My Mom and Dad’s home in River Falls, WI has a root cellar. When they bought the house in 1992 the basement was unfinished, driveway was gravel, and the house needed a new roof and siding. Since then Mom and Dad improved on all of those things and more, except the root cellar which I named “The Devil Room” because it gives me the creeps.
I have never liked spending time in basements. The darkness depresses me and I don’t like the cold. So you can imagine why I didn’t care for the root cellar. Needless to say, it was useless space unless used for storing canned food and such so it went unattended for years. We just closed the door and ignored it. Big mistake. Huge.
As the years went by my fear of the Devil Room increased. Dad asked me on many occasions to help him clean it out, but I was so freaked out by it I refused. It was damp, getting musty, and bugs were starting to reside. It was an irrational fear, I know. However, I just built up in my mind awful things growing and dripping in that stupid little room. Well, as Rev. Wright says “The chickens are coming home to roost”. With the death of my father in February, my family decided to move forward with plans to build a home so Mom can come live with us. Yep, you guessed it, we need to sell the River Falls house. The Devil Room and I have a date with destiny. I can hear my Dad laughing at me from heaven.
In this housing market, every little thing counts. The Devil Room has to be dealt with if we want to sell Mom’s house in a reasonable amount of time. Left alone it would be an issue for any buyer. So I decided to make it my project. I consulted several people on what to do and tackled the project with vigor and courage. Brad and I cleaned it out, my brother-in-law helped us scrape and smooth the cinder block, we washed it with bleach, soaked it, rinsed it, and used a shop vacuum to get the moisture out (thank you Dennis!). When it was reasonably dry I used hydraulic cement to fill any cracks and holes, and we painted it with masonry paint. It’s getting a new door and frame this week along with some flooring material. The Devil Room has been defeated!
I know my Dad would be proud and pleased. He never liked that stupid, creepy crawly room either. I also know what a complete ninny I have been. Had I just tackled the project when Mom and Dad moved in, I would not have had to deal with it now and would have rid myself of any worry and fear. Lesson learned.