Clean up: old basement. Day 2 progress

Today, I went back to finish up that last corner of the basement section I was working on yesterday. Altogether, I only put in an hour, and the rest will have to wait.

Here is all that was left to go through and clear out.

And here is me, ready for action!

I used the medical gloves this time, as the bigger gloves don’t allow for much fine motor control. I also discovered that I can use the touch screen of my phone while wearing them!

My phone is in a protective case that is meant to go into a larger wallet type case, held in place with a magnet. I never use the case, but the magnetic back has turned out to be surprisingly handy. Today, I could stick the phone to the ducts from the furnace and crank my tunes while I worked. 😀

Though there wasn’t much left in this shelf – mostly plant pots – I still found plenty of interesting other things!

I remember this candle!

It was among the stuff inside the storage house, when my parents first got it and had it moved into the yard.

I’m the destructive child that started burning the candle. The wick is in the tree stump, but as it burned down, the squirrel’s head stuck out above it. I can’t remember anymore if I broke the head off on purpose or by accident. 😀

Ooo! Nice! I’m keeping this awl. I found it in a bucket of… odds and ends. A bit of clean up, and it’ll be a very handy addition to my crafting tools. I already have one, but an extra is never a bad thing! 🙂

There were, of course, items carefully tied up in plastic bags. Including…

… a bed pan.

Well, I guess my late father did need one before he went into the nursing home. Hiding it in a plastic bag and burying it among plant pots seems a bit odd to me. I suppose we’ll keep it, but it’ll have to get stored somewhere else!

This is one of those things where I know what it is. I just don’t know why it is. 😀 I have no clue what this was used for before it ended up left to rust on a shelf.

Then I found something long, carefully wrapped up in 3 bags.


This is a rather new camp chair. It’s also the chair in the best condition of all of the chairs in the basement. This one can actually be used! 😀

It’s staying out.

There were a few curious things in this old drawer sitting on the shelf.

I’ve been finding old pick ax or adze heads and shoe forms in the oddest of places. I’ve found some in the old kitchen, too.

My late father used to work in a shoe factory in the city, before my parents bought the farm. I’m sort of assuming these shoe forms are from there, though why he would have kept them when he stopped working there, I have no idea. I also don’t know where they have been all these years, because I never, ever, saw them when I was a kid.

Hidden behind a stack of plant pots, I found a bottle of spray cleaner.

Except… it wasn’t.

More poison for tree.

This bottle is quite full.

That got added to the pile of stuff that requires special disposal.

Then there was the mystery liquid.

The bottle I’m holding looks like a typical litre container for engine oil, with a squeeze bottle cap from a condiment container screwed on. There is no label, and nothing written on it. The cap is open.

There isn’t a lot of liquid inside, and I have no desire to open it up or pour any out, to see what it is!

Finally, the shelf was clear and I could move it out!


That’s an odd assortment under there. There is a fair bit of water damage to the pieces of wood, as well as the bottom of the shelf. The bottom shelf is completely bowed on the side that was against the wall. The shelf itself is pretty wobbly. I don’t think it’s worth putting back and using again.

Once this was all cleared out, I was able to sweep the walls and floor. Next, I was going to mop it, but I figured I should see if I could clear out that floor drain a bit more, first.

Which is when I made a discovery.

I pulled out some tree roots!

That was basically all I found in there, but I also discovered something else.

It doesn’t just have a drain opening towards the septic tank. It has 4 drain openings. The roots came from the opening facing away from the septic tank.

I can’t think what trees are close enough to the house on this side, that would sent roots through there! Even the two trees that had to be cut down because they were threatening the roof were not that close; they were just leaning towards the house instead of growing straight.

Then something occurred to me.

When my parents bought this place, there was no running water. Laundry was still being done in the basement, though, with hot water brought down from being heated on the wood burning cook stove. The drain would predate the septic system.

Which means that it drains into the soil under the floor.

Now, the concrete on this side of the basement is not the original concrete. A new layer had been added. Not over all the basement, however.

This is the floor in front of the furnaces. The area I’m standing in is where wood was kept, back when the wood burning furnace was still being used. The broken edge did extend further – I remember pieces of it breaking loose, back when I used to chop wood in here – but it never completely covered the section the wood was kept in.

By the floor drain, we can see where a concrete patch had been added around it; it makes the area around the drain higher, so water has to be swept into the drain, or it just puddles around it. That patch can be seen extending in a line towards the access pipe. I plan to ask my brother and see if he remembers whether a pipe was added from the drain to the septic pipe.

Those other three openings, though, seem to drain right into the soil.

I just can’t see that as a good thing!

At least, based on what I was feeling under there, I can see for sure that nothing was washed away! After a few inches, those three openings were packed quite full of soil.

Once I scooped some of the sludge out, it was time to start mopping.

And mopping.

And mopping.

Then, I just took a bucket of water and poured it onto the floor in sections to rinse away the suds and bleach, and sweeping it towards the drain.

Being able to just dump water onto the floor is at least one advantage to having an unfinished basement and concrete floor! 😀

All done!

At this point, I can do nothing else until the floor is completely dry. I’ve set the blower to speed that job up, but I don’t expect it to be fully dry until tomorrow, at the earliest.

Tomorrow afternoon, however, I am taking my mother’s car in to get the differential worked on. I also now have an appointment the next day to take my mother to her new doctor. That should be interesting. They assigned her file to the same doctor my husband and I now have. Having already seen him a couple of times, I am confident she will be well cared for. The only problem I foresee is, he’s not white and my mother is racist. I plan to say lots of positive things about our experiences with him so far – including getting the pain clinic to contact my husband after two years on the waiting list, but only 2 months since this doctor sent in a new referral. Granted, it was just to mail him a 17 page questionnaire, not call him for an appointment, but it’s a start! I’m hoping that having a positive review of him will make her less … unfortunate … when she finally sees him in person. I will also have to remind her to focus on why she is seeing the doctor, and not get distracted by talking about her interpretations of politics, religion, history and race relations!

Friday was supposed to be a trip to the hospital in the city for some tests on my husband, but he just called them to reschedule. I didn’t know this, but apparently the covid-19 corona virus has reached our province. Hospitals would be more high risk places – especially this particular hospital – and he would be considered as having a compromised immunity. He doesn’t want to take a chance, so he asked to reschedule.

Which means the girls and I will likely be going into the city to do our monthly shop, instead.

With all that going on, I’m thinking we might be able to get some work done in the basement tomorrow evening, but I likely won’t have another chance to work on it again until the weekend.

Which is okay. It’s not like we have a deadline or anything. 😉

Now that I’ve started, though, I’m really looking forward to getting the job done! I think I’m most looking forward to finally dismantling that old hot water tank, so we can take it out, piece by piece. I really want to know what it looks like inside! They don’t make them like this anymore, that’s for sure!

It’s going to be really different down there, once we’re done!

The Re-Farmer

5 thoughts on “Clean up: old basement. Day 2 progress

  1. Pingback: Long Day | The Re-Farmer

  2. Pingback: Clean Up: old part basement. Mopping and scrubbing | The Re-Farmer

  3. Pingback: Morning kitties, and more digging | The Re-Farmer

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