Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Ok Winter, Time to Go

I love winter usually. Everyone complains about the cold, and I secretly love it. I feel like it's a nice break from the oppressive heat and humidity of the summer. I can't feel guilty for not doing more out in the garden, because the garden is dormant.  Evenings are long, so it feels like we have more time to relax. 

Except I'm through with winter now.  Done. Ready for spring. 

We have had record breaking cold weather this year, along with most of the northeast.  We were getting through it, running the pellet stove and cussing because the heat pump was using so much electricity.  It wasn't enough, though, to combat the extreme lows and brisk winds.  The water line to the upstairs bathroom sink froze and busted.  Ugh. 

Friday, February 20, we had gone to run some errands and do some shopping.  It was Friday night and we were excited to get home and watch a movie and relax, maybe pop some popcorn.  We got home at 7pm and walk in with groceries in our arms.  As soon as I got into the kitchen, I could hear a roaring sound....like the bathtub faucet was running.  I immediately knew what it was...BROKEN PIPE!!!! 

I ran farther into the house, and yelled to David, "HOW DO YOU SHUT OFF THE WATER?!!!!"  He immediately ran down to the basement to shut off the main water valve coming into the house.  The water stopped gushing, and we looked around. 

I have never in my life felt so panicky as I did in that moment. It was truly awful.  We love our house, and seeing a big chunk of drywall on the floor and water everywhere was heart breaking.  Water poured out of the ceiling, onto the hardwood floor. It then not only ran down the stairs into the basement, but also seeped through the floor so it was "raining" in the basement.

All of my yarn and soap business stuff was in the basement. Luckily, most of my yarn was bagged or in totes, and I was able to dry what got wet (an amount that would fill 2 trashbags).  

The bathroom ceiling was also dripping.  You can see almost the entire ceiling was wet.

And insulation splashed everywhere!!  The entire floor had about 1/2" of water on it.

I have to admit, the shock of it all got the best of me.  I remember starting to shake (like trembling, not convulsing, ha), and David and I sort of just stood there, looking around the soaking wet basement.  I went upstairs and called my mom, in tears.  I couldn't even think straight, and I just needed someone to tell me what to do.

Long story short, a plumber came out and put a valve in the line to the upstairs bathroom so we could restore water to the rest of the house.  Some very good friends came over and helped with the clean up. We focused our efforts upstairs, to get the hardwood floors dry and get all the drywall and insulation cleaned up.  After several hours, we collapsed on the couch.

We called several companies like Servpro and Service Master, hoping to get someone in to help get all of the wet carpet and drywall out.  Unfortunately, this whole area had such bad problems with pipes freezing, we got put on a waiting list and have STILL not heard back from either company.

We spent the weekend clearing out the basement of the wet carpet and padding, soaking wet dropped ceiling, and anything else that was ruined.  We took LOTS of pictures for the insurance company. Luckily, they have been great through this.  Also, David's brother has been a HUGE help to us. He and David did most of the ripping out of carpet and ceiling tiles.

Now we're calling around and getting prices for repair work. There's going to be lots of drywall replaced, painting done, new carpet, etc.  After the initial shock of Friday, and the denial of Saturday (as in, "Do I really need to get out of bed? If I stay here I can pretend it didn't happen.), I quickly moved on to the "oh well, it is what it is" stage.  Now I'm sort of excited at the thought of a project.

It will be a hectic few weeks (or months?) repairing everything, but I know it will look great when it's done!  And I keep thinking it could have been worse. We were only gone for about 4 hours. What if it had been all day at work or something?  We could have been displaced from our home.  Luckily for us, it's just an inconvenience.

I will say, I will really try not to complain about the heat this summer.  :-)


Becky said...

I am so sorry that you guys are having to deal with this! I can't imagine how horrible it was to come home to that. I felt horrible for you. I'm so glad the insurance co. is doing such a great job and I can't wait to see pictures of the repairs because I know it'll look amazing when it's all done. :)

3 Dogs Barking Farms said...

This winter has been a killer. I know so many people either with busted pipes or ice damns on their roofs causing leaks and damage. Spring has to come doesn't it? But I did smell a skunk today on my way to work so I think that's a definite sign spring is coming. Hang in there and I like your attitude sure you have damage now but think about how nice it will look when its all fixed!

Gregg Hogan said...

I cannot imagine what it is like in the northeast during winter. I am in Florida and we get maybe a week of really cold weather. I enjoy the snow but not enough to have to live with it for two or three months. Anyways, sounds like you avoided a disaster by getting there in time. Water leaks like that can ruin everything. Sorry that you had to go through this.

Gregg Hogan @ American Basement Solutions

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