Living in an old house has it advantages…
You never have to worry about carbon monoxide poisoning.. there is always a breeze. You don’t have to worry about finishing your basement, you can’t… it’s dirt, or in our case cement poured over a dirt foundation. Having an old house and an old piece of property is fun because you get to uncover all sorts of things outside. Old stonewalls buried with time, old flower beds neglected and grown over. Your animals dig up old bottles and metal farm implements buried long ago. You discover, living in an old house, that water will find it’s way into any crook and cranny. Any crack in that old cement that was spread over the rock /dirt foundation.
We have lived through 9 winters here. Our first winter we ran out of oil the first 3 weeks in November, it was a full tank. See above mention of breezy house :). The second winter here we had a lovely snow storm, which left such a white fluffy covering on the ground that the kids were beside themselves with excitement for the chance to sled on our awesome hill, right next to the house, in fact it slopes toward the house. Then… it rained on top of the snow, it froze and rained again. It never occurred to us to check our basement, the basement in our old house NEVER leaked, unless you left the hose on in the basement window of course.
Well, I went out for something and saw that our driveway was a virtual river and there was a significant amount of water pooled by the house. Not thinking a whole lot about it I went on my merry way. Upon coming home, the water seemed much deeper against the outside of the house. I went in and said “honey, maybe we should check our basement”. He went down and sure enough there was about 6 inches of water in our basement. The next 2 hours were spent outside trying to chip chanels in the ice to divert water away from the house.
This has been our life in winter for the past 9 years. Loving the snow, loving the warmth the woodstove provides, loving watching the kids sled on our hill, and cringing when the forecast calls for rain and freezing temps.
Fast forward to this year. My dad and a dear friend with a lovely Kubota with a back hoe (ours doesn’t have one) are digging out the driveway, laying down some flat stones and regrading the driveway. I have high hopes and am looking forward to a winter that I hope is, water in my basement free 🙂
Stones waiting for their new home
Getting the crushed stone
Starting the move to their new homes by the new drain