The post post the great, big mess-up

February 26, 2013

It’s raining today, which is termed as “showers”, which is to be followed by the term “heavy rain” later this afternoon, and, thru all this heavy wetness and high humidity, there are two de-humidifiers and two huge fans and suction machines in the house. Thankfully just a month back I had taken the assistance of roofing companies in austin to fix the colossal damage my roof had suffered from the fall of the branch of a tree on it. The sound is something like 17,000 hair dryers and my cats are going crazy. Milo has crawled so deep under my comforter that I wonder how he can breathe and Morgan is following me around like a little puppy-dog’s tail meowing very loudly and pitifully.

Why all this you may ask?

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Well, Sunday night the sewer backed up and the shower started to drain into the laundry room sink, so I called a most professional company to come unblock it. They sent a young man who took apart the toilet, made a hole in the wall to expose the pipes, used a violent and loud machine to router the line, promised he had unblocked it, put the toilet back together, made out a bill for $500 and left. By this time it was 8:15 pm.

I got some munchies for us and went into the library to watch the rest of the Oscars with C and closed the door behind me.

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By the time the Oscars had ended, the now broken toilet hadn’t stopped flushing, backed up water from the still plugged sewer line, flooded the bathroom, hallway, dining room, seeped thru the heating vents to the space between floors and poured from the ceiling and down the walls in the laundry room below. Who knew Blocked Drains Sidcup could cause such a disaster.

(Also read more about frameless bathroom doors and see how they enhance the aesthetics of the house)

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I shut the water off and we cleaned up as well as we could using every towel in the house in between tearful phone calls to the professionals from Whitton Plumbing and my house insurance agents.

The plumbing company said they would send a restoration crew around the next morning. My insurance company assigned me an adjuster who said that, while it’s my money and he cannot recommend I do or don’t do things, if it were his mess to sort out he wouldn’t allow the old plumbing company and their sister restoration company anywhere near his house because he has had to deal with several cases of over-charging and resulting insurance claims they have caused. (Wow) After some more unpleasant phone calls the plumbing company and their restoration company were discharged.

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A fantastic new plumber was called and the plumbing problem fixed. A restoration company was called and here the course of action is a bit gray still.

As the owner of a heritage house I’m most interested in preserving the parts which are heritage. (like my 100yr old floors, original pine doors, plaster walls) so the first course is to dry it all out over the next four days. This is the noisy bit.

Samples have been taken of the bacteria content from the flood water. We are lucky because it seems that the flood water was mostly clean, so probably a minimal amount of disinfectant has to be used. Samples of the gyprock, plaster and old subfloor linoleum, which need to be replaced, have been sent for testing. Hopefully they will not come back with asbestos readings. Then the laundry room ceiling and walls and flooring will be removed and rebuilt.

The last thing is the ancient floor. I really hope the planks will settle down and be sanded and re-varnished. The absolutely worst case scenario will be the replacement of some of the planks, but let’s hope for the best.

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And now, because this is a rather long-winded and gloomy post, I’ll leave you with a little story. The pussy willows in the vase in the bathroom have bloomed and are full of glorious yellow pollen. Milo jumped up on the counter and swiped his cheek against the yellow pollen and his royal antimatter blackness sat there on the black counter with this big yellow splodge on his cheek looking at me as if to say, “What? Have I got something on my face? What?” But before I could grab my camera he looked into the mirror, got embarrassed, and jumped down.

You know those time when there's not much to say?
A Sunday whirl...finally had some time to write

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  • Reply Linda G Hatton February 26, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Aawww .. darn! So sorry that all happened! Wishing for the best outcome that your floors survive intact and whatever other damage is easily reparable.

  • Reply Carol Early Cooneyc February 26, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Water is so incredibly damaging! I am sorry and I hope that the dry out works to settle the floors. When I managed a medical building that was built in the 1960s, we just referred to it as the “a” word. So expensive to deal with – I hope you do not find it in the floors or walls. I like the mental picture of Milo with the swipe of yellow..

  • Reply sorrygnat February 26, 2013 at 10:31 am

    Well, that certainly could be called, “A bad day at Black Rock Creek,” so hope things get better!

  • Reply Sara v February 26, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Holy COW! That is a bit overwhelming (over-watering?) We have had some real entertaining (not) toilet back up situations. I can definitely relate–however, we have tile so no wood was harmed in the flood waters. Here’s wishing you happy renovations and you might want some earplugs–that type of noise can definitely get on your nerves–loved the pussywillow story! Love pussywillows anyway, but the fact that pussywillow pollen planted itself on a pussycat, is pretty funny 🙂

  • Reply Felicity February 26, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Sorry to hear about that.
    I hope the wooden floor is fine at the end.
    But if they have to be replaced then it really means the time is up for them and best we can do is to let go.

  • Reply pomomama February 27, 2013 at 8:07 am

    oh wow. i hate too much noise, so my thoughts are with you and your heritage floorboards. i hope all works out.

  • Reply Julia Tomiak February 27, 2013 at 8:51 am

    I never understood the delicate relationship we humans have with water until I moved to a farm and started living off of a well. We need water desperately, and hate it when we don’t have it, but man, can it do some damage. Going to dump some Rid X now so that my septic tank doesn’t back up. I hope this issue settles quickly for you! Good luck.

  • Reply michellepond February 27, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    Am hoping for the best outcome possible! Love the story.

  • Reply Joanne February 28, 2013 at 6:24 am

    Oh no! So sorry for you and your poor heritage house.
    Hope everything gets settled and restored as soon as possible!

  • Reply Raina February 28, 2013 at 7:07 am

    Wow, all of that sucks big time Veronica. I hope there is no permanent damage to the floors because they look pretty wonderful. And dealing with insurance companies generally is never good except when you are paying them money and don’t need anything!! Sending you some good Karma!!

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