Friday, June 18, 2010

Like It Never Even Happened

Have you seen the animated ads where disaster strikes in a house, be it a fire or flood, and these two characters jump out of a green van or parachute in, get to work hoovering up the mess and slam the van-door shut when they leave?

Yesterday morning, crack of way before dawn, I am out in the kitchen slicing cherry tomatoes for drying in the oven and boiling the vinegar mix to can all the jalapenos I had sliced up the night before. We are in full-swing with harvest/canning/freezing around here. I pause to wonder why the water pressure seemed a little low..... hmmmm.. what's up with that?

Around 6 am I hear John screaming from the bedroom and go racing in find the foyer, hallway, bedroom and bathroom with over an inch of water and what sounds like the shower blasting away! There is water POURING out of the ceiling above the loo and John racing out the door to shut off the water supply.

I am in shock. What the heck happened?

We are sucking up the water as fast as we can with our ShopVac, THANK GOD we had one and I am thinking all the while, "Like it never even happened. I wonder how early I can call Servpro."

I dial at 6:30. This is after we have sucked out and poured away at least 6 vacs full of water and the carpet is making that splishsplish sound as I mince my way to and from the bathroom.

"I wonder if the wood floors will survive this.... I wonder if I should cancel the Sunday BBQ. I wonder what happened......... I wonder if the water heater is going to come crashing thru the ceiling any minute now. I wonder if I can get Linda Kay to cover my shift. I wonder if I should stop a minute and let the chickens out. I wonder if I turned the vinegar off the boil."

"I wonder if that nice plumber from Metairie is willing to hightail it up to the boonies... I trust him."

"I wonder if my insurance agent gets to work by 8:00am. I call. 8:30 is the opening bell so I call the 800 number and file a claim. I tell him I have contacted both a plumber and the Servpro people and am told I have done everything right. Well can I tell you how calming that statement can be? I am this close to panic.

I empty the rooms of anything I can lift out and the living room is looking like it did a year ago when we moved in! This is BEFORE I realize the closet is saturated as well.

My portfolios of artworks going back 30 years are soaking up the water and I pull all the papers out and litter the flat surfaces around the house with them. Great great great. This is so wonderful to see........ wow remember that one? Oh look, pastels from Alaska and Sweden.

"I wonder if the water has gone as far as the back wall...... yes. Of course it has....... I wonder if I can pick up the filing cabinet without emptying it first. Don't be a ninny.. you don't need a trip to the hospital now......."

The Servpro crew is here by 8:15am and get busy. Amazing equipment they have. Once they get the water we missed sucking out the door, they begin tearing out the baseboards and drilling 2" holes to get the moisture from the walls. The sheetrock has wicked some water way down low thru the presswood baseboards so good thing they did that. Meanwhile I am shaking my head. I know there is no earthly way ANY equipment is going to get the water out from the concrete slab beneath the padding beneath the carpet. This is a mess and I think the carpet is going to come out. So I start unloading the bookshelves and wonder where I am going to drag the dresser and the bed and the list goes on.........

Meanwhile John and Mitchell (Servpro tech) have located the source of the problem. We had already determined the waterheater was NOT the source. It's pan is bonedry so what in the world did this? A 1/2" pipe leading to the bathroom is severed and did the damage but why? Why did it break?

The plumber extraordinaire arrives and solves the mystery and here is where I begin to lose composure.

We have a well. We live in a high acidic water table. The lower pH causes a chemical reaction with the brass in the fittings of the plastic PEX pipes and over time causes them to erode. The pressure from the water severed the corroded fittings and BAM. The fittings gave way. The water pump should have a filter that raises the pH...... but we don't have this filter apparently. (really?)

"I wonder why NOBODY EVER TOLD US ABOUT THIS!!!!!!!!!!!" I am beginning to panic. I feel the pressure rising in my heart

So off he went to buy supplies up the road and John went off with a sample of our water for testing and sure enough 5.5 when it should be 6.8. (that company will be here today to install the filter)

While he is gone the plumber returns and repairs the fittings after warning me that this is not the end of the problem. IF what he suspects is the case, the whole HOUSE may have to be replumbed. (yea me!!!!)

His assistant turns on the water and I hear screaming coming from the bathroom! Another pipe has burst!!!!! This one leading to the toilet itself from the wall and that water is flowing thru the bathroom into the bedroom.

Now can I panic? No. It does no good to lose composure in the face of crisis so I tear out of the house to turn off the water source and go back to see the look on the faces of the Servpro guys looking back at me in wonder. "What happened?" They start hoovering again.

John calls and I tell him what has occurred.

You know what I did? I went back to slicing tomatoes, boiling and peeling tomatoes. Canning jalapenos. Cleaning the eating area. I went back to working on stuff I could "control". Mail, bills.

I looked in now and then and found baseboards lied up outside, the Servpro owner arrived and asked if the adjuster had been there. No , no call from him yet. What did we want to do about the saturated carpet. Tear it out please. Regardless what the insurance does for us, out it goes. I know from experience there is no way to dry concrete with the carpet down.

They haul the carpet and pad out the door and I see that was the right decision. Now there are more holes around the foot of the floor. HUGE dehumidifiers and fans everywhere. NOISE like I wish my hearing was still gone.

At around 4:20 we head over to the carpet store to take home some samples. Still no sign of the adjuster but at this point I don't really care. I just keep telling myself, "like it never even happened..... like it never even happened."

At 6 John says, "What the he....?" and I look over at Shasta.

She found the pastels.
So how was YOUR day?

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