Saturday, August 1, 2009

Water - The Silent Killer

First, postings slumped during work. I was making progress and just couldn't justify taking time to write. Then, when it looked like there was only one or two weeks before the first floor would be finished, the water pipe to the second floor toilet burst flooding the entire second floor, first floor and basement in hours. Damage everywhere! We were gone only three hours for dinner and perfectly good plaster ceilings were vertical when we returned. The edges of floor boards were turned up making each a perfect little trough for water to flow from the one side of the house to the other. The water was lapping at each of the baseboard outlets. That's a sight I won't soon forget! Here's some post-flood floor pics:

Hired a contractor for dry-out. He said that on a scale of 1 to 10, the damage was an 8. I thought he was exaggerating until I moved back in. Amazingly enough, the place looked even worse after being dried out and stripped. I could see damage where you'd never think to look for it, in the trim, in the outer walls, etc.

Been living in the tear-out eight weeks now while my insurance agent and contractor squeeze my repair discussions into their vacations. If I weren't so busy at work, I'd be furious and would have taken care of this already. When the contractor called and delivered the final quote, it was less than $2,000 more than the quoted amount before he started negotiations. I asked him to get a quote on the flooring from the company that originally installed it - Bluford Jackson. The rep assured me he would. The manager or owner said they never did. The quote allows over $15 sq.ft. for them to lay and finish the new floors (the original flooring is all removed. I asked them to save the pieces I could re-use but they didn't). I can have Bella or similar installed for $9 sq. ft. I'm thinking they have a deal with the flooring person and don't care what I want.

Should I fire the contractor or have a very serious discussion with him?

These pix show damage from the bedroom and bath pictured in prior posts. The bedroom ceiling I worked so long and hard to strip and paint is now half gone along
with the baseboard on the one wall (to allow air flow). There are also numerous holes in the walls because of the demo and need for air. Water flowed down all of the bathroom walls warping the "drywall" that we had just hung and staining the tile and grout. The picture of the closet is two days after the flood; the towels however showed much more damage a week later as the water and mold came through the walls and settled in. The chairs you see here still look much like this eight weeks later. The blue machine is a hepa filter. Let's hope it did the trick. The red ones were giant fans and there were even larger dehumidifiers all around.