Last night I got out of bed to go to the kitchen about an hour after I had crawled in. I took two steps, and my foot and the carpet went "slosh." I was standing in enough water to cover my toes. I knew immediately what it was. That blasted water heater. I opened the closet, and learned there is no shot off valve on it!! I grabbed a flashlight and skittered down the hill to the well house to turn off the water to the whole house. Well, this was gonna be a great night, wasn't it? I ran a big bucket of well water (meaning not filtered or softened, so not to drink) and carried it up the hill. That way I could at least flush the toilet.
Once that was done, I began emergency measures. I grabbed all my shoes that were on the floor of the closet. Fortunately they were all upright, so they weren't wet up onto the shoe, just the soles. I threw them all in the bathtub. Next I got my carpet cleaner and sucked up water for about 30 minutes. It was still wet, but at least it wasn't covering my toes. I was exhausted, and I decided to wait till morning to finish.
I made out the hideabed in the living room. It is a queen size, better for me and the Five Fuzzies than would be the double bed in the guest room. We snuggled down, and I slept pretty well till about 6:30. I got up and started the sucking up of water which was again as bad as it was last night.
About 7:30 I called the plumber. Turns out he was out on a ranch doing an all day job. I called a friend and asked for another recommendation. Called that plumber, and he said he would be over in just a bit. I went back to sucking water. Doesn't that sound gross? Yeah, well, it is. was looking at several days of fans and sucking water, over and over and over. I was NOT excited by this thought. Now was I thrilled with the prospects of laying out major money to replace the water heater and the carpet. I dumped out around 12-18 gallons of water, but it was still pretty wet.
Meanwhile, a friend reminded me that I needed to call the insurance company. OH YEAH!!! I have insurance!! I stopped and made the call, and before we hung up, they said ServiceMaster would call me and come out to clean up! Hurray!! I was off the hook for the laborious clean up, at least. An adjuster will be calling on Monday.
Then I went back to sopping up the still soaked carpet. When the plumber got here he was astounded. We looked in the closet, and saw that it was still trickling out, even with the water shut off!! Here are some pictures of what it looked like before he arrived.
|Entering the bedroom. The baby gate on the left is to keep the pups out of it. Lola liked the slosshy sound when she walked in it.|
|The two doors are into the closet. That carpet is w.e.t.|
|A peek into the closet which was mega wet. The water tank is just to the left, behind a wall.|
|That just makes my stomach clinch to look at it.|
I took most of my clothes out of the closet and piled them on the bed. Many long things were close to the floor, and I wanted to avoid getting them wet while I slurped the water from the closet floor. By now, my bedroom was beginning to look like a tornado hit it.
The plumber drained the remaining water form the tank. Turns out one of the two elements had quit working and had actually popped out for some strange reason, allowing that trickle of water to keep me from winning in the clean up race. He left to get the parts. He said that the tank is still in very good shape. It should be; it was put in new just four years ago! I was so relieved that it wasn't going to be a full replacement of the whole water heater!
I continued to fight the battle of water while he was gone, and I got a call from the clean up crew who would be here in 1-2 hours. Yippee skippee! I took time to have a sandwich, then went back to work.
The water heater was fixed within minutes of his return and he also installed a shut off valve in case this should ever happen again. I like this plumber better than the other one. He seemed more confident and experienced. He is a really nice man and lives close by, so if there is another emergency, it is handy for us both.
Then the clean up crew arrived ..... lawdy mercy, did they work! They moved furniture (and thanked me for having sliders under most pieces!). They used "super sucker uppers,' then lifted up the carpet and removed the padding. It was so full of water! They cleaned the remaining water from the plywood or pressed wood sheest that are the flooring. They went under the house and removed insulation and plywood that was wet. They ran a detector thingy over all the walls to see how far up the water had soaked (6-8" close to the tank, and tapering off to a couple inches farther away), pulled out the refrigerator, the stove and the dishwasher. They didn't have to move the washer and dryer because they were far enough away to escape the lake.
Then they began placing big, rather noisy fans in the areas to dry it quickly and avoid the growth of mold. They think we got to it quickly enough to do so. Whew. There are 2 fans under the house. There are 10 of them in the bedroom and kitchen, laundry room and closet. There are two huge dehumidifiers in the kitchen and the bedroom. Alone each of those machines is "rather noisy," as I said. Together, it sound like a WWII prop plane is flying through the house! Here is an idea of what it looks like:
|Kitchen, totally upended, appliances pulled out. Well, not the dishwasher. There was no water behind it, so they shoved it back. There is a red fan behind the stove and one behind the fridge. The green thing is the dehumidifier.|
|There is the one behind the stove.|
|This is fuzzy, but you can see one between the fridge and stove, and you can catch a glimpse of the one behind the fridge.|
|Going into the laundry room, this one is pointed at a wall that has a small amount of dampness.|
|The bedroom. closet doors and farther down, the bathroom door with one in there, too.|
|All the furniture is shoved to this side which didn't get wet. On the bed are clothes, lamps, hats, and anything else that was in the way. What a mess! I'm not a perfect housekeeper, but this is distressing to me!! I wouldn't make a good hoarder!|
It looks to me that the carpet might be saved. The adjuster will decide. I wouldn't mind replacing it, and this would be the time to do so. If he doesn't trash it, I may opt to do so myself. We'll see about costs first.
One real concern to me, to everyone, is the ceramic tile in the kitchen and laundry room. The grout is definitely wet. The head of the crew told me that we can't tell about the flooring under it and the carpet or the tile conditions for several days. I could be in a state of "halfness" for even a couple weeks.
The crew will be back on Monday afternoon. They will assess it and decide whether to leave the fans for two more days. He thinks they will probably remove a few, check again in another 2 days, remove more, etc., until they are comfortable that it is all safely dry. He said sometimes it is just 2-4 days, others it is as much as .... sigh .... ten days. I'm glad they are being cautious and thorough. I just don't relish listening to this irritating roar for very long. Actually, the drone of the fans might, might help me sleep tonight. We'll see.
In the midst of all this, I had Sammy, Max and Lola fenced off down the hall. They tend to get under foot. I let Jaz and Joey stay out because they stayed on the couch or in that area, out of the way. They watched all this with great fascination.
I was also on the phone much of the day. I am the person from the agency who is notified when people die, then I call the doctor, the team staff, the folks who will be picking up the body, the pharmacy (so no medications will be dispensed). Well, today would be the day that we lost two people. It's OK. I was just sitting most of the time once the crew started to work.
What a day it has been. I am very sore in my muscles and joints. I think the vigorous work and the dampness has set off the fibromyalgia. I'll be taking something to help this in a few minutes and again at bedtime. When they said they were going to dry us out, I was excited, thinking that we might get to sleep in the bed tonight, but I didn't realize what all had to be done or how much had already seeped into the cracks and crevasses. Nope, we'll be on the pullout for a few more nights.
What a day. What a day.