My Christmas Story

I was going to title this post “The Great Flood”, but in light of the Tsunami in the Indian Ocean that doesn’t seem appropriate (if you can make a donation to any of the aid organizations like the Red Cross, please do so). Anyway, we (my family) blew town on the evening of the 23rd. We got back last night (the 27th), walked in the door and the carpeting in our “great” room (media room, whatever) was absolutely soaked. We’re talking the Marshes of the Dead from The Two Towers here. Gollum popped up out of the corner and said something about not looking at the deadlights or the hobbitses will light little candles of their own. Then he scampered off.

Here’s what we think happened (this has zilch to do with gaming but I must vent): Our garage door has been acting flaky lately. Not shutting all the way, shutting and going back up, etc. But it was recent and I hadn’t yet decided it was a problem (stupid me), so evidently when we drove out of dodge we hit the button to shut the door but didn’t stick around long enough to make sure it went all the way down and stayed that way. A day later, our neighbor noticed it was open and went and shut it for us (heck of a nice guy). If only he had noticed that first night with the sub-zero wind chills.

Now, we have a water spigot in our garage. And (*really* stupid me), unlike every other year, I never got around to disconnecting the garden house from it this year. It was full of water and frozen solid (thanks to the garage door being open all night), which I can only assume reached into the wall which runs between our laundry/mud room and our great room. A short way into the house the pipe split and basically spewed water for 3-4 straight days until we got home last night and shut off the main water valve for the house. At this point the entire carpet of our great room (probably in the neighborhood of 200-400 square feet; I can’t eyeball that) is absolutely saturated along with everything else in direct contact with it: A few assorted pillows and blankets, our three DVD racks, our TV stand, a dresser, the computer desk and computer, each section of our five-piece couch and my kid’s brand new wooden toy chest which she got as a birthday gift just last week.

To top it all off, I’m supposed to be out the door within two hours of getting home to be at the last leg of a sleep study I’m participating in (I have narcolepsy). Instead I got to make phone calls for a 24-hour plumber, file a claim with the insurance company, set up an appointment for water damage recovery people to assess the damage to our floor and dry wall in the area and remove every last piece of furniture from the room (which the rest of the house is not really equipped to hold). Fortunately, I was able to go to my sleep study appt. early this morning instead of last night (it’s a daytime study and their wireless connection is the only reason I have Internet access to post this long-winded whine).

Anyway, the plumber came last night and fixed the pipe. My wife just let me know the water damage people have ruled our carpeting unsalvageable and are ripping it out as I type (which leaves nothing but the concrete slab our house is built on). UGH. They’re telling us to expect the drying process to take 3-5 days. Double UGH. And to top it off I just found out we have a $1000 deductible (I thought for sure it was $500), which means the money I’m being paid for the sleep study is now nicely sucked up for that instead of going towards paying off our car and Christmas. Triple UGH, with a side of mushrooms (yucky).

So that is my happy Christmas story for this season. In light of the Tsunamis striking the countries around the Indian ocean it seems rather trivial, I’m sure. But it’s a story to tell either way, and I’m sure in a few years it might even be a fun story to tell. Regardless, I hope everyone had a great Holiday. As soon as we get our house back up and running again I’ll come up with some more of these oh-so-meaningful bloggies. Finally, have a safe and happy new year!

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2 Responses to My Christmas Story

  1. Bemused says:

    As a former property adjuster, I can tell you that that sucks royally. The biggest thing is to complete all your paperwork properly and submitting it quite quickly. After that, it’s all patience. Polite calls once a week asking about the status of the rebuild will go a long way.


  2. Todd says:

    Thanks for the advice, RT. Finally, got my PC back up today… though it’s in the middle of an empty room for now. Fortunately, the vast majority of damage was limited to the carpeting in our great room. The drywall sucked up a lot of water, but doesn’t appear damaged. It’s just taking a long time for the drying equipment to dry it out (going on 3 days now). Since you know about this stuff, though, let me ask. Do you know what insurance companies generally qualify as severly water damaged enough to warrant replacement? Everything that was on the floor in our room soaked up some water, but stuff like our DVD racks, couch, etc. have the kind of damage you’ll only really notice if you’re looking for it (for example, the wood near the base is a little warped and funky)? Any advice there would help a great deal. Thanks!


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