Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The One Where We are Finally Dried Out...

Dear and Gentle Reader, I apologize for leaving you standing in a puddle.

As I recall, it was 9:00 am on Saturday, and I had just made noises that sounded very much like "squish squish squish" in one of the places that no homeowner ever wants to. Like anywhere inside your home.

Our "floating" wood floor... was literally floating.

I couldn't believe my eyes - there was water literally bubbling up around my feet.

I was standing in the hall. The Wrench was was standing there, staring at the water, too. For a heartbeat, everything was really, really quiet.

Then, TW sprinted into action, and ran to shut off the water to the house. As a result of the remodel, we now have two water mains, so to be safe, he shut off both. We grabbed towels first, and then began unloading closet floors, and trying to find where the water had been coming from. I grabbed my cell, and called our Contractor. It went straight to voicemail. ShitShitShit. I shouldn't have been surprised - it was a Saturday, after all, so none of the trades would be easily available today.

During all of the cleaning and the closet-unloading, I told TW about the outside faucet, and I apologized for not going out in the middle of the night to shut it off. I assumed that somehow it had flooded the house from the outside, or that perhaps the faucet had somehow broken inside the wall; if I had only gotten up at 3:00 am and turned it off!

Well, it turned out that the outside faucet had nothing to do with it, Gentle Reader.

Nor was it the record rainfall seeping into our home.

It was, in fact, a leak under our new bathroom sink.

I called and left a voicemail for the plumber. Breathe. Breathe. Stop - Don't panic. It could be worse, right? Shit. How could it be worse? The floor is already curling up. What if there is mold and mildew growing inside the walls now? Breathe. Breathe. Then, I called our insurance agent. He picked up on the second ring, but with him, we have the advantage of not only having his cell number, but also his home number, and his sister's number, and his mom's number as well. He and TW have been best friends since elementary school, so Like A Good Neighbor, he really is always there for us. Literally & figuratively, he's got our back. Panic begins to subside a little as he and TW laugh and chat like there is nothing wrong via the speakerphone.


The Wrench and I occupy about one-half of the new addition to the house; My Mom's suite takes about the other half. When I designed the addition, I split the space for the two suites exactly in half, but designed each suite specifically for it's occupants. Mom's suite focuses more space in the bathroom; her bathroom is ADA compliant, as is her bedroom. Four-foot wide french doors to the bedroom and bath make for easy access if she should ever need to be in a chair. A roll-in Roman shower with full glass doors and bi-level controls for bathing; the toilet is "handicapped height". Closets that are designed to be easily accessed by anyone. It is bright, and sunny, and cheerful; custom-painted her favorite shade of "shell" (the pinky-coral color found inside a seashell).

By comparison, our suite is quite different. Three-foot wide french doors open into our bedroom and bath, and while there are "grab bars" in the walk-in shower and next to the toilet, our bathroom would be uncomfortable at best for anyone in a chair. There is a roll-in Roman shower with glass doors, but with standard controls. Although it might be considered "small" by some, the layout allows both TW & I to easily occupy the bathroom at the same time with no problems. Because there are two of us, and we didn't need the ADA accommodations in the bath, I put the extra space into our bedroom. We have a 12-foot long closet wall; for the first time in our marriage we have enough closet space in our bedroom! Crisp white curtains cover all of our windows, and our king-size bed fits easily in the space.

The rest of the addition holds an enormous 6 'x 6' walk-in linen, a secondary kitchen pantry, and a niche built at the end of the hallway just to hold My Mom's massive china cabinet. At the opposite end of the new "back hall" that connects into the pre-existing house, is the new back door (that leads to the new patio and sidewalks)


That back hall was now full of soggy wood flooring.

TW isolated the problem pretty quickly, but because the all of the new plumbing in the addition is "PEX" instead of PVC or copper piping, he wanted to talk to the plumber and/or the contractor before he did anything.

Our insurance agent told us to leave the water off in the addition, and to move everything off of any portion of the floor we thought might have water under it. He told us not to worry - if the plumber wouldn't take care of the repairs through his insurance, then we could file a claim on our homeowners, and our insurance company would go to the plumber and/or his insurance company. No problem!

He also told us that his daughter had just gotten engaged, and that his '65 Mustang needs a tune-up. Oh, and one rather naughty limerick.

Now we are left for the weekend with only one bathroom. You see, during the whole remodel, we have left only one room "undone". Only one room had not been touched until the week before, and that was the guest bath. Now it was "off-limits" because the new tile flooring was going in, and the old toilet had been removed and thrown in the dumpster. The new toilet would arrive sometime next week. So, with the water off in the addition... we had only one bathroom.

Twinks bathroom.

The smallest bathroom in the house.

Luckily, it's right outside of My Mom's room, but it was still a struggle to help her remember to use that bathroom, and not hers. I don't know how many times during that weekend she came to find me, and tell me that her sink wasn't working...

The plumber returned the call . He assured us that everything would be made right again, and that even though he was out of town, he would get someone over to our house ASAP to get the leak isolated, and the water back on. He had already talked to the contractor, and made arrangements for everything to be taken care of.

The contractor, BTW, never called till Monday morning. But that's OK, because we have a great plumber, a great insurance agent, and a new limerick.

It took a couple of weeks - the flooring had to be ordered, and the plumbing issue turned out to be a bit more complicated than first thought, but all in all, it was finally fixed. No mold, no mildew - everything was cleaned and dried out, replaced or repaired.

Just in time to discover - the hard way - that we need french drains.



Chuck said...

I've heard of French doors, but not French drains. Sounds expensive, whatever it is. Hope the remodel is rapidly approaching its conclusion.

Karen said...

geesh, what a pain in the, well, you know. I am so glad there is no mildew or mold.

Suldog said...

Well, I'm glad to hear you all didn't drown in your house, so that's a good thing :-)

I, too, have no idea what French Drains are. Do they go "Le gurgle, le gurgle, le gurgle"? Only accept Evian Water? Have pencil-thin pointy mustaches, wear berets, and smell of cigarettes and goat cheese?

In any case, God bless, Thim.