Thursday, June 10, 2010


Over the last week, I've noticed a small patch of water on the carpet at the foot of the basement stairs. As I have frequently said, you really shouldn't ignore water. You can hope that it'll go away, but when water goes away, it usually takes things with it. I watched it for awhile, not really sure what to make of it. The water heater (not the one we just had replaced) is there, as is the furnace for the back of the house. I talked to my dad and the plan was for him to look at it on Monday when he came over to do some more work on the deck. Well, the weather didn't cooperate so that didn't happen. It seemed to be getting mildly worse - or at least no better - so I put in a service call to American Home Shield to have someone come look at it.

I had done a little bit of research and thought that maybe the drip pan in the bottom of the furnace was cracked or overflowing, but this morning, when the furnace guys came, they confirmed it was NOT that. It's also not the water heater, as it would have probably been leaking a lot more and all the time. Honestly, I was hoping for something a little more definitive for my 60 bucks, but hey, you take what you get.

So plan B - I ripped up the admittedly crappy carpet in the area to see if there was a crack in the concrete through which water might be coming up. It's been a rainy spring - we're basically caught in the same wet pattern we were all winter only it's rain now instead of the mountains of snow and ice. After moderate amounts of cussing and having to find a sharper knife, I got it pulled up and while there's no crack, drying it off with a towel seemed to do the trick. I set up a fan down there to dry out some carpet that I can't get to with my knife and so far so good. I just checked it and it seems to be doing the trick. Here's hoping for the best.

It's times like these that I would trade the character of an old house in for the predictability of newer construction. People say, "oh, your house is so nice! It has so much character" which is true - I love our house, even though it's probably too big for us (when we moved to Ames, we were still thinking we might have more kids.) I've never been a huge fan of the sterility that seems to dominate so much new construction, instead preferring old houses with their all their idiosyncrasies. But whenever people admire the character of our house, I always want to say "yeah, and it's so much work!" The garage needs a new roof next summer (as well as a new paint job) and as I have detailed many a time, the yard is just beyond my ability.

But it's all worth it to live on a tree-lined street, even though I'll be complaining (mildly) about the leaf raking come October.

(the title of the post comes from a great Simpsons episode that we were just talking about last week thanks to the drop slide at the new Ames pool.)

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