Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Our own nightmare before Christmas

Twas 20 days before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of hockey games danced in their heads.
I in my PJs and Matt with no cap, had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap.
When out in the kitchen there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter....

Okay, so it was 3 am, and I ran into the kitchen to discover water spraying out from under the kitchen sink, running all over the floor and rushing out into the hallway. I screamed for Matt to wake up and turn off the water, as I ran downstairs to grab a stack of old towels to soak up the water. When I got down there, I discovered that the water had already made it's way downstairs through the ceiling. Directly beneath the leaking pipe was our PC. I immediately grabbed the CPU and brought it up to our bedroom. It was already wet, but I was hoping that at least we could save our family photos from it. In my sleepy stupor, I still thought that if I just kept the water from sitting on the hardwood floors, then I could save them. We had just installed the hardwood a few months earlier. I hadn't thought about the implications of the 2 inches of water in our furnace room. That meant that the water was running right underneath the hardwood floors and pooling in the middle of the family room. I spent roughly 2 hours emptying out buckets and bowls and drying with every towel we had in the house. Matt checked our water softener and based on how many gallons of water had gone through, he estimated that the water had been spraying out of the burst pipe for about 20 minutes. Finally I came to realize that Matt may be right when he told me that this was beyond us and we would need to call the insurance company. I went to bed for a couple of hours.

I called the insurance company, and within a short time, the disaster relief guys arrived to start cleaning up our flood damage. Within a few hours, all of our floors were ripped out, the ceiling downstairs was taking out and huge industrial fans, and dehumidifiers were set up all over our house. We discovered that there was damage to our computer, our stove, one piece of artwork, and 2 pieces of furniture.

We had already planned to do our upstairs in hardwood, but it wasn't in the budget right now, so instead of letting the insurance company replace our carpet, we took a cash payout and said we would install the floor ourselves, and we will use the savings to pay for the upgrade to hardwood. So now on top of Christmas shopping for 6 kids, we had to shop for flooring, and install it.

I had already decorated the house, except for the Christmas tree. But with the floors in need of replacing, we had to hold off on a Christmas tree until they were finished. We are usually pretty good at making light of situations, but things were getting tense around here!