Monday, March 2, 2009

A week of Highs and Lows (Part 2)

****Update**** I added the "after" pictures below.

Last Monday, we flew home from visiting my family in WV and got back to Dallas around 8:00 PM. Trey’s parents picked us up from the airport and dropped us off at home. We wrestled our suitcases through the front door and wearily dropped our bags, happy to end the traveling part of our trip.

As we came through the front door, I noticed that the plants in the entryway looked a little wilted and sad so I decided to water them. I turned on the light in the dining room adjacent to the entryway and I got a not-so nice surprise. I noticed a puddle of water on the floor – and it was not from the water I was getting ready to pour on my plants. I looked up and saw a wet stain spreading across the white ceiling and paint bubbling up from the moisture. We had a leak.

The unfortunate part of this event is the fact that we had the EXACT same leak in the EXACT same spot about 2 ½ years ago. Our master bathroom is directly above the dining room and the toilet had a small leak which was repaired. Or so we thought… apparently this was a SLOW leak over time from an improper repair. Whatever – all I know is that it is not fun to discover a home disaster after such a nice vacation. I will say that it was only a small puddle and not inches of standing water so I guess I should be grateful for that fact.

Trey and I went through the same steps as last time when we experienced this problem: 1) call the home warranty company 2) wait for a call from a plumber to set up an appointment 3) take time off work to meet the plumber so that he can determine what scary situation is lurking in the ceiling above.

On Wednesday afternoon the plumber arrived, took one look at the ceiling and instantly called in his back-up – the water remediation company. As the plumber uncovered the source of the problem (my understanding is that I has something to do with an improper seal that was not fixed properly before and will require him to special order a part before he can fix it), I waited for the water remediation company to arrive.

Side note – during this time I got a call that Sophia was running a fever and I had to go pick her up from Trey’s parent’s house. She was coughing, had a runny nose and was generally cranky. She had tried to take a nap but could not sleep because of her cough. I called the doctor and we made an appointment first thing the next morning, which meant even more time off of work for me.

The water remediation company (which I will now call H20 Remedco for short) arrived and the guy started poking his probe into the ceiling to determine the level of saturation. We quickly got our answer as water started pouring out of the ceiling after his second poke. He went upstairs to assess the situation from the bathroom point of view, and when he came down he started using words like “Category 3 Emergency”. I have only heard this term before as associated with hurricanes and again it sounded ominous. It was quickly apparent that we were not getting out of this situation easy. The next thing I knew, the “H20 Remedco” guy had put on a full-body white protective suit and face mask to start demolition on our dining room ceiling.

After less than an hour, he determined that this demotion job required even more back-up, so he called in what I will call the “Big-Gun Demo crew”. This was the third company to arrive at our house in one day. Due to the sensitive nature of the “Category 3 Emergency”, they had to tear out any sheet rock that had been exposed to the water, pull up part of the tile floor in the bathroom, and generally make a HUGE mess while making as much noise as possible. To ensure the maximum decibel level had been reached in our home (at 8:00 PM on Wednesday evening), they brought in two industrial size de-humidifiers and a 40 pound Hepa air-filter which they ran at full blast while simultaneously taking a crow-bar to the tile floor and vacuuming up the debris in the dining room. During this time I was sitting next to Trey in the living room – and I could not hear a word he was saying. We gave up any effort at communication until they finally left around 9:00 PM that night. Somehow, Sophia managed to stay asleep through all of this noise. I think it was a combination of exhaustion from skipping her nap and the Tylenol I gave her for her fever.

Unfortunately, the Big-Gun Demo crew did not take all off the equipment with them when they left Wednesday night. They left behind their industrial size de-humidifiers and air filter (noise makers), which we were instructed to run 24 hours a day for the next three days.

A second side note - All of this happened on Ash Wednesday, the day you declare what you are giving up or adding in your life for the 40 days of Lent. Ironically I wanted to add silence and stillness to my daily routine, during which I would spend time in prayer or meditation. It was quickly apparent that I was not going to get silence or stillness in my own house so instead I gave up coffee.

Now we are currently in the silent part of the repair process. We no longer have a leak or loud equipment and most of the water damage has been removed but we are still inconvenienced with the mess and aftermath of the problem. We have to have our floor in the bathroom repaired before the toilet can be re-installed. Once that is complete we can move on to repairing all of the sheet rock that was removed. (Check out the pictures after the demolition).

It was a week filled with water damage, extreme demolition crews, excessively loud equipment, and the financial considerations of the repairs. Now at 6 (almost 7 months) pregnant, it has made those 4AM trips to the bathroom an adventure. Good thing I only have to make it down the hallway to Sophia’s bathroom and not all the way downstairs!

Final side note – Sophia had an upper respiratory/double ear infection but she is feeling much better now after several days of antibiotics. She was also very intrigued by the loud equipment, she kept asking me “Mommy, what’s that?”


Justin and Rachel Smith said...

Holy cow! That IS a mess. I can't imagine going through all of that!!! Yuck!
So, where are the pics after the demolition?!?!

Anonymous said...

Steph, I love reading your posts. Sophia just keeps getting cuter and cuter. Hope you are feeling well. Greta