This, That, The Other Thing

It’s freezing in our living room as I type this. The flue in our chimney is stuck open and there is a terrible draft. We called a repairman and this nice ol’ Irish guy with a thick accent named Phil and his cohort Ron came by Saturday to check the situation. Friendly fellows with sooty hands- the types of guys who tell it to you straight and stand around in your basement living room giving your tips about your wet carpet. I told Darcy I want to adopt Phil as my uncle but he said only if he’ll give us the family discount. I just want him to tell me tales of the motherland. No matter if he’s not actually from Ireland, he can make it up.

Yes, we have wet carpet in our basement living room. Currently it’s about a 4 ft by 4 ft area under a window though the water is not coming in from the window. Because Seattle has been besieged with unusually heavy rains, every person I called for help couldn’t see us for over a week. I picked the one who could come the soonest (8 days later) and meanwhile we have towels over the area where we stomp around to soak up the water, then dry the wet towels, then start the process again. We spent the greater part of Friday morning fighting with each other and dealing with a problematic gutter drain that was dumping water right in the same corner of the house where the floor is sopping wet. Coincidence? Probably not.

The upswing is we finally have a new couch for our downstairs living space.

It’s not getting much use yet because it’s wet in one corner of that room and the fireplace makes it drafty. We’re on a tight deadline to fix some of these problems because we’re losing money heating the outside and well, wet carpet is not the kind of breeding ground we’re at all interested in and because I am ridiculous and we’re planning a housewarming/holiday party for two weeks from now.

I know. I KNOW. I never quit.

But hey, we hung up my jazz wall and there is even room to add to it in the future. Hanging stuff up helps this place feel more like home even if it’s soggy in spots and undecorated in others.

After the wedding, honeymoon, and now these must-fix house issues, Christmas is going to be about the sentiment rather than the materialistic gift around these parts. I don’t need a new purse (I just want one, big difference) but we do NEED to feel warm when sitting in our living room and avoid growing mold in our carpet. We already started getting into the holiday spirit by hosting our first Thanksgiving in our new house. I managed to cook the turkey without drying it out (which is good because turkey is on the top five favorite foods list of Mr. Darcy’s) and we had a delicious meal with my family and some of the nerds.

In case you didn’t notice, I got my hair cut. It’s not as short as I thought I’d go but it’s a step in the right direction. I also went more brunette.

Other stuff is happening but maybe I’ll actually start blogging again and tell you about it.


10 thoughts on “This, That, The Other Thing

  1. Hey Sizzle, the nasty surprises of homeownership — ouch! Sorry about the wet carpet, I’ve dealt with that before. If you haven’t already, you need to peel up the carpet and elevate it on something (like a clothes drying rack) so it can dry on both sides, otherwise it will rot from underneath. This is the only way to really save the carpet. Cleaning it later won’t remove the mildew damage, only mask the odor. You’ll also want to replace the saturated pad, because it is hard to dry, and will retain mold spores, which will bloom back into the carpet whenever the humidity is just right (and this being Seattle, that’s about 10 months out of the year). It’s relatively easy and cheap to replace a patch of pad that has been damaged. Don’t delay… mold in the house can cause all kinds of respiratory problems, as I found out a few years ago when we discovered a cesspool and giant fungus in our crawlspace thanks to our neighbor’s clogged storm drain flooding up against the foundation of our house. Also, beware of the contractor that tells you all you need is a carpet cleaning and a dehumidifier. Make sure the problem is solved from the exterior so it doesn’t happen again. This could involve french drains, excavating along the foundation wall, and re-landscaping. Get several quotes. I can feel your frustration because I’ve been there… Good luck!

  2. So the wet spot in the basement – I’ve dealt with this in two different houses. It is always the downspout from your gutters. And you can very inexpensively and unelegantly fix this for the next 14 months of rain expected here in Seattle – go to Home Depot or Lowes and get that ugly black plastic tubing. A nice long piece. Attach it to your down spout – don’t ever believe that a down spout going into the ground is actually draining somewhere other than your basement. It isn’t. Route that water down hill (there is always some kind of down hill in Seattle) and off load it in the nether reaches of your back yard. Or the alley if you have an alley. Or the rhodie in your front yard. Where ever it makes sense and won’t make your neighbors hate you forever. Then, if you want to look all hip and fabulous, get one of those rain barrels and hook it up to that darn down spout and attach a garden hose to the barrel. Send that water to the spot in your yard you don’t care about. And around July or August, you can dig up that side of your house and install fancy french drains and then chemical treat the outside of your basement to be waterproof (although I never believe in that stuff…. how could you make anything water proof in Seattle.) But for now – get the water from your roof as far away from your basement as possible. The advice around the wet carpet makes sense to me. And the flue – oh lord, I have no idea.

  3. What a mess! We’ve had our share of house problems, too.
    We had one of our gutter extensions come off and yes, the water from the roof was pouring out at a corner of the house which was then pouring inside the basement. Bad news – we had to tear out one finished wall, good news – we patched, sealed, and put in a new wall with lighting and outlets. I agree with the comment about the black plastic tubing – we use that too. Just get the water away from the house.
    I want a new purse, too, and I love your couch – looks so nice for lounging.

  4. Dang house issues! They love to pop out if nowhere don’t they? I hope both problems get resolved soon and are not TOO pricey.

    I totally understand the whol Xmas gift giving vs sentiment approach. Extremely tight budgets just don’t allow for much, but on the other hand it’s a reminder of what really is important in life.

    Absolutely love how you decorated your wall! And yay for a fabulous thanksgiving! I’m positive your turkey was super yummy 🙂

  5. Welcome back. Yes, pull back the carpet to expose the underside. I suggest adding a fan to that corner as well. It helps dry the carpet. Been there; done that; survived it.

  6. You crack me up. I wish the chimney men would have sung a song for you or danced a jig or something. 😉 Owning a home is the best and worst thing at the same time. I hope your troubles ease up soon! Super impressed that you hosted Thanksgiving, though! That’s such a rite of passage!

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