So, technically, our flood wasn’t caused by the rain, it was caused by the washing machine drain hose coming unhooked. But, there was still a flood in our kitchen and laundry room, which leaked down to our basement and caused a whole bunch of issues. Yikes.
So, now instead of just ignoring the basement ceiling during that renovation project (we had decided to not scrape the popcorn off), we’ll probably be replacing the drywall entirely. Not to mention replacing a couple of boards in our brand new wood floors upstairs that got ruined.
This is how I’m feeling right now:
But let me back up a bit and tell the whole story. Also, please accent my apologies in advance for the terrible cell photos throughout this post, I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to grab the camera and take “good” photos of the disaster as it was happening.
Monday is laundry day around here, and I was about halfway through the day’s loads at 2:50 in the afternoon. I was sitting in the living room and Will was playing while I trying to work on my laptop. I started to hear a dripping sound, like running water, and I jumped up to investigate since I suspected it had something to do with the washing machine. As soon as I took two steps toward the kitchen, I saw the water. The entire kitchen was flooded! Like half an inch of water all over the floor and creeping out more and more.
Of course, Will, was right on my heels, so I quickly scooped him up and deposited him into the hallway where he’s barricaded by a couple of baby gates. He immediately started wailing because of his banishment from all the excitement and I grabbed all the towels from our bedroom and started laying them out to mop up the water as fast as possible. I also dialed Wyatt on my phone and frantically explained the situation and told him I needed him to come home and help me as soon as possible. He asked if I was sure I needed him. I’m not sure what uncomplimentary thing I muttered, but he said he’d leave right away. It was now 2:52 pm.
By 3:06 pm, I had shut off the washer (it was done draining anyway) and used all the towels from our bathroom and the guest bathroom, beach towels included, and they were already full of water on the kitchen floor. I also put a towel down in the basement to mop up water that was running through the AC vent and into the carpet. Then, I called Wyatt back and got a few more instructions from him, such as setting up a fan and opening the doors to help blow out the moisture from the wood floors–our brand new wood floors! I hung up from him, with Will still wailing in the hallway, and ran down to the basement to stick a bucket under the still dripping water from the ceiling there.
I propped my phone up on the outside of the baby gate and put on Sesame Street in an attempt to entertain Will and get him to stop crying, and I ran back into the kitchen to start ringing out water from the towels. I rung them out and draped them over the deck railing to dry so I could reuse them, but realized that was sort of a lost cause, so I grabbed all the hand towels I could find and started mopping up the remaining water with those.
I went out to the garage to open it for airflow and saw water had also run under the door and soaked the carpet on the stairs and was puddling on the concrete out there, slowly making its way to the drain in the floor. Sheesh. I grabbed the box fan and took it inside. Will is still crying, but in between Sesame Street songs, so I’m feeling a little less stressed, until I look down at the floor and see this:
Yep, a giant buckle in our new flooring. At this point, I almost start crying but keep trying to get the box fan set up. It won’t turn on. I try another outlet and nothing. I think the GFI outlets may have tripped because of moisture so I check the mixer in the same outlet. It works. The stupid fan is broken. (We just got this fan as a Christmas gift from Wyatt’s family last year, so it’s not like it’s old and broken down, plus, I had just used it last week. What the heck?) It’s 3:13 pm and I steal the phone from Will and call Wyatt back and ask for help.
He is on the way home, stopping at the store to buy new fans and a dehumidifier, and has no idea why the fan won’t work. I hang up with him, Will wailing even harder in the background, and reset the phone up for him to watch Elmo, then I go back to mopping up water. By this point, most of it is finally gone, with the towels all rung out and on the deck to dry.
As a side note, Monday afternoon is the stinkiest trash time around here because it gets picked up on Tuesday mornings, so having the garage door open and the wind blowing in is funneling the sourest garbage smell into the house, as if the musty, dirty laundry water smell wasn’t bad enough.
I shove paper towels under the appliances that I can’t move and hope to soak up any remaining water that way, and start rubbing down the cracks of the floor boards with another towel to help get every last bit of water I can. Finally, I give up and go take care of Will, and Wyatt arrives shortly after and gets the fans and dehumidifier all set up, pulls out the appliances, fixes the washer issue, and we start working on the basement, using the Shop Vac to get water out of the carpet and wiping down the dripping air vent and ceiling. Sheesh. The ceiling is already covered in a giant red, rusty water spot from the wet AC duct.
At this point, the mad rush of clean up is over and we both take a deep breath and stop to feed Will some dinner and make a plan for the rest of the night. I mopped the kitchen floor three times to get all the dirty water residue off, and Wyatt spent a little time playing with Will before bedtime.
Wyatt also worked on the washing machine to find and repair a squeaking that had developed. He says it wasn’t related to the drain hose, but figured, while we were in the mess, right? I’m quite thankful he can just “fix” things. Seriously, there’s nothing that man can’t learn how to do.
After several hours of clean up, we’d done pretty much all we can do for now. It’s just a waiting game while we run the dehumidifier and figure out how to repair the basement ceiling. Thank goodness we hadn’t already done that project, but now there is certainly a rush on the job as you can’t live with wet, musty drywall very long.
I also had to wash all our towels, as every single full-size towel had been sacrificed in the cleanup.
Leaving Wyatt to use one of Will’s hooded towels for his shower. Oops.
All in all, we went to bed last night quite tired and quite frustrated. Yes, we’re DIYers, and yes, we’ll be able to fix this, but that doesn’t make it any easier to take. We still would rather spend our time and money on fun updates and not have to drop $200 in a hurried frenzy of desperately needing a dehumidifier on a random Monday afternoon.
Now, it’s you turn to make me feel better. Tell me about a home disaster you’ve dealt with and how it ended up making your home 1000x better once it was all over. Right? It will be better when it’s over…?