What a Week!

Whew. It’s hard to believe that ONLY a week has gone by. Some weeks fly by, and others just drag on. This week has been a mix of the two, but so much has happened!

After we woke up to The Flood (remember, this was at 5:30 AM), we kicked into full gear. This is an overview of how the day went:

5:30 AM: We woke up to the gushing of water downstairs and ran downstairs. We splashed into 1/2 inch of water in the kitchen and stopped in disbelief. A few moments of thinking, “This isn’t happening. Not to us!” Then we kicked into full speed. The first thing Tim did was to turn off the water to the house.

6:00 AM: Towels were laid out on the worst areas of water, just trying to get up as much as possible. At this point, we also had called PuroClean (a local Richmond company) to come and help us. We were lost!

6:15 AM: Tim pulled out the shop vac and started to try to vacuum up water.

7:15 AM: We picked up the wet towels and put them back in their hamper. It went from being a clean hamper to an “Ew, gross!” and “How HEAVY!” hamper.

7:30 AM: Scott from PuroClean arrived and we described where the water was. He was impressed that we were able to get so much water up. He didn’t realize how many towels we own! He explained that he would be bringing in a lot of machines, and since we were planning on taking out the cabinets later that day, it would be helpful if they could come out immediately. We started demolition a few hours earlier than planned.

7:40 AM: After taking initial readings, Scott went to his truck to get the heavy-duty wet vac.

8:15 AM: He then went to his truck to get the vacuum tiles.

They were picking up a TON of water!

We also noticed that there were some suds coming up with the water. We realized that the old owners/renters had probably used some kind of soap-based cleaner on the floors, and it had gotten down into the flooring and possibly sub-flooring. That’s 2 1/2 year old! Yuck!

We realized that the water had gone through the hardwood at one place and spread into the living room, underneath our couch and rug. Although we didn’t notice any water there when we were initially cleaning up, the moisture reading was through the roof in these areas. Needless to say, all of the furniture needed to be moved.

Toby didn’t like it.

8:30 AM: Tim and I really started to go to work on those cabinets.

11:00 AM: Tim’s brother, Kevin, and his girlfriend, Lauryn, came to help us dismantle the kitchen (and break a few pre-determined things) and for moral support. Did we need it at this point! We had been on the go since 5:30, and we needed to see some loving, friendly faces at this point. Plus, they are strong! They helped us take apart the rest of the bottom cabinets, take the cast-iron sink out, and move the oven and refrigerator.

We found some presents that the old renters had left us. Again, these were at least 2 1/2 year old bouncy balls.

Then we got to smash the counter-top and (try) to break the sink.

Thank goodness Tim broke the faucet. I couldn’t stand that thing!

2:15 PM: We finished the demolition and decided to take a break for lunch at Firehouse Subs. This was the point when it all started to sink in: We had a flood in our house. We have no idea what the damage is. We don’t know what insurance will cover. We never thought this would happen to us.

4:30 PM: Scott came back to the house to set up the rest of the vacuum mats, dehumidifiers, and air blowers. The goal was to dry as much water as we could. We were lucky that we were going to tear out the cabinets, because we could put the two air blowers on the subflooring and really reach underneath the hardwood.

All in all, we had 2 air blowers, 2 HUGE dehumidifiers, and 2 vacuums attached to a myriad of vacuum tiles all throughout the kitchen, hallway, and living room. We jokingly called them “the jet engines.” Little did we know how long those “jet engines” would stay with us!

Sunday, February 6: We woke up at 5 AM (I thought I heard water gushing again), and discovered that we weren’t too far off.  Because we had so much water that was getting pulled up from the floors, the air tubes that led to the bucket that was holding the water splashed the water out onto the floors. More clean-up. One more call to PuroClean so that they could check it out. When they came later, they gave us the all-clear.

Monday, February 7: Tim called our insurance adjuster, Keith (Liberty Mutual), so that we could get him here ASAP. Our cabinets were supposed to be installed on February 16, and we needed to know if we needed to get new hardwood floors or if we would get them refinished. Keith could come out on Tuesday, so we just had to be patient. It was not easy.

In order to feel more prepared for Keith’s visit, we went to Costen floors to get a rough estimate for them to refinish our floors. We just wanted to know about how much it would cost. We didn’t want to go into the insurance meeting without doing some research.

Tuesday, February 8: Keith came by the house at 4 PM, and he was amazing. Within moments of getting into the house and seeing the set-up by PuroClean, Keith informed us that we would be refinishing ALL of the hardwoods on the bottom floor, including the dining room (although only the threshold was damaged). Because of the way that our wood floors ran and the amount of damage throughout the rest of the bottom floor, it would be impossible to stop refinishing around the dining room. Hooray! That was what we wanted! We were also amazed at the amount that Liberty Mutual would help:

-Refinishing the hardwood

-Replacing the threshold from the kitchen to the living room (damaged beyond repair)

-Toby’s boarding at the “pet hotel” while the machines were picking up water.

-Toby’s boarding at the “pet hotel” when we refinish the floors

-Movers and storage for the furniture when we refinish the floors

-Short-term housing for when we refinish

-Electricity money for the spike from the running machines

-Money for the spike in water from the flood
I had always thought that insurance companies took your money, but would be impossible when you needed them. This was not our situation at all. Thank you, Liberty Mutual!

Wednesday, February 9: Scott came to check on the water cleanup. The moisture readings were going down. It looked like we could still install our cabinets in a week!

Thursday, February 10: Scott came to check again. The moisture readings hadn’t gone down as far as he had hoped. A half-hour of dread, as Scott, Tim, and I talked through all of the options. We didn’t want to delay our kitchen install any more, yet we didn’t want to put the cabinets on floors that would need to be ripped up in a week! We finally decided that we needed to continue with the kitchen install the following Wednesday. We would wait to refinish the floors during the summer, so that they could really dry out on their own. This, however, meant that we couldn’t pick up Toby from the “pet hotel” that evening as we had hoped. We called and asked if they could extend his stay until Saturday.

Friday, February 11: Scott came to check the levels again. They had gone down a bit, but he didn’t think we would be able to remove the machines until Monday. Another call to Toby’s “hotel.”

We did have a step in the right direction on Friday, as Brent Lilly, Painter Extraordinaire, came to paint the kitchen. I had a sleepless night, as I worried that the color was too dark/too bold/too crazy/too 2008. I am so happy that I was wrong! We love it, and it fits PERFECTLY with the granite. Expect pictures soon.

Saturday, February 12: Today has been a day of cleaning, organizing, trashing, and finishing up projects. It was nice to sleep in, enjoy a lovely breakfast at IHOP (We had both been craving pancakes, and after this week, we deserved it!), run some errands in the amazing sunshine, and then get home to the jet engines. Oh, you lovely noise, I will not miss you one bit. I have to remember to record this sound on my Flip. People do not realize how loud it is until they witness it firsthand!

All in all, this has been one crazy week. A lot of lows, but way more highs. The Saturday of The Flood was filled with fits of giggles and all-out roll-on-the-floor laughing. It was all so ridiculous and incredible! The day after we put a deposit down on the kitchen, our heat pump and air handler died and needed to be replaced. The day we were supposed to demolish the kitchen, we had a water catastrophe. They say that there is a Rule of Threes. I certainly hope not! I am knocking on wood ferociously right now.

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