The first thing I did on my way to work this morning was to check the Winnebago River’s rising waters. Of course as suspected, it was even higher this morning than it was yesterday. There were huge ponds of water on the north side of the Winnebago near the sledding hill of East Park. And when I drove down East State Street, I noticed the City workers had installed a large portable gas pump which was pumping water out of a sewer manhole and into the storm sewer. I can only imagine how many people had water in their basements these past several days. Of the four homes I showed this morning, two of them had more than just dampness in them.
Knowing Mason City as well as I do, there are certain subdivisions I personally would stay away from unless the owners would prove beyond a shadow of doubt that their basements have been dry. I would be understanding if there was say a tiny bit of puddling, but even that wouldn’t be satisfactory unless it was caused by torrential rains like we had earlier this summer, and/or what happened during the flooding of 2008.
After much personal research and firsthand experience, that’s all it takes for me to confirm a home having chronic water problems, is to do a complete inspection of a basement’s area. And of course I wouldn’t even think of buying a home that’s located on the downward slope of hill, because water seeps and weeps underground, and the points of least resistance is where it will flow, which is normally even the smallest of cracks in foundations and basement floors. Can those problems be corrected? Well maybe, and maybe not. It all depends if an owner is willing to spend thousands of dollars, and sometimes that doesn’t even take care of the entire problem.
What we are then left with, is either to live with annoying seasonal basement water issues by doing no finishing off of our basements, run dehumidifiers during the Spring, Summer, and Fall months, and leave it at that, or pay thru the nose to our high-tech water prevention companies to trench the inside perimeters of our foundations, as well as a criss-crossing of basement floors with trenches, install plastic drain tubing in them which lead to state-of-the-art sump pumps, and then refill the trenches with concrete.
In the end, you’re left to ask yourself if it would all be worth it, because it’s been proven that basement improvements give the least amount of return on investment–especially if there’s no finished areas in the lower levels. With that said, my advice is to decide if you’re planning to live in a given home with water issues for many years, or if it’s just a stepping-stone to bigger and better housing. Each home is much like a human where there’s not one exactly the same because of its particular geocode location on Mother Earth. With that said, what someone does with their basement who lives down the street, may not be the way to go with yours because of grade and sub-soil structure. If you don’t believe me, ask a soil expert how quickly top and sub-soil structures can change. Even the old farmers knew what fields produced the best for certain crops. And for some reason, most of them even knew the maximum depth they could build their basement walls on any given site if they didn’t want basement water issues.
My public open house today at 1141 – 14th St. SE was a success, and hopefully now that I’ve personally seen the improvements the owner has made, it’ll not surprise me if it sells quickly once the last of her improvements have been made and new photos taken and then posted online. I made well-deserved compliments on the updates that were added.
Finding I had time to drive out-of-town to a late afternoon Service at one of my familiar churches, that half hour trek I made was well worth it because of the first two readings before the gospel, which must’ve inspired the Pastor’s well thought-out sermon. The first reading was from the Book of Wisdom, and the second, from St. James’. Both of them spoke of the evils of jealousy, hatred, and greed. While driving back I had much to reflect upon regarding people I know who are hell-bent on making the lives of others miserable. As far as I’m concerned, no matter what accomplishments they make with their evil ways on this earth, karma will have the last say.
Karma is an interesting force, because I’m convinced that if it doesn’t make its correction with a given perpetrator, it will follow the blood-lineage thread of the evil-doer and settle its score with that person’s children and/or grandchildren. I came to understand long ago when watching the mechanics of given families, that actively hurting others, triggers a force of reckoning which sooner or late, arrives without notice and no mercy being given.
Of the two readings today, the one from the Book of Wisdom was my favorite. Now please don’t think me working at transforming myself into an alt-right religious freak because I’ve had many more than the average years of religious instruction to have finally come the understanding that within the confines of the Christian faith, its core of goodness is comprised of nothing more than Love and Forgiveness, and on the flip-side, fear being its core of evil. That’s it, and if your’ll looking for more understanding, it isn’t there.
Tonight’s one-liner is: Never underestimate the power of jealousy and envy to destroy.