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Lesson Learned: Fogged-Up Windows = Flooded Basement


2010_01_16_blog_flooded_basement 001Today’s Proverb: He who has fogged-up windows, should check the basement.

I woke up this morning on the coattails of a knock-down cold, and thought, “That’s odd, the windows are all steamed up.” Perhaps it was the Nyquil numbing me, but I thought no further of it.  I then noticed that the same was true in the bathroom, and then again on the staircase. It was foggy outside, so I thought the household humidity level was just weather related. An hour into coffee sipping, dog pampering and waking up, I noticed my kitchen windows were dripping with rivulets  of condensation.   The downstairs is heated; the upstairs is not. This made no sense; it was a balmy 62 degrees in my kitchen nook. And like the Home Alone kid with palms pressed to my face, I let out a wale (and a few expletives for good measure). It hit me; moisture rises, check the basement. 2010_01_16_blog2_flooded_basement 006I opened the basement door to a shimmering wonderland of wetness. Esther Williams and a parcel of penguins would have been happy with my underground cement pond–water crystal clear and  floating foreign objects few but recognizable. (So that’s where all of my gardening gloves went.) If my high school geometry recollection was correct (volume in gallons = width x heighth x depth x 7.841 gallons per cubic foot), I was sitting atop 1292 gallons of water. Steamy windows, indeed.

So, if you have a sump pump in your basement, make sure the little floater ball that trips the pump into operation is not perceived to be a chew toy by your curious bulldog.  Or if you’re a really smart home and dog owner, you’ll return the protective grill over the pump pit to keep this from happening in the first place.

Boz_on_chairBoz, who chooses the finest chairs for his time-out, is unavailable for comment. My time-out starts later, once the basement is dry.


  1. Oh good heavens! That is a bummer. I’d say something positive like “the extra moisture will help you get rid of your cold faster”, but you’re in the Pacific Northwest and PW colds are a “bitch”. Must be our furry friends are getting bored – mine ate into a brand new box of SOS pads the other day and managed to down one before I caught him. The big guy wanted to try a magnet to get it out …picture that!

  2. Thanks everybody, for the well wishes. It’s official; the basement is now dry-ish, but a dump run is order for some saturated and smelly cardboard boxes and old blankets.

  3. Fortunately we don’t have a basement. However, our window seals are shot, so foggy drippy windows are the norm here in winter. I’m so sorry about your basement though. Do you have a dehumidifier? I don’t think we could live without one…we’d be pruned by spring otherwise 😛

    I thought maybe Boz was up on the chair in case the water level started to rise higher. Poor Boz, it’s an easy mistake to make. He does look very sorry.


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