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Into each basement some rain must crawl

Into each basement some rain must crawl

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Into each basement some rain must crawl


The rain came blowing from the south and seemed to create something like a thin waterfall down the middle of the street.

It rained so hard that water poured down steep driveways and sloshed against, and over, curbs. A neighbor's rain gauge floated off. According to most reports, six or more inches of rain fell in a relatively brief period of time. I can think of only one thing to do during a big rainstorm like the one that came by recently, if you're in the market: Look at that house for sale that you're thinking about buying. Noon Wednesday when it's 72 degrees is the worst time to look at a house. The two best times are: 1. Saturday night at 10 p.m. 2. When it's raining heavily. Rising table: The neighborhood in which I live is slightly downhill from construction taking place as far away as a mile. The underground area is said to be complicated with lots of ancient holes from old-time mining operations. The point is, drainage patterns change, based on building, and heaven knows what, down below. When I first moved into the house where I now reside, the basement was a good and dry place to be. Previous residents had put guests down there to sleep comfortably. Numerous com- pletely finished basements existed through the neighborhood and were used as offices and exercise space. Then one day, one drop. I noticed, on the middle of the concrete basement floor, the suggestion of dampness. We have progressed from that afternoon four or so years ago to the point where, after cracking open the basement door an inch, you could hear splashing. The basement doesn't leak. It had simply lost ground to a rising water table. Pumping sump: Earlier this week, basements across the way experienced water backing up through drains by as much as three feet. Crawl spaces were full of water. And workers with big equipment and changes of clothing entered my basement with a sump pump. A hole was knocked in the con- crete, and the pump in a cylinder was inserted, with a hose running out the washer-dryer drain. As the container fills with water from the water table below, the pump comes on with a mild whir, producing a more relaxing sound than clear stream water breaking over rocks. The basement is so dry that we may picnic on the floor down there tonight. Of all the perks listed in homes-for-sale ads -- outdoor lighting, professional landscaping, new floors, Italian marble, bath and three-quarters -- here's the most beautiful extra of them all: Sump pump.

Jay Cronley 581-8362


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