How Cleaning was a Godsend

Wednesday night Teacher had class so Princess, Angel Face, Jo-Bear and I cleaned the upstairs whiled Z-Man and Little Guy enjoyed a Little Einsteins marathon. Cleaning went uneventfully aside from the minor bickering between Angel Face and Jo-Bear -for some reason everything each of them does bugs the other to no end. By the end of the night I was ready to strangle them both.

Thursday night the little boys were set up for another Little Einsteins marathon, Princess was babysitting, Teacher and Jo-Bear were at the store picking out a birthday present for Jo-Bear’s sleepover the following night, and Angel Face and I were picking up in the basement playroom. “Why is this wet?” I wondered out loud as I picked up a crumpled Barbie dress. “I don’t know” replied Angel Face, “I wondered the same thing when I picked up my book.” I felt the carpeting. It was wet – not soaking, but not just damp either. “This can’t be a good thing.” I said, and sniffed the area carefully. One of our cats had been peeing in laundry baskets so I was worried she’d started peeing in other places too. Nothing smelled like cat pee though – whew!

Where was the wetness coming from? The ceiling was dry, the center of the room was dry, the walls were dry, there were no cups or containers lying around that may have spilled… I ran my hands across the carpet, to feel what was wet, what was dry, and where the water could be coming from. It seemed to be coming from the bookshelf/TV area we had made by removing the decorative fireplace that came with the house and replacing it with shelves built into the opening. I started moving things away from that area and discovered that the carpeting closest to the shelving was soaked and there was a puddle on the small strip of concrete between the wall and carpeting. Definitely is not a good thing!

We’d had rain for the past two days, in addition to the melting snow, and for some reason the basement decided to leak in a brand new place. We’d had occasional leaks through the fruit cellar into the laundry area, but since all that flooring was cement and sloped toward the sump pump hole it was more nuisance than serious. This new leak spread through Teacher’s closet-sized workroom and under the wall into the carpeted basement playroom.

When Teacher got home with Jo-Bear I showed him the problem and he immediately got the Shop Vac and vacuumed up all the water from the tool room. By the time he’d emptied the water, the tool room floor was covered again. We tried sucking the water from the carpeting with our carpet cleaner, but that only seemed to make it spread faster. We did the best we could then concentrated on picking up. By the next morning the wetness had spread another 2 feet into the carpet. I resigned myself to the fact that we would need to get new carpet, like it or not. Teacher agreed although he wasn’t happy that he couldn’t take care of the problem himself.

Friday night we cleaned College Boy’s room. College Boy, if you’re reading this you may want to stop now. Really, go find Irish Girl and watch a movie or something. Don’t you have homework? How about a computer game? *sigh* OK, it’s your choice – read on at your own risk… We were tired and overwhelmed by the amount of stuff lying on the floor, desk, bookcase, pretty much any horizontal surface. We decided to do things the “easy” way and got some boxes from the garage. Anything that wasn’t obviously garbage like empty candy bags or scraps of paper was boxed up and put in the attic or the far corner of his closet. The girls remade the bed, swept the floor and emptied the trash then we were ready for our guest!

Well, except for the basement. I’d wanted it clean so he could use the computer down there whenever he wanted, but with the pond formerly known as carpeting occupying half of the room that didn’t seem like such a good idea after all. I’m just glad we were cleaning it and discovered the leaking before more things were ruined. So far we have about 4 wet books and a ruined cardboard box – in addition to the carpeting. But since there were tons more books and things stored in that area it could have been much worse. It’s hard to believe but I’m glad we had to clean!

Amy Sue

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