Wednesday, June 30, 2010

is that sewage on my head?

It's always something.

Monday night, Pat and I were cleaning up from dinner (isn't he wonderful?) and yelled out, "there's water dripping down the wall!"

I ran up stairs knowing full well that the water was coming from the girls' bathroom that is directly above the kitchen. There was water every where. It hadn't gotten to the point where it was spilling out of the doorway into the hall, but the entire area around the toilet and tub was about 1/2 to 3/4 inches deep in water. It didn't appear as though the toilet was overflowing from the bowl, but it was running and the tank was empty. I pulled up the float to stop the flow of water, while I looked below for the shut off valve.

Once the water was turned off, I called for the girls to get me towels & lots of them. After cleaning that mess up, I went back down to the kitchen to see how bad the damage was. As soon as I entered the room I saw the tell-tale wet spot on the ceiling. It wasn't huge, but it certainly was there. Pat was emptying out the cabinets above the stove as it seemed water was seeping in. Water was dripping out of the corners of the soffits above the cabinets as well. While cleaning some of this up, I realized the carpet in the threshold between the kitchen and the dining room was wet. I grabbed a towel to soak it up and headed downstairs to see how bad it may have gotten.

As soon as I turned the corner at the bottom of the stairs, I was greeted by a large puddle of water on the floor. I yelled up to Pat that we had a situation. I had Sarah bring me a few buckets and I began moving things out of the way. The water was coming down in a steady drip, but not a major stream. It appeared that the water was running along the sewage pipe from upstairs. As I'm placing buckets strategically on the floor, I get hit with numerous large drips. Pat asks me, "is that sewage, or clean water?"

We get a few more towels and mop up the mess. Meanwhile, the girls were getting madder and madder. Right before the water started flowing from the ceiling, the girls were getting ready to head to the pool for the swim team ice cream social and raft night. They were beginning to realize that they were not going to be able to go. I am sure they will remember this for the rest of their lives as the night the toilet ruined their whole existence!

The water was all cleaned up and the kids finally put to bed while Pat and I pondered what on earth we were supposed to do next. We speculated on the cause of the problem (busted wax seal under toilet, cracked pipe, broken toilet, clogged toilet) and then do we try and repair it ourselves, do we make a homeowners claim, or not? So much to decide. Pat goes to get himself a bowl of ice cream to help him think and realized the water spot on the ceiling has grown and brought a couple of friends to the party. The initial spot has now started to bubble. He grabed a knife and poked a hole and then the small drip we had, became a steady stream of water for about 5 minutes (I might be exaggerating-and I think I tweeted that it was 10 minutes- but it sure felt like it).

Yesterday morning, we contacted the insurance company. They suggested we call a restoration service to have the water damage cleaned up and informed Pat that the policy doesn't cover the actual plumbing repair. While I went to work, Pat got busy making phone calls. I came home to 7 industrial fans and 3 dehumidifiers set up in the house. Insulation along the pipes had gotten soaked, the wet carpet was worse than we thought and actually might need to be removed. The area rugs we had in the basement have been taken away to be cleaned. The plumber was on his way and the insurance adjuster is set to come out on Friday.

We were just debating getting estimates for finishing the basement. Thankfully, it is not finished, the damage would have been SO much worse.

I took these with my BlackBerry, so they aren't the best quality. Sorry!

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