When I was younger, a friend’s dad used to joke about the “Pride of Home Ownership.” “A tree root grows through your sewer line … the pride of ownership! Someone runs over your sprinkler head … the pride of ownership! A branch breaks off onto your roof … the pride of ownership!” I understood the sarcasm and the amusing nature of his statements but it always stuck with me, even though I was VERY FAR OFF from owning a home. When Mr. BFT and I were considering our finances and preparing to buy a home, I insisted we have a significant emergency fund, handyman insurance, and a reputable insurance company. Because chances are, if we live here long enough, something will happen. But I don’t think either of us would have thought that something would happen during our first year.
On July 20 I was having a typical Sunday … working in my office all morning, then took a break in the back of the house for lunch. When I came back to my office, I noticed a spot of wetness under my socked foot. Hmmm, that’s weird, I don’t remember spilling water earlier. Then as I kept walking I felt more wetness, then looked down to notice there was water beads between the cracks of our laminate flooring. ::insert 1000 swear words here::
I called for Mr. BFT and at the same time we both realized it must be coming from the water heater which sits in a little enclosed closet that juts into my office from the outside. We both ran outside and opened the closet door to see water shooting out from the top of our water heater. We spent about 90 seconds trying to figure out how to stop it from the water heater before Mr. BFT just turned off the water to the house. Thank goodness SOMEONE was paying attention during our home inspection. (True story: When I first saw the water shooting out my first instinct was to call my daddy.)
Our relocated water heater so the closet can be repaired.
With the leak stopped, we went back inside to really look at the water damage. The water had apparently leaked through the cabinet wall and was coming up from under the floor. We did the best thing we could think to do … grab all of our towels and begin mopping it up! We have “handyman insurance” so Mr. BFT went to call that and schedule someone to come and at least get our water turned back on. Then I called our homeowners insurance and filed a claim.
Our handyman insurance told us a plumber would be calling us within an hour. When that didn’t happen, we called them back and got the plumber’s direct number. Over the next two hours we made several calls with no answer (their website says open on Sundays and available for emergencies … I guess not!). So we called a local plumber on our own and he arrived within 20 minutes and did the repairs and got our water turned back on. But we aren’t sure if our homeowner’s insurance will cover the costs since we have handyman insurance. COMPLICATED. But at least our water was back on.
Our homeowners insurance sent out a restoration team who arrived that night. They set up a dehumidifier and large LOUD fan. Have I mentioned my office is right off the living room and adjacent to our bedroom? Good thing I have earplugs for when I sleep in hotels. Our restoration company rep took up a piece of the office flooring and found tile, which apparently is good news and bad news … the bad news was there was likely asbestos but the good news is, the insurance company would have to cover the costs to fix it. He also found high moisture levels in the drywall of the water heater closet (OBVY) and the living room wall outside my office. That would all have to be cut out and replaced.
The next day the asbestos testing company came to test we indeed had asbestos. A moving crew and clean up crew was scheduled.
The movers came and took our furniture and bigger items to an offsite warehouse (which was anxiety-inducing for me … I now can totally relate to the people on Hoarders watching their possessions be taken away). Smaller stuff was boxed up and moved to the back off the house, and my desk and Vela’s cat tower were relocated to the dining room.
On the same day the movers were doing their thing, a floor replacement rep was here and told us he was 99% sure he was not going to be able to match our existing laminate flooring. What does that mean? Since our flooring is continuous it means we will have to replace the flooring IN THE ENTIRE HOUSE except the kitchen and bathrooms, which have tile. Oh my god.
On Wednesday the asbestos abatement crew showed up and told us we weren’t going to have access to our bedroom and bathroom “until Friday … maybe Monday.” OH MY GOD. Clearly these dudes have never seen how I pack for an overnight trip. I grabbed a box and quickly threw as much stuff in there as I could so I could live out of our guest room and bathroom for 2-4 days.
Slightly good news came later on Wednesday when the abatement team found tile was under the office floor only, not the entire house. Which means that “maybe” on Thursday they could give us a little pathway to our bedroom.
And here we are.
- Abatement continues on Thursday and Friday morning.
- Restoration company inspects Friday afternoon; hopefully gives the all clear for our contractor to come and replace the damaged drywall.
- Once contractor is done we can schedule a time to put down new floors. We are hoping they can do the front of the house first, then move all our stuff from the back of the house to the front of the house, do the floor in the back of the house, move all our stuff back, then get our furniture out of storage.
- Before all that can happen we have to go to the flooring showroom and pick out new floors, and decide if we want to pay extra to put in better floors.
All before we leave for Alaska mid-August. Oh my god. May as well just call my doc for a Xanax refill right now.