Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Story Continues

Having spent the day thoroughly thrashing the bunny hill we were happy to call it quits around 5 pm and head for home. The drive was pleasant. It was warm in the van (outside it had warmed up to 11), the conversation was animated as the kids rehashed every run and fall and planned the festivities for the next two days. I was exhausted, happy, and looking forward to a nice hot shower and bed. The only thing that would have made it better is if the dreamed of hot tub was actually installed on the back deck (also existing only in dreamland). A nice hot soak would be heaven.

We got home at 7:15. I ran in to get the fire started while C and the kids gathered bits from the van. When I opened the door I heard water running, like someone had left the shower on full blast. The distinct smell of wet plaster and wallpaper hit me like a brick. I rushed through the house looking for the source and was greeted by a giant hole in the living room ceiling, water pouring down over everything. I stood there in shock for a few moments, watching it rain in the room we had just finished. C and the kids came in and jarred me out of my stupor. Turn the water off my brain screamed, and my body finally responded. The basement was filled with about 6 inches water (apparently the sump pump failed too)which I had to wade through to get to the main shut off. At that point I felt like sinking down into the muddy cold water and just crying. Instead I trudged back upstairs to assess the damage.

It seems that one of the water lines in to the upstairs bathroom had frozen the night before and thawed while we were gone. When we put in the upstairs bathroom I ran a 1 inch feeder line so we would have plenty of water pressure up there. When the pipe thawed it blew a hole through the wall of J's bedroom and sprayed water across her room and into the newly created closet (which just happens to be above the living room.) Water then ran through the old floorboards, spreading out over the plaster ceiling below. Eventually the plaster collapsed. The living room was soaked, so was the laundry room (situated directly below J's bedroom) and the downstairs bathroom.



Our lovely living room

We tucked the kids into our bed, called the insurance company to start the claim process, and started mucking out. By 1 AM we had shifted the bulk of the plaster off things and out the door, hauled out the rugs from the living room and bedroom, vacuumed up as much water as we could, installed high powered heater-fans in the bedroom and living room (sometimes having a 24 hour super Walmart is a good thing), and dried off the kids school computers and books. At that point we collapsed from exhaustion.

7 comments:

Garden4Life said...

Wow, I am SO sorry this has happened to you. What a terrible end to what sounded to be a very fun day. I hope all goes well working with the insurance company and everything is fixed back the way you want it.

Daphne said...

Oh no that is terrible. I've had my laundry room flood, my daughters closet get soaked and my basement flood. But all from different things and much more contained. I'm so sorry this has happened to you.

Heather said...

Oh Robert (and family) - I am SO SORRY! Nothing like a big homestead mess in the cold and the late and the cold to really tired one out body and spirit. I hope the cleanup goes well and that the insurance company is good to you. Big hug from cold NC, wish we were close enough to lend a hand.

H

dND said...

What a shock. I do hope you can get it sorted soon. Life can be a bummer sometimes - just as well it has those glorious days too. Well that's what I tell myself when something bad happens - it sometimes helps.
Deborah

queenbeehoney said...

Dang ~ what a darn shame. We've done the frozen pipe "now it's thawed" routine three times in our old house over the past 16 years, but NEVER on the second floor where gravity has the chance to spread the misery. I cannot even imagine the ruination. And there is nothing heavier or smellier than water-soaked crap of every stripe. I really feel for all of you. Maybe, like in The World According to Garp, 2009 is now "pre-disastered" and you'll have smooth sailing in the New Year.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the mess-- been there myself. Wired tape around key water pipes or a light bulb in the right open space. There isn't any point in conserving energy with your woodstove, if you are going to blow it all on repairs and electic heater fans. Lesson learned the hard way-- again, sorry- wish I could lend a hand.

inadvertentfarmer said...

OMGoodness I am so very sorry, that is just horrible! We have done the whole sump pump failing thing...many times. But never ever had to deal with the broken pipe situation. I wish I had some words of advice for you but I am at a loss.

I did notice you mia and checked here often hoping you would 'report in' and say that everything was all right...

I hope things will do nothing but get better (and dryer!) for your new year! Kim

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