Monday, February 27, 2012

Basement Project: P1

When we moved in, our basement was a leaky mess. It still is, but we’re on our way to recovery. We spent some time this weekend going through everything, cleaning it out. The basement was one of our dumping grounds. I say one because, well, every room is a dumping ground for us. This room though, really takes the cake.

With its prime location right off the dining room/kitchen, its number one use was to quickly hide anything we didn't want people to see when they were coming over. Under normal circumstances, I suppose at some point you actually need to retrieve these unwanted items to do away with. Us? Nah!

As you can imagine, this definitely adds up over time.

This is what we started with. As you come down into the basement, there is literally stuff every where. Strewn about, no rhyme or reason. The shelves are in the center of the room because on the right side of the images is our leaky area. There's a broken elliptical. It's been broken for, maybe what, 4 years? Instead of dragging it down to the dump, we dragged it into the basement. The shredder on the bottom shelf has probably been there longer. Victor was convinced that some day he'd fix it. Sometimes I wonder if we're sane.

The big boxes behind the tables have been there literally since the day we moved in. You know what's in there? Nothing. They are empty. The old owner had left them there.

This is leaky corner number one. Definitely the worst in the basement. Water seeps through the walls. We've been lucky to only have flooding occasionally (mostly limited to this corner, and only 2-3" deep), but it leaves something to be desired. In our basement project, we plan to scrape off all the paint that is, as you can see, peeling away anyways. We'll be Dryloking the entire basement.

Leaky corner number two, and the wall next to it. This wall runs all along the outer wall where we have french drains installed. We've inquired to the condo association multiple times about getting them re-done, but our issues with them are vast and numerous and I don't have time to address them here. We spent a little time as we were cleaning everything out scraping down these walls.

Under the stairs (same wall as the leaky corners and french drain). You can see the the paint that was on the floor is mostly coming up. Aside it being dirty, it's not horrible like the rest of the wall.

All is not lost though! We spent a total of around five hours working to clean everything out and organize everything. 

This is now what you see when you walk into the basement. Sorry for the difference in images, A. I am using my Android's camera, B. It was morning when I took the before, late afternoon when I took the afters,  and C. I have zero photography skills what-so-ever. Anyways, this is our sump pump area. The plan is after we get the basement water proofed, this will be a hinged box as the actual hole itself goes under the foundation and the last thing I need is to have a cat get stuck under the house!

Same area just a different view. All the stuff bunched together on the left is what we're getting rid of in the immediate future. The elliptical/glass/pallets will also be going, but when my dad comes to visit with his pick-up truck to make things easier.

A close up of all that will be leaving. Note that this picture does not include the four contractor sized trash bags filled to the brim we've already taken to the dumpster.

Looking toward the back of the basement, you can see that we moved all the shelves along the far wall that does not have any water damage (it's also the wall we share with our neighbors, we're the end unit townhouse). We swept and shop-vac'ed the entire thing, and started scraping down the walls just a little.

Here's a better look at our shelves. I did do a bit more cleaning of them, but forgot to take new pictures so this will have to do. Also, no more cardboard boxes! Who keeps cardboard boxes in a damp basement? Although nothing was actually ruined (!) it's not a good idea. I got the plastic bins from Wal-Mart with a gift card from my Papa, so they were essentially free. My only complaint is they are just a little too wide, and I can't fit two on a shelf with the supports in the way.

This is the left shelf in more detail. Those paper cups and stuff actually came upstairs, and I changed a few other things but again, no new picture... oops. The top most bin holds books and toys, the second has some retro video games (SEGA CD, Super Nintendo, NeoGeo, and some of the original GameBoy games), the third has retro game systems that go with the bin above (SEGA CD, original PlayStation, Super Nintendo, N64, and some other SEGA one that I can't remember the name of). On the bottom shelf are Nintendo Power magazines from 1990-2000 I believe, and the red crate holds all of Victor's car cleaning essentials.

Our ceilings are too low in the basement to fit the shelving units at full height, so this is a sort of faux shelf that we made with the left overs. Right now it's housing our Christmas and Halloween decorations, and some extra tile.

The final shelf is holding our tools/painting supplies. Nothing really to be said about that.

As I said before, we did scrape the walls to get a little head start on the actual, nitty-gritty scrape that we'll be doing hopefully next week. It has already made a big difference in how the basement looks.

Leaky corner one all scraped out and vacuumed.

Leaky corner two and wall. Looks so much better!

 It's amazing what a little bit of elbow grease and organization will get you. From this...

To this! (Let's pretend that pile in the front of the camera isn't actually there. When it's finally gone I'll retake this angle.)

We still have a lot of work to do, but this is a great start! It feels good to get some work done.


  1. I personally don't look forward to lugging all that trash out tomorrow :( Haha.

    At least once it's gone, the basement will look night and day better. Just do the walls presto! We can start throwing raves in it and stuff :D

    1. Yeah, but it will be so worth it! Don't push yourself :) I can't wait to paint down there, it's going to look like a whole new space!