Water Always Wins: Part 1

Water Damage in Home

Water always wins. I’ve heard this quotation many times and never thought much about it. It made sense to me. If you have ever seen rivers that cut their way through rocks and canyons, weaving and turning their way downhill its not hard to accept that water is powerful. Waterfalls and long flowing rivers are beautiful to see…but not when it’s in your home.

It was a typical Saturday afternoon at our house. We were sitting in our recliners watching golf on TV and throwing around ideas about what to cook for dinner. We received an unexpected call from a neighbor that they were grilling burgers and would like some company. Done. I packed a bag with a bottle of wine and some cheese and crackers for us to enjoy and we were off to the neighbors house for food, fellowship and friends.

A few short hours later we said goodbye to our friends and started our walk home. Our Saturday evening stroll home was so peaceful. My husband and I couldn’t help but notice the steady stream of water running down one side of the street…our side of the street. “Someone must have a broken sprinkler”, he said. I agreed and we continued on our walk. We watched my daughter running in front of us splashing around in the water with her bare feet. As she disappeared around the corner to go to our house, I couldn’t help but notice that the stream of water seemed to lead up to the walkway to our front door. As we got closer the front door burst open, my two dogs came running out soaking wet with an urgency I had never seen before. What in the world is going on? At that very moment, my daughter came running out of the house screaming at the top of her lungs, “MOM!  Hurry up! Something is wrong!”  

My husband and I found ourselves standing in puddles of water in our entryway. Water was running down the stairs. There was water coming out of every single recessed lighting fixture, air vent, and down the walls. He ran upstairs to turn off whatever was leaking and I just stood there watching in complete disbelief as I watched it rain inside my house. I was in shock. Panic quickly began to take over me as a million questions were going through my head. How did this happen? We were just here four short hours ago and it was perfect! I started walking to other rooms. The master bedroom, our living room, laundry room, they were all soaking wet. I went and grabbed any towel I could find to put over my furniture to try to save it…and quickly realized this was not going to help at all. So instead of trying to mop up water I began gathering pictures off the wet walls and retrieved several plastic bins of memorabilia that we had stored in some hallway closets and threw them all in the back of my car. I ran upstairs to see what had caused all of this water and saw my husband kneeling down in and inch of water reaching behind the toilet in my daughter’s room. Apparently there was a malfunction with the mechanism on the toilet that stops water from continuing to overflow, AND a clog. It was a double whammy. Now the panic is setting in because I realize that this is all dirty toilet water that has flooded my home. Gross! 

We immediately ask Siri for the phone number to a company for water removal and clean up. Because it was a Saturday night, we had to wait for someone to call us back, which seemed like hours. We spent the next few hours sitting on a little corner of our couch waiting and waiting for a phone call. The whole night we could hear the floors buckling. Loud cracks and pops all night long. My husband was on the phone most of the night talking to our insurance company and a few different water restoration companies. He was getting direction from our insurance company about what to expect for the next few days…the process of making a claim and getting our house restored and all I could think about was where we were going to live. Will my house ever be the same? How long would this take? Will we be able to find a temporary home that will take our pets? So many questions.

Waking up Sunday morning and looking around was simply shocking. Our wood floors resembled a roller coaster, our walls had huge bubbles in them, the ceiling in our master had already started to fall off, and the musty wet smell was hard to tolerate. Several trucks showed up in the wee hours of the morning with industrial vacuum cleaners and fans and they began getting the standing water out of the house. It was a mess. Everyone that came to the house to help us with the clean up kept saying, “it’s going to be okay. “ After a few of those comments I began to feel frustrated. I mean everything I own right now is soaking wet. My primary question was when would this “be okay”? I’m not an expert in water damage or floods, but even I knew this was a lot of water.  It was a lot of damage. And it was going to take a long time to fix it.