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Saturday, December 21, 2019

Today's Project, Water Remediation.

  During heavy rains and the springtime thaw, we always get water that flows into the garage from the back wall area. A couple weeks ago we got over 2 inches of rain and the water was flowing pretty good. Broom, squeegee, repeat.

 What better time to find the source I guess.  So I commenced to pulling the wallboard down over in the back right corner of the garage and was greeted with this:

At that point I turned to the band leader and asked him to keep playing to help calm the passengers.

Now comes the interesting part. When the previous owner had the garage addition put on the house, the contractor so nicely poured the concrete walls in a horseshoe shape up against the original foundation.  There is no access to the area I need to get to.  I can fit part way over and with a flashlight I can see about a foot of water pooled against the back of the wall. The water table is high here and we have a couple sump pumps in other areas so it's not surprising.

 These floor joists are the TV room that is partly above the garage. I had to notch them so I could wedge over the wall to the other side.

Here's a visual approximation of said "wedging"

Once on the other side I put in a temporary sump pump set up and realized there was a huge boulder in the corner where the crack is allowing the flooding

Now comes the power tools and some manual labor. 

Sadly, dynamite was out right banned when I asked the Führer if I could blast.

Oh well.........................

 My Nemesis is wedged in the corner where I need to work, Oh lucky me!

Some hole drilling and wedges started to split the top. New Hampshire is called the granite state for a good reason. This shit was tough.

Before burning out 2 Bosch hammer drill bits I was able to downsize the boulder enough that I could roll the smaller chunks up and out of the way.

This remaining piece was way to heavy. I tried prying it with my shovel but decided not to break the handle. Instead, I trenched out behind it and under it enough that a could roll it backward into the pocket I created in the dirt berm.

  I was thinking about bolting an eyebolt to the joists and using a couple straps and come-along to drag it up and out of the way.

After some daydreaming about what could go wrong if the straps slipped:

 I decided to leave it , for now.

 The corner is cleaned out and I trenched deeper so the sump pump will keep the water level below flood stage.


  1. You should dig down the whole area, put in a sump pit and a concrete floor. Then you could turn the area into storage.


    1. That would be really nice. I have thought about it for sure. It's wasted space.

  2. Sucky way to spend a Saturday, but it had to be done.

    1. It's cold and raw here today so I actually didn't mind at all. I was cranking some classic rock in the garage.

    2. Classic Rock makes the work go easier!

    3. Heh. Classic rock for classic rock. Good choice!

  3. Replies
    1. Definitely, as soon as I alleviate the water issue and let things dry out. There's some mold and water soaked 2x4 framing that will need to be addressed.

  4. I see what a problem you have here, and while there might be a couple of different ways to fix it, neither one is going to be easy, nor pleasant.
    When I was 30 ( I am 59 now) I went through a divorce, and had to find a place to live, and be able to have my 3 kids come and spend time with me. I had a decent job, but paid over half of my net in child support, and so had to go the cheapest route possible. So I bought a couple of acres in the country, here in West Michigan, for 3,000$. Then I paid 1200$ for an old mobile home, delivered.
    My money ended about there. So I had to both dig my own septic tank and drain field, drive my own well, and install my own power pole.
    The power pole was no big deal, and the man who inspected it was a family friend, and found I had forgotten a wire inside the box, so he put it in himself, for free.
    Driving the well was different. I had done it before, but this time, I had an 8 foot round by 6 feet high metal piece from a ladle form. We used to pour the safety lining behind it, and it had a post that could be removed to pull the frame smaller so it would come out. I took that home from work, rolled it off of my friends truck rolled it to where I wanted to drive my well, and started digging. After I got deep enough the frame started to tip, and then it was sitting upright, instead of on it's side, with me inside digging a hole inside. As I got deeper, it continued to settle, until I had dug deep enough that it only stuck up out of the ground about 6 inches. Then I drove my well inside that, an inch and a quarter shallow well.
    The worst part was last. Digging a hole large enough to hold a one thousand septic tank. I tried to fight the inspector on that, since I was a single man, and that tank is big enough for a family of 4 or more, but he would not budge, he just said that if I ever decided to move the trailer and build a house, that is the size of tank I needed.
    Imagine digging a hole big enough to bury a half ton ford pickup. Then a drain field as well.
    Now, I can't even imagine doing that. Plus, working 12 hour shifts quite often, plus, I was playing music in a band. I had Tuesday nights off, and usually Sundays. No wonder I hate to shovel anything now, even just snow.

  5. It really looks like you are having a lot of fun... another idea, a safe room in case of zombies and other wall street cretins.

  6. That don't look like no fun, no way.
    I'm betting you are gong to be sore in places you forgot you had.

    1. Oh ya. Upper shoulder blades and ankles. I was standing on the dirt berm for a while.

  7. Be careful in the part of the floor whose joists you mangled. You cut the moment capacity of those joists by more than half and the floor could collapse on you. The problem extends the full length of the joists.

    I'm a civil Engineer and Professional Engineer

    1. Thanks Quartermaster for adding that. I’m am planning on heading them off and also doubling a 2 x 4 next to each one.

    2. Quartermaster,
      I must admit, I never thought of that, until you mentioned it. But after you did, it was obvious. That is the difference between a professional and an amateur. And the next post about burying the perf pipe, could also be helpful, if the water is not too bad.
      I have an uncle who was a carpenter his whole life, who helped me work on a house that I bought at the age of 18, to fix up and live in it. It was a huge eye opening to me, just to see a person who really knew their shit, working at something.
      And I learned that sometimes, it is well worth paying a professional for certain jobs.

  8. Question... Why not fix the leak on the outside at the source? Could it be as simple as doing a bit of landscaping or burying perf. pipe?

  9. You make a nice concealed door there and then tou have a place for your boating losses to be held.


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