Basement Afterthoughts I have a

Basement Afterthoughts

I have a few random thoughts I want to write before they slip away and the details are forgotten.

WHAT Does That Label Say?

If it were just the dust, that’d be one thing. But the tar thing kind of put me over the edge. Remember how I said they left buckets of that tar-stinking stuff in our basement by the furnace? Take a look at the the CAUTION statement on its label.

Combustible? Not a good product to leave sitting overnight a mere two feet from the open flame of a gas furnace, yet that’s what happened. It’s no wonder the whole house reeked like the stuff! We’re fortunate and thankful nothing caused them to ignite. I still can’t believe they did that, nor can anyone I’ve told about it. There’s a lot better ways to keep stuff from freezing.

Backing Up Is Hard To Do

The one driver had a terrible time backing into our driveway. The foreman had to back the truck in one time that we know of. The last day they did work, someone ran the truck into our stone wall by the driveway and broke some of the sandstone off. They just tossed the large stones on top of my plants there and never told me they’d done it.

RIP, My Beauties

We were told the crew would carefully remove plants and put them back in place when finished. The only two plants they put back were the porcelain berry vine and clematis vine I specifically pointed out. I assumed they would set aside the top layer of soil, along with the plants, and put them back on last when refilling the trenches. Not so at all. All I have now is a jumble of dirt and rocks around our home’s foundation. All my groundcovers are gone, my daylilies…everything except the big vines, and I doubt they’ll make it.

The company does not guarantee homeowners’ plants will survive, so I think they take that part of the job lightly. I say, just because something’s not guaranteed by your company doesn’t give you the right to be out-and-out careless. If I’d known they would be so doggoned careless, I would have moved the plants. But, again, we were assured that the plants would be fine, that they were dormant and it wouldn’t hurt them the way the crew worked. Wrong. They should, at the least, say they strongly suggest homeowners move the plants before work is scheduled to begin. But I trusted the salesman’s and company’s word for it. My bad.

Not At All What We’d Pictured

Salesman Kevin also led us to believe the “pressure relief system” (not just a sump pump) would be a neatly capped unit in the floor. He made it sound like a sealed cap we would take off once a month in order to test the pump.

What we have instead is a loosely covered (not sealed by any stretch of the imagination) hole with piece of PVC pipe coming up out of it and through the wall about five feet or so up the wall. I’ve seen regular sump pumps before, and I understand why they had to do it this way; they have to bring the water out up above the outside drainage system’s level so it will flow downhill by the force of gravity.

If the salesman hadn’t misrepresented what it would look like, it wouldn’t be a concern and we could have perhaps planned differently, maybe had them install it on the other side of the wall there. That’s going to be in my MIL’s closet, so the neatly sealed off cap was a big deal to us. It can’t be helped now, though; we’ll just have to build around it and leave an access door.

You’ll Poke Yer Eye Out

A sidenote: The foreman was lucky he didn’t blind himself while hammering apart our old concrete sink. He was hammering toward himself, and not wearing any eye protection. I offered him some goggles, but he said he was fine and thanked me. What’s with people? I’m just glad none of those chips and chunks of concrete hit him in the eye. Ouch.

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