A Rude Awakening

A couple of weeks ago, Jim woke up in the wee hours of the morning to a strange, whining sound (no, it wasn’t me).  He thought it sounded like the vacuum running and he wondered, “Why is Donna vacuuming at 4 a.m.?”  Then he said he heard me snoring beside him, and realized that it wasn’t me vacuuming.

OK, let me interject here.  I do not snore.  I breathe heavily.  In the most feminine way possible.

Now, back to Jim.  He got up to check out the source of the noise…he knew something was terribly wrong when he got to the master bedroom hallway and was wading through water.  Slogging on into the bathroom, he discovered that the water supply line to the toilet had broken loose, and was fire hosing our bathroom with gallons of water.  He immediately turned off the valve for the supply line, which stopped the spray of water.

The spray from the hose blew a hole in the wall, as well as peeled back wallpaper and mangled drywall!

The spray from the hose blew a hole in the wall, as well as peeled back wallpaper and mangled drywall!

At this point, I am still blissfully sleeping, unaware that my night is about to turn nightmarish.  Jim woke me up with a “We’ve got a problem in here.”  Which is never a good way to wake up out of a dead sleep.  And for those who know me well, you know that when I’m jolted out of a dead sleep, I’m totally disoriented.  For a good couple of hours.

I got up and went to the hallway and hit the water – it was like being on the Titanic, only I didn’t make it to a lifeboat.

Titanic sinking, painting by Willy Stöwer

I’m pretty sure that I started to hyperventilate.  Just a little.  Well, maybe moderately.  The next few minutes were spent frantically assessing what we needed to do.  Jim dragged the wet vac out of the garage, while I grabbed every towel in the house and began to sop up water.  Jim began to vacuum while I looked around for critical items that needed to get moved.

The water was seeping EVERYWHERE.  All over our nice, new bamboo wood floor that Jim had painstakingly installed plank by plank.  It had seeped from the bathroom, across the hallway, through our two walk-in closets, and was working its way into the living room.  There was a pile of new baseboard stacked against the living room wall that I hurriedly moved to the top of the ping pong table.

Somewhere in all this, I realized that I needed to check our daughter’s room, since it shared a wall with the master bathroom.  My heart sank as I waded through water to get to her bed.  She relocated to the family room couch while I sopped up more water in her room.

After I had wiped up everything I could, Jim spent HOURS vacuuming along every inch of every joint of the flooring to get up as much water as possible.  He collapsed into bed and slept for a few hours.

The rest of the day was spent recuperating from the lack of sleep, while being serenaded with the constant buzz of multiple fans – two ceiling fans on full blast, a box fan, and an oscillating fan.  We ran the fans for days.

We’ve read that it can take weeks or months for a floor to dry out totally after being flooded, so we’re waiting to see what the final state of our floor is.  Right now our formerly smooth floor is full of cupped wood planks and there is a speed bump in our hallway.

Do you think anyone would believe it if we told them it looked like this because it's actually handscraped flooring?

Do you think anyone would believe it if we told them it looked like this because it’s actually handscraped flooring?

Once we know what kind of shape it’s in for the long run, we’ll be able to make a decision on filing a claim on our high-deductible insurance policy vs. just footing the bill ourselves.

What about you? Does anyone else have a flooding saga they’d like to share? Just so we don’t feel all by our lonesomes?

About donnahuebsch

I'm a wife, a mom to an unschooling teenager, an animal lover, an artsy craftsy kind of person, & a DIYer. We're embarking on our BIGGEST do-it-yourself project yet - renovating an entire house!
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6 Responses to A Rude Awakening

  1. Teresa says:

    Well, Donna, my story isn’t as colossal as yours..:). But we got a leak of some sort out of the refrigerator several years ago, and we have pre finished 3/4″ oak plank Bruce floors in our kitchen. And it got all cupped up and unleveled around the joints in about a 4’x3′ area right in front on the refrigerator, which is the main entry/walkway. Someone told David to wait before doing anything….we did…and all the cupped warped boards straightened back out! :D. There is one board that is kicked up a little higher at the end joint, but it’s hardly noticeable. So I think there’s a good chance you floor may recuperate too. Good luck!

    • donnahuebsch says:

      Teresa, glad your floor straightened out! I had read that sometimes they do flatten back out and to give it ample time to see…it has been over 2 weeks and Jim SWEARS that some of the boards are straightening back out. I guess time will tell!

  2. Cea says:

    It won’t help you, but there had clearly been a flood in our place before we moved in, and boards were warped and twisted and cracked like someone had run them through a wood chipper. But we did get the floors refinished, and the magnificent refinishers just took out the damaged wood and slotted in new, and it looks truly awesome.

    So even if some boards can’t be salvaged, it won’t mean the whole floor is toast.

    I hope.

    • donnahuebsch says:

      Cea, it’s nice to know there is hope for a wonky wood floor! We hope that some of the planks will straighten out over time, and maybe just a few will need to be replaced – keeping our fingers crossed!

  3. Ohmigosh Donna! What a nightmare! Hope everything’s drying out well!!

    • donnahuebsch says:

      Cat – only time will tell…I figure by the end of 2 months from the great flood, whatever the floor looks like will probably be as good as it gets – I’m hoping it will look really good 🙂

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