Today, I was finally able to continue working on cleaning up the old part basement.
For those who are new to visiting this blog (Welcome! Thanks for popping by!), click here to read about what happened, and you can see the clean up progress here, here, here and here. (All links will open new tabs, so you won’t lose your place! 🙂 )
I’ve really been kinda dreading what I need to work on next, which is to start putting back some of the things I had to move out during cleanup, and try and figure out what to keep, what to store elsewhere, and what needs to be disposed of. Hopefully, I won’t be finding any more hidden “poison for tree” containers hidden somewhere!
The first thing I did today was move the blower fan to a different area, so I could do a bit more clean up in the last section I had worked on.
The photo on the left is how it looked when I last worked in this section. There was still a lot of dust and dirt in the area, but trying to sweep it did more to kick the dust into the air than get rid of it.
In the process, I discovered a light fixture hidden between two furnace ducts! I had to have seen it before, but simply forgot it existed. It’s very well hidden! (As an aside, I had my phone on one of the ducts near where I was working, held in place by the magnetic case, playing music. I later found out the girls could hear my music on the second floor, through the vents!)
There are so many odd little lights around this old basement. This half of the basement alone has one of two lights that turn on with the switch at the top of the stairs, one that has its own switch at the side closer to the new part basement, and one above the septic pump that has no switch. It is screwed in and out to turn it on and off. Now I find the light with the pull chain between the ducts, so that’s 4 lights on this side of the stairs. On the other side of the stairs is the other light that’s turned on by the switch at the top of the stairs, a light with a pull chain above the sump and well pumps, and another with its own light switch closer to the furnaces.
That’s a total of 7 lights in one little basement!
Anyhow. Where was I? Oh, yes. Cleaning.
I was even able to wash this section of wall a bit. The other walls were too crumbly, and the best I could do was sweep them gently, but this wall is solid. Since this wall is part of the original basement, but became an internal wall after the new part was added, it tells me that the crumbing of the exterior basement walls is probably due to all sorts of moisture from the soil around it.
Waterproof sealants probably didn’t exist when this basement was built.
As for the clean up today, this time I didn’t even try to use the mop bucket, and just set up in the laundry sink. That water got so black! Even after changing the water several time and rinsing the floor several times, it was still really filthy.
We’re not going to be able to use this mop anywhere else in the house anymore. 😀 No amount of washing and rinsing of the mop will get it clean enough!
Once the floor was washed and rinsed as best I could, I set up the blower, then turned my attention to the two shelves we will be able to reuse.
I started by washing and scrubbing the shorter one.
I gave it a good scrubbing – after first removing the nails that were used to attach it to the pillar it was next to, originally – then flipped it upside down to do the bottoms of the shelves. You can see the water damage on the “legs” of the shelf, even though it was raised off the floor by bricks.
When this shelf was scrubbed and rinsed (and I took advantage of all that soapy water to mop that section of floor again), I dragged out the taller shelf.
It needed some nails removed before I could start cleaning it, too.
This one has less water damage on its bottom, but was a lot dirtier. The section of wall it was next to is crumbling a lot more than where the shorter shelf was set up. At least this shelf is a lot sturdier, which made it easier to scrub.
Once they were done, I set them up where the blower is aimed, on bricks to keep the air circulating.
Though we will be using these shelves, because we need to, it will be temporary. When we are able to, we’ll pick up some plastic utility shelves to use instead. No wood. No metal. Not for this area!
Once we figure out what goes where of the stuff that got moved out of the shelves, we plan to use them to store bottles. We’ve got a stack of bottles from hard apple cider that we’ve been accumulating over the past two years that will be used as bottle bricks when we do our cordwood practise building. There are also lots of other bottles and jars all over the place, and as we clean those up, we will set aside the one we want to use at bottle bricks as well, so we’ll have other colours as well as ones with no colour at all. The outdoor bathroom we’re planning to make as our first practice building is not going to have any windows in it. Bottle bricks will be used, instead, so all light while maintaining privacy. Whichever wall ends up facing south the most, will have the most bottle bricks with no colour in them for maximum sunlight.
Storing these in the old basement will also mean we’ll have access to water, and the old laundry sink that has turned out to be so very handy. The bottles and jars will need to be cleaned and sterilized before they can be made into bricks.
Little by little, it’s getting organized!
All of this took only about an hour, and it feels like I should have done more, but everything needs to dry before I can continue. Hopefully, I’ll get a bit more progress in tomorrow.
Now, before I forget again, I’m going to go back into the basement and get the dehumidifier that’s down there running.