WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — In the wise words of Catherine Sartin, water is something you cannot live without, but something you certainly cannot live with either. So, after decades of living in Wilkes-Barre and getting a flooded basement whenever it rained hard enough, she finally decided to do something about it.
"It had to be taken care of, and anyone out there who's thinking 'no, I'll wait, I'll wait.' Don't wait, because this is hurricane season. It's here until November," she said.
After her basement flooded several feet on Christmas Day last year, ruining all of her appliances, Sartin called Birchwood Basement Waterproofing. And after Sunday night's rain from Tropical Storm Henri, she decided to call them again this week to finish the rest of the job.
"We did that side of the home because that was the worst part of the home. Now she called me two days ago after this last monsoon, and she's getting water on this side," Joseph Czarnecki explained. "We're going to have to do the same thing on this side of the basement, and then the French drain will take the water into where the sump pump is."
Czarnecki, the owner of the basement waterproofing business out of Dallas, explains that water will always find any weakness and get inside. Birchwood Basement Waterproofing uses what is called the French drain method. It doesn't stop the water from coming in, but the water enters the drain and eventually flows into the sump pump.
Czarnecki says the drain is made from gravel, concrete, and plastic pipe that lasts forever.
"Have had water for maybe the last 20 years, and every time it rains, they've been using a squeegee removing the water. Finally, they call us, we fix it, and they tell me, 'We should have had it done 20 years ago,'" he said.
And Catherine Sartin says her only regret is not doing the whole basement at once.
"The entire basement from the front to the back, the left and the right side of everything, and you'll be able to sleep at night."
The process only takes about a day or two, depending on the size of the basement. It is a loud process, though, with jackhammering.