Mike Holmes has probably reached a point in his career where he can walk into a room infested with flaming baby vampires, casually evaluate the corollary property damage caused by the fire, and make the call to the Canadian contractor who specializes in flaming baby vampire removal, all without batting a muscular eyelid.
I bring this up as a year ago, we would have been horrified to see how the previous owners managed drainage in the front of the house. Now, we are merely disgusted.
Brown and I have been cleaning out the area under the cascading Japanese maple at the front of the house. This was going to be the last big outdoor project we’d tackle before winter, and we didn’t expect it to take more than a weekend. It was supposed to be a very easy four-stage process: (1) Clean out the crap; (2) Level the ground; (3) Plant bushes and add a step; and (4) Throw down some slate and add one of the concrete benches. Then, in the spring after the frost had passed, I’d add some moss and *poof!* Magic secret garden alcove right off of the deck.
Things went swimmingly in Stage 1:
We had known about the brick chips since we moved in. These bags are all over the property. We had seen some of them poking out from under the ivy near the house but we hadn’t really thought anything of it, since they are everywhere, and in some truly random locations.
But with the ivy gone, we could see that these particular bags were were purposeful. These were strategically placed to hold down the drainage pipes running from the gutters.
So… yes. Instead of having a happy, simple weekend project (which we should have easily FINISHED THIS MORNING, thank you very much…), now we have to dig. We have to dig down a foot or more and make some trenches for these drainage tubes, and then we can get to Stages 2, 3, and 4.
And this is now a necessary project because the ivy was disguising the fact that these drainage pipes actually do not drain water away from the house but instead channel water directly into it.
So now we have solved one of the mysteries of why the basement leaks. One down…