As I’ve mentioned, my house is over a hundred and twenty years old. It was built with a stone foundation–the basement looks like a dungeon in the right light. Stone basements, by design, “seep” moisture. For the most part, this is not a huge deal–we may get a bit of moisture around the edges of the room. However, if we get a lot of rain, such as we had over the week of the Fourth of July, it gets very wet.
This presents a few challenges. Since the cats’ litterboxes are in the basement, it makes it less-than-pleasant for them. My clever wife has kludged around the problem on occasion, but it wasn’t perfect. Also, since the clothes washer and dryer are in the basement, it makes it difficult to work–you can slip carrying down a full basket of clothes, and if you drop a sock going from the washer to the dryer, it’s not good. We’ve looked for a solution, but never found anything that was both functional and cost effective.
However, we were walking through IKEA last weekend, and came across the Platta decking. Meant for outdoor decks, it is sold in packs of nine one-foot squares. The squares snap together almost like LEGO, and can be rearranged. It was similar to other solutions we considered, but much cheaper. We guestimated the area that would cover a strip from the bottom of the stairs to in front of the washer and dryer, and got four containers.
Installation is fairly easy–as I said, you simply lay one square on the other. The bottom of the square has pegs that go into loops on the edge. There was an open box at IKEA, and we set up a floor in about two minutes to check out (which several other couples checked out as well). Setting up the four boxes took about fifteen minutes for the initial pass.
The four boxes covered the area we wanted, with some left over–we may reconfigure it, or possibly get another set to expand it. For a couple of reasons, I’m not keen to do the whole basement (a combination of cost, and wanting to be able to do work on the cement floor). However, it looks good. As of this writing, I can’t say how it will perform with serious rain–we simply haven’t had any (perhaps it will get mentioned in a hodge-podge). One thing I like is that I can pull the floor easily if it is causing a problem with drainage.
However, it looks like it may be a great solution to our basement issue, and perhaps the end to the cat bridge.