cleaning, technology

In the Event of a Water Emergency, Please Have a
Shop Vac and Dehumidifier on Hand


How a Dehumidifier and Shop Vac Became Our New Favorite Things

Judging by the amount of rain we’ve had lately, we should have bought an ark instead of a house. Over the past few weeks, it has rained more days that not. Some of the storms that have passed through have been quite powerful, with torrential downpours coming in waves. While this has been great for the grass seed we sprinkled in front of the house, it hasn’t been very good for the basement.

I think I brought this on myself, actually. I jinxed myself by boasting to our new friends that we have had a completely dry basement despite the mounds of snow melted this spring. And then the rains started. In fact, it was raining while I was bragging about our dry basement.

“I’m not worried,” I said to a few locals. “Our basement hasn’t leaked yet!”

A few hours later, The Mister was wading into Lake Basement and using a mop and bucket to sop the water. When will I learn to keep my mouth shut?

Like most things for the house, a dehumidifier for the basement was on the wish list … somewhere near the bottom. The basement has always had that musty, damp underground feeling and I knew that a dehumidifier would help with that. It never seemed like a pressing purchase until we experienced the flooding. Right then and there the dehumidifier leapfrogged over countless other items to the top of the wish list.

I ordered a dehumidifier from Amazon the morning after the flooding. Within a couple hours of plugging it in, it had already sucked an incredible amount of moisture out of the room. Within twenty four hours the basement felt dryer and smelled fresher.

Scarred by the memory of mopping up a basement full of water, The Mister suggested we pick up a shop vac as well. On the same afternoon that we hooked up the dehumidifier, we picked up a wet/dry vacuum for any future flooding emergencies.

And, yet again, we may have jinxed ourselves. Within a couple of days after we bought the shop vac, we experienced another major rainstorm. I kept running down to the basement and calling back up to The Mister with reports.

“All dry down here!” I’d say. “It looks like we won’t need that shop vac after all!”

And then, just before we were both about to turn in for the night, Lake Basement reappeared once again. I sprang into action with the shop vac, sucking up water and enlisting The Mister to help me carry the tank outside to empty it. Unlike our previous flooding experience, when The Mister used a mop and bucket to collect all the water, the vacuum made short work of the task. After we had sucked up all the water and dumped it outside, we cranked the dehumidifier up to TURBO and by morning we had a dry basement all over again.

We’re trying not to stress about the basement flooding. I mean, it’s definitely something we’ll have to address at some point but we’re also aware that it took some seriously strong storms (the kind with tornadoes and hail) to flood the basement. Meanwhile, we’re now armed and ready for water emergencies.

Images: This American House

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