The heaviest substance known to man

…is carpet and pad saturated with floodwater. On Saturday Lisa and I stripped the carpet out of the basement, where it got flooded last Sunday. It was a slow job. We had to gingerly move all the bookshelves, CD racks, and other furniture pieces, which fortunately kept all my media up, dry, and out of harm’s way; we opted to just kind of shift them fully loaded rather than try to unload them, since there was no dry surface to put anything. The carpet fibers were tenaciously holding onto the water they had absorbed—until you tilted a piece of the carpet, at which point everything ran down in streams onto the floor. And there is no better sponge than the miscellaneous processed lint pieces that constituted the carpet pad that was under that rug. All told it took about fifteen garbage bags, two utility knife blades, a few bandaids, and a lot of cursing and Advil. But it was worth it; except for one remaining utility room carpet, everything is now dry in the basement and garage.

We did make an interesting discovery: a pit covered with a few boards toward the front of the house concealed the original cleanout for the house’s drainage line. A plumber who was looking at the cleanouts on Saturday reported that the cleanout couldn’t be shifted any more, but cheerfully pointed out that we had multiple other entry points into the line if it ever needed to be snaked. The good news about the pit is that it might be a good location to place a sump pump.