Minor Disaster!

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Peter_Suciu
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Minor Disaster!

Post by Peter_Suciu » Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:32 pm

Well, I've written a couple of articles in the past about preparing a basement to house a collection. My bunker has air purifiers, dehumidifiers and is pretty secure. I painted the walls to reduce moisture coming in, and the floor was sealed.

However, last night after a light drought with no rain for several days we had a major downpour. It rained for nearly eight hours and was very heavy throughout the night. I went to my "bunker" this morning to find my carpeting soaked. I stupidly left three Japanese uniform books on the floor but everything else was pretty much off the floor. I had displays on mini-risers so that any water wouldn't be a problem.

I thought at first it was just some water seeping in, but soon realized it was a bigger deal. The carpeting possibly could be cleaned but it was so wet I pulled it up and threw it out. I have so much stuff that I will have to repaint/seal the floors in sections. It is just a matter of moving stuff around. My prevention efforts paid off.

I couldn't understand how so much water seeped in since the basement is usually around 32 percent humidity year round. Then I realized... the downspout in the corner of my house failed. The elbow broke off and all the water from the roof on that side of the house was funneled directly to that corner and probably for the better part of eight hours. My house was built in 1958 and stupidly has cinder block walls for a foundation. This absorbs water like a sponge and most of the time isn't an issue but in this case all the water went to one corner and overwhelmed it. The water is seeping in from the corner where the cinder block is on the concrete floor. I had sealed it and overpainted the sealant but enough water will overwhelmed anything.

So while I'd like to get to the painting, figuring out if I'm going to replace the carpet for the next day or so I just need to dry everything out... and go to Home Depot to buy a new gutter downspout extension and make sure this never happens again!

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Re: Minor Disaster!

Post by J.LeBrasseur » Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:41 pm

Sorry to hear Peter, that sucks, I am glad you did not lose much

James
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Re: Minor Disaster!

Post by Gustaf » Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:55 pm

There are only two kinds of basements, those that have had water in them and those that will have water in them, and the first group is also in the second group. You are lucky, I have friends who were away from home for a week and had a waterline in the second floor break putting 4 feet of water in the basement. I am glad nothing of the collection was damaged.
Best

Gsu
OK, they are dolls, but they have kung fu grip! and weapons.

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Re: Minor Disaster!

Post by Peter_Suciu » Tue Aug 13, 2019 5:55 pm

Gustaf wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:55 pm
There are only two kinds of basements, those that have had water in them and those that will have water in them, and the first group is also in the second group. You are lucky, I have friends who were away from home for a week and had a waterline in the second floor break putting 4 feet of water in the basement. I am glad nothing of the collection was damaged.
I know you're not a fan of the collection in the basement, but there are two options: house most of the collection in the basement or leave it out in the backyard. There simply isn't a third option, and there is also the risk of fires, tornados, etc.

My goal is to prepare for the worst, which I did. Short of building a real bunker in the backyard that's all I can do.

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Re: Minor Disaster!

Post by b.loree » Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:17 pm

My condolences Pete but at least you did not lose any of the collection...books will dry out. The main thing is that the collection was spared! My small collection is in a room a storey and a half up. So unless we have a Biblical flood I will be ok. My house was built in 1920...a hand dug basement so even I have to bow my head when going down there...no chance of ever risking collectibles! You could always go the Gustaf route, shipping containers.....not too many people have cutting torches. Although, I know Gus does and that could be of concern, seeing as how "mobile" he can be. :)
Remember, Pillage first THEN Burn ...

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Re: Minor Disaster!

Post by aicusv » Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:53 pm

There is a special type of flooring for areas that may get water. It has spacers on the bottom to allow water to flow under it. In 38 years of living in my home I've had water in the basement 4 times. It is a mess (I no longer have carpeting on floor). One time was caused by 6 inches of snow, in the back yard, freezing and then getting a heavy rain. No place for the water to run off to. Good luck
fezzes frigidus es

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Re: Minor Disaster!

Post by Peter_Suciu » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:12 pm

b.loree wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:17 pm
My condolences Pete but at least you did not lose any of the collection...books will dry out. The main thing is that the collection was spared! My small collection is in a room a storey and a half up. So unless we have a Biblical flood I will be ok. My house was built in 1920...a hand dug basement so even I have to bow my head when going down there...no chance of ever risking collectibles! You could always go the Gustaf route, shipping containers.....not too many people have cutting torches. Although, I know Gus does and that could be of concern, seeing as how "mobile" he can be. :)
Thanks Brian. I live in the 'burbs not on land like Gus. If I did I would have probably had an extra building constructed to house the collection.

Truth is basements can be safe and secure. Thieves who break into houses don't go into the basement UNLESS they know something is there as there is usually just one way in and out. I have a climate controlled and usually dry basement. The irony is that a stupid mishap occurred. I will be buying a new extension for the gutter and directing the water WAY far away from the house and I'll make sure this is screwed to the gutter downspout. I'll also add dirt and lava rocks to that corner. I'll also reseal the wall and floor. This shouldn't have happened, but accidents happen and that's what this was.

I just wish I had the time to take EVERYTHING out and figure out how to make some new displays. I've been thinking about doing a major remodel and now would be the time, but unfortunately I don't have the time and I don't know what to do exactly. I may try to rework a few displays however.

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Re: Minor Disaster!

Post by Gustaf » Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:07 pm

Peter_Suciu wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 5:55 pm
Gustaf wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:55 pm
There are only two kinds of basements, those that have had water in them and those that will have water in them, and the first group is also in the second group. You are lucky, I have friends who were away from home for a week and had a waterline in the second floor break putting 4 feet of water in the basement. I am glad nothing of the collection was damaged.
I know you're not a fan of the collection in the basement, but there are two options: house most of the collection in the basement or leave it out in the backyard. There simply isn't a third option, and there is also the risk of fires, tornados, etc.

My goal is to prepare for the worst, which I did. Short of building a real bunker in the backyard that's all I can do.
Ha, oddly enough, I put my collection in the back yard.
But then I am not the sharpest bulb in the box.
OK, they are dolls, but they have kung fu grip! and weapons.

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Re: Minor Disaster!

Post by Kaiser Bill » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:57 am

Peter, Having to put up with basements and rainwater most of my life I can relate to your problems. One solution that I have used with great success is a downspout detention basin with underground pipe for drainage. With this you can direct the water away from your basement foundation and eliminate above ground extensions that are targets for lawnmowers, kids, etc. Works great if you a good elevation change to direct the flow.

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Re: Minor Disaster!

Post by Tony without Kaiser » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:15 am

A similar scenario happened to me Peter. Went into my Bunker Christmas Eve 2004 and stepped into water (Thanks a lot Santa). The external water line was not angled downward enough, it burst when it froze, and water flooded the worst possible room in the house.

I removed everything (60+ mannequins got carried out that night) ripped out the carpet (never again will I have carpet in my collecting rooms) and over a few months re-built it.

The new house (Festung-Schnurr) has dedicated underground drainage pipes for the weeping tiles and all down-spouts. Floors are water-proof solid vinyl planking. The third and final defense, is a floor drain that drains out to the culvert just in case. When I designed the house, I insisted that no water sources would be above the rooms or in any rooms above the new Bunker.

I think I am good. Like everyone has said, be grateful no collectibles were damaged. Tony
Kaiser: 09 July 1997 - 12 October 2010.
Nina: 23 April 2002 - 31 July 2015.
I miss my little Noodles.
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Re: Minor Disaster!

Post by Peter_Suciu » Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:43 pm

Thanks everyone for the kind words. I had everything dried out and moved everything from that half of the "bunker." I used an oil-based floor/patio paint that will seal it too. I will put a second coat tonight, move stuff back this weekend. I'll do the other half of the bunker come this fall.

Honestly, I think a nice painted floor is nicer than carpet.

And I'll be sure to move that downspout WAY from the house. The stupid thing is that the elbow wasn't screwed to the gutter. For want a screw...

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Re: Minor Disaster!

Post by stuka f » Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:46 am

Sorry to read this.
Our house dates from 1935, build on a area that was know as a swamp in the middle ages....
Got a waterway in front of the house,and several others in the direct environment, so needles to tell that the cellar isn't dry... and it is a pretty big cellar.
Extremely inviting to store stuff, and we did!
My wife collects china dinnerware; so she got the basement.
Still not safe, because if we get really flooding has we all ready had twice in the past 25 years we live in this area, dinnerware starts floating and will get damaged anyway...
But we are taking the risk....
My bunker is at the first floor, a slightly over 25 m2 and... way to small.
Still got the attic that hasn't been explored, but access to it is hard...
Always looking for Belgian Congo stuff!
http://virtueel-museum-antwerpen.webnode.be/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
cheers
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Re: Minor Disaster!

Post by Peter_Suciu » Wed Aug 21, 2019 3:06 pm

Quick update - I cleaned up the basement. I painted the floors, built a new gun rack and everything actually looks better. We then had two days of heavy rain and because I also repaired the gutter and moved the water away from the house and added lava rocks to help keep the water off the exterior walls there wasn't so much a drop of water. In fact the dirt by the house was actually dry after the rains.

I'll continue to monitor the situation and I'm sure I'll be nervous every time it rains but I think I resolved the problem.

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Re: Minor Disaster!

Post by Gustaf » Wed Aug 21, 2019 6:19 pm

Glad the remodel is a success and that the preventative measures are working
OK, they are dolls, but they have kung fu grip! and weapons.

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