Thursday, September 23, 2010

Water, Water Everywhere - Part 1

It's been nearly two weeks since the water line to the icemaker in our refrigerator failed in the middle of the night. Before we found the problem, water flowed for hours, ruining the hardwood floors on about 75% of the main level of our house. The water (which is still trapped between the floor and subfloor) also went to the lower level. When it reached the workshop it soaked Roger's computer, printer, monitor, etc., and his desk. So far we know that it also soaked the ceiling and a wall in the office bathroom and closet, plus the ceiling and a wall in the adjoining room. We still don't know the full extent of the problem, but we're getting closer to finding out.

The first restoration company I called was a nightmare to deal with. From the beginning I was under serious pressure to sign a blank document that they described as a "word order, not a contract". However, it called for me to pay them for their unknown, unpriced work within a specified period, or pay 1.5% per month interest. I think that if something looks like a contract, smells like a contract and someone intends to hold you to it, it WAS a contract.

I refused to sign it until the adjuster came and looked at the extensive damage, especially since I didn't know if I had insurance coverage. The restoration people didn't like this one bit, and the story goes on from there. They failed to drain one of their massive dehumidifiers before bringing it in the house, so it dumped dirty water on a carpet in the entryway. Then their truck took out a one foot section of a very nice stone retaining wall along our driveway, which fortunately Roger noticed right away. They've promised to pay for the repairs and I've sent them an estimate, but we'll see.

I'm now in the expert, professional hands of the people from Servpro who've been responsive, helpful and kind. My project manager Josh Hughey is the best, and he's been here for hours every day to make sure things go smoothly. Today a huge portion of our house is in the process of being emptied, including everything in the kitchen (cabinets, sink, appliance, island, etc.) so that the hardwood floors can be torn up and mitigation can begin. Then new floors have to be installed. Significant work also has to be done downstairs, and we're finding more problems every day.

It's all a big mess, but Roger and I are getting used to our little disaster zone. We're living in the bedroom, with a temporary kitchen in the laundry room, and for the moment I can still use my office.

Stay tuned...