We had huge water damage at our house

Part One

On June 22 2018, while my husband and I were out-of-town, I got word from our son Ben that there had been a “minor emergency” in our house. He had just heard from our cleaning lady, Elma, that water was pouring out of our bathroom ceiling like rainfall. In her words, it was a “total disaster.”

I immediately called our go-to home contractor, and since this was a Friday afternoon, none of the staff was available. I was referred to a plumber who had worked at our house before. He too was out-of-town and unavailable. But he suggested I get the water turned off as soon as possible.

My next thought was to contact our next-door neighbor, Ron (we call him Ron Next Door). Since his house has the same floor plan. I thought he’d know where to turn off the water at our house. Sure enough he did. Also, he could see from his yard that part of our outside wall was already wet from the leak.

Thankfully, about an hour later Ron called me back. He was able to get his plumber to come take a look. I asked Elma to give Ron her key to our house, so Ron could let the plumber in. Ron, called me later after the plumber discovered the culprit – a broken ice maker tube – and had turned off the water from the kitchen, and turned the rest of the water back on. The plumber said we would have to replace the tube with copper or stainless steel, not the original plastic material.

Ron also let me know what he and the plumber found in the rest of our house besides the steady stream of water flowing from the tube under our refrigerator on the third level of our house down to the rooms below on the first level.

There was water in the laundry room light fixture and water forming huge bubbles in the downstairs bathroom ceiling. That really worried me. When Ben and his wife picked me up from the airport two days later and took me home, I was worried I’d find water all over the floors from a broken bathroom ceiling.

But that was not the case. We looked around. The bubbles were still intact, though we  saw and felt a buckling kitchen wood floor, a drenched downstairs bathroom, water damage in my husband’s office closet, and buckling wood floors in the downstairs hallway. Not so bad, I thought.

Little did I know.

While we were still out-of-town, we called our insurance company to make a claim. The first question they asked was, was this related to water. Must be a common sort of house damage. That answer affirmative, they arranged for a company called Servpro and their water mitigation team to arrive on Monday morning to assess the damage.

Part Two will appear in a later post.

Let it suffice to say that this is what was left of our laundry room and downstairs bathroom after the water mitigation folks assessed the damage and wrecked the affected walls and floors so as not to create more damage in our house that could be caused by mold.


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