I have an unfinished basement and I have thought on a couple of occasions to refinish the basement. I have been reminded many times that I cannot predict when the sump pump will fail and do not want to risk water damage to new flooring, drywall and furniture. The basement ended up being the catch all room. That room when you have no idea where to store certain things, so they usually end up in our basement.
We had what I considered junk in boxes and tubs alike. My wife would call the junk memories and she had a hard time letting go. Then I first episode with the sump pump failure occurred. When we looked in the basement, the entire basement was six inches under water. Tough decision in terms of what to do right then. To leave the house means no one is finding a quick way to start to get the water out of the basement. We borrowed a back up sump pump that took a smaller volume and used a regular hose to carry the water up the stairs and out the back yard. That was slow and tedious, but at least we were not we were not adding to the damage. My wife bought a replacement and we started the process of volume based water extraction.
Once that crisis element was over, we had to deal with the fact that a lot of our memories drowned. All our books that were in boxes, papers from work or school, kids projects, and even clothing were effected. Then we had to get the basement as dry as possible. The removing the junk was not that easy, because there were memories in there as well. The scary part is that my wife’s wedding dress was also in the basement, but was on the top of the pile.
So there should be a life lesson in there to pro-actively look at your stuff and see what you keep and see what you junk. When a flood comes, it does not make a distinction of what is a memory. By getting rid of the junk, the likelihood of putting your memories in a proper storage container clearly marked will ensure this does not happen again.
I looked at my basement the other day after a big snow melt and was relieved to see that the ground was still frozen so the melting had not impacted the runoff into the house. But I also looked at the basement and noticed that it was every bit as bad as the first crisis in terms of memories everywhere and no real system of packaging and labeling. I think I am going to buy a spare sump pump this week and start the removal of debris from my own basement.
Wisdom is being able to learn from others mistakes. What is it when you do not learn from your own mistakes. Yikes.