been raining very heavily for a couple of days. A check outside revealed that the well outside the kitchen window (which is sunken underground by about 6 feet) was filling up. So, in torrential rain, Kevin climbed in and bailed the muck, the water and the general rubbish out of this six foot deep hole until we found the drain. And then he bailed some more until it started draining. Really not fun. And of course by now we’re both hours late for work.

After that, we thought we had it sorted. The rain receeded, the water level fell and we found a wet-and-dry vacuum in the garage. We hoovered up the worst of it with that and left the dehumidifier running, and by the next morning it didn’t seem too bad. It’s not nice but nothing important got damaged and we thought with the drain clearing we’d solved the problem. It was upsetting and not fun but we’re home owners and we knew this came with the territory.

Last night, we had a friend staying over and we were in the kitchen when a thunderstorm started up about 10pm. Just as a precaution we picked stuff up off the floor in the kitchen and tripped out the electrics down there. At 3:30am Kevin and I were standing on the steps of the kitchen watching helplessly as the water literally approached us across the floor. Kevin tried to hoover it up but it just kept on rising and in the end we gave up at 4am as the rain stopped and the sky began to lighten with the dawn. By 7am there was definitely water in the kitchen but not lots, we think it had come up and gone down again before we got up. We’ve vacuumed it up now and left the dehumidifier running.

We’ve got a house with no damp proofing and it looks as if rather than a leak, the level comes up with the water table. Two floods in less than a week and the work to put the basement right costs a year’s salary. I’m not absolutely sure what we can do from here.

1 Not strictly true, we had an additional minor flood when the shower started leaking through the living room ceiling, but that’s minor in comparison. Although the repairs did involve gutting a portion of said ceiling and replacing the plaster board, and the room is out of action and has been for a fortnight.

7 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Floods

  1. Hi mate!!

    Sounds like you’re having a soggy nightmare! I’d be inclined to have a word with your conveyancing solicitors about this. As it seems to be a regular occurrence when the rain’s heavy, the previous owners may have had an obligation to tell you about it (like they do for border disputes with neighbours). If they’ve falsely said there’s never been any flooding of the basement / kitchen, you might have some recourse back to them. Definitely worth a try….

    And I hope the rain stops soon!



  2. Michael: a pump is not a bad idea, there certainly doesn’t seem to be much else we can do

    Vince: we had the same situation with a previous house purchase, and when we said to the solicitors that the vendor had deliberately misled us, the response was “what are you going to do about it?”. I doubt we have a leg to stand on as we did have a damp survey which said the place could flood.

    I should add that its flooded again since I wrote this post … so that night, I cooked in my wellies.

  3. I was wearing them on this occassion but I must confess that I do know how to use wellies in cooking, since I used to be a girl guide! Important life skills … or something.

  4. At one time I wrote a lot on this blog about houses, and this house in particular once we bought it 4 years ago. One major feature is that the basement kitchen floods fairly regularly, maybe 4 times a year? This is obviously not ideal however the struct

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