Our New Old Home…Adventures with Flooding!!

I was starting to feel really good about our home purchase. The house we ended up with was older, but it had the space we craved and was within our price range. There is always a compromise to be made, and we thought we had chosen well. Have you ever seen The Money Pit? That is us right now…so, I am going to tackle this one issue at a time, as they crop up from here on out, and hopefully someone will learn something they didn’t know before or maybe just feel less alone in their struggles to keep a home 🙂

Almost two weeks in our new home, and things are beginning to feel homey. Landscapers have been called, and lists of things to do around the house have been made. Most things are feeling on track and like we have a plan in place. That is, until this morning.

We had a typical Louisiana drencher push through last night, and I was stopped dead in my tracks this morning when I realized there was water in my dining room. Water, on the wood floors, and the beautiful dining set we purchased from the previous owner. Water. In the house. Where it shouldn’t be. My stomach lurched and I got that surreal feeling, like I was outside my body. I didn’t have a clue what to do.

So, here is what we did. First, we mopped up the water. Oh my goodness, so many towels worth of water. There are probably better ways to clean up water, but we were just acting on autopilot. Then, we looked around. We couldn’t really see how the water was actually getting inside the house, but we narrowed it down the best we could. Thankfully, we live in the age of Google, which was the next tool I turned to.

It seems a lot of things can help your house Not flood. Two kept popping up in the numerous articles I read, and both seem to be things to do in our particular situation. The first is to make sure that your gutters are cleaned out in the spring and the fall. I looked at the gutters and could see the leaves and sticks and things in there from the ground, so that is one thing on our to do list. Also, you need to make sure that your drain spouts drain water away from the house, and even buy extenders if the grade of your lawn will just bring the water right back. You don’t want water to gather at the foundation of the house, which is how it can get in. Which leads me to number 2.

Make sure your lawn slopes away from the house because then, yup, the water will go away from your house! You can hire landscapers to do this, or one article had the brilliant idea to just throw dirt at your house until you have your own slope-Yes!

So, the moral of this story is, when buying or after buying a house. Make sure those gutters are in good working order. To hire someone to clean them out for you should run somewhere from $100-200, this amount depends on your square footage and how many stories you have. All new gutters you are looking at $1000-2000, so unless you are rolling in dough make sure to take care of the ones you have! Also, pay attention to the slope of your lawn, and check around your house after a good rain to see if water is pooling anywhere near your foundation. Future you will be so happy you hired a landscaper to pile some dirt around rather than having to tear down walls and tear up floors and replace them, trust me. All advice aside, we are going to call someone to come clean the gutters (we will maintain ourselves after the professional gets in there). We are also going to rip out the very neglected landscaping the previous owner has around the outside of the dining room so that we can create our own grade with dirt, concrete blocks, whatever we can pile over there so this doesn’t happen again! We have several projects that are necessary, so after those get sorted out we are going to find a general contractor to talk with us about the floor in the dining room and to see if any other damage needs to be repaired. Oh! Get flood insurance. We don’t have it, but will be getting it now. This would be so much easier if we could have just called the insurance guy.

You live, you learn. I hope this helps someone!