A journal following the history, design, construction and operation of Bernard Kempinski's O Scale model railroad depicting the U. S. Military Railroad (USMRR) Aquia-Falmouth line in 1863, and other model railroad projects.
©Bernard Kempinski All text and images, except as noted, on this blog are copyrighted by the author and may not be used without permission.

September 20, 2011

Flood Repairs

It seems like Herman Haupt should not have been the only one concerned with floods taking out his trestle over Potomac Creek. I had my own flood to contend with and layout work has been stalled while we repair the damage. Though relatively minor it required that the whole basement carpet be removed. That wasn't too bad as a flood repair and mitigation company took care of it. They also brought in 8 powerful fans and a massive dehumidifier that got the basement dry as a bone in a few days. Even the carpet fragments under the sheet rock wall (more on this later) were dry. Since we rapidly drained the flood and quickly dried it out, there is no mold problem. Fortunately I was in the basement when the flood started. If I had gone to bed early that night, it could have been much worse.

The real work for us involves having to move all my camera equipment, Christmas decorations, lights, tools, furniture, electronic components, train stuff, books and magazines around to make room for the new flooring. Did I say books and magazines? Gosh, do I have a lot of them. I am taking this opportunity to cull down the pile. The 20 years of back issues of Model Railroader magazine went out today as my younger brother took them. Alicia promised to buy me the new DVD with 75 years of MR. That will free up prime shelf space which will be used for tool storage, including my new Sherline lathe that I haven't even opened the box yet.

New flooring in TV area
In the meantime, we decided to lay the new floor ourselves as the insurance company and flooring folks were taking their time. We went with a vinyl planking product sold by Home Depot called Allure. It is supposed to be "highly resistant to water" and ideal for basements. We'll see.

It is fairly easy to install, and looks remarkably like real wood. So far so good. Since it is comes in 6 inch wide by 3 feet long planks, you can do the area incrementally. So I will wait until the messy scenery work is complete in the main train room before laying them there. But the home office and crew lounge (AKA TV room) are done thanks to help from Joseph Franke and Alicia. In some places I used my automotive hydraulic floor jack to raise each leg of the layout as I slid the new flooring planks under. That worked pretty well.

Before I could install the floor, I had to partially disassemble a non-bearing sheet rock and stud wall to free a piece of carpet that a previous contractor had trapped. He built a new wall right over the existing carpet, driving the Ramset nails through the sill and carpet into the concrete floor. While a pain in the petunias, this was a great excuse to buy a new reciprocating saw and Estwing pry bar. My existing crow bar was too big to fit in the tight space without removing large chunks of sheet rock. It took about 3 hours to do the job, but I was able to finish it. The saw will come in handy as I cut some access holes to the benchwork under Brooke. Win-win!

Now I just need to replace all the shelf contents and sort through the disorder that comes from helpers moving all your stuff without knowing the organizational system.  Hopefully in about a week the basement and layout will be back to Full Mission Capable.


  1. When are Capability Acceptance Trials? :o)

    Glad the damage wasn't too serious; also glad the repairs weren't to strenuous...

  2. Still working on installing flooring. This was a busy week with two trips and house guests in for the Peace Corps Anniversary. No time to work in the basement.