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Came home from vacation and found house flooded!!


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14 replies to this topic

#1 of 15 OFFLINE   Vlad D

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Posted December 04 2006 - 03:37 AM

I haven't been on in a while but wanted to share this with the HTF.

I came home Saturday night from a two week vacation and found my entire first floor under 3 inches of water. Although some areas had less water and the area around my HT equipment was dry (apparently the house is not level). It seems that the water pipe to my fridge broke. Not a way to end a vacation. My wife and I spent all night pushing out and sucking up water with a wet-vac, only to wake up Sunday to find more puddles of water. I pulled out my stove and found more water under the cabinets. Now there isn't any more water, but the grout around the tiles are moist and so are the base-boards.

Just got off the phone with insurance company and they are sending out a water-extraction specialist (didn't know they existed) to remove any water that I "can't see". The claims adjuster will be out later this week. I now need to make a list of all personal property damage. Not fun. Don't know where to start. My computer got wet, but somehow it works, although its making a funny sound and has shut down abruptly twice. Doesn't look like the HT equipment got wet but I'm wondering if the moisture may have any affect.

Anyway, just wanted to vent, and hopefully get some advice.

I'll keep you posted.

Vlad

#2 of 15 OFFLINE   Jay H

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Posted December 04 2006 - 05:26 AM

Well, before you turn on any more equipment, you probably want to make sure it is dry first, you know water being a conductor, turning on working equipment with water inside could be a fast way to making your working equipment non-working!


What kind of water pipe do you have to your fridge, copper or food-grade plastic? My water line to my fridge is plastic flexible line and doesn't lose heat as fast as copper..or was it just old age that broke the pipe?

Jay
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#3 of 15 OFFLINE   Vlad D

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Posted December 04 2006 - 06:05 AM

The water line to my fridge is copper, but I had a plastic water filter also attached to it and it broke where the two connected.

The water-extraction guy is here now and I can't believe how much water is still behind the walls. He tore out most of my base-boards and the toe-kicks from the kitchen cabinets and there is a shit-load of water there.

He also mentioned that my HT equipment should be fine, he measured the humidity level and it was 49; he still it would have to be above 60 to affect the equipment from secondary damage since they didn't get wet. Hopefully he is right.

#4 of 15 OFFLINE   Jay H

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Posted December 04 2006 - 06:12 AM

Oh, one more thing, maybe for future reference. They make water lines that have a built-in emergency stop valve, which is supposed to close if the pressure drops to near-zero (like in a catastrophic leak) downward from the pipe. I have one on the water line to my toilet. I haven't tried to test it but it came with a label on it and wasn't any more expensive than the ones without it. They probably make something similar that is a standalong and can be modded for your thinner water line to your fridge.

Jay
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#5 of 15 OFFLINE   drobbins

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Posted December 04 2006 - 06:16 AM

Sorry to hear about your house. We went through a similar experience last year. An under the sink water filter broke and the kids found water running out the front door when they came home from school. Here is what it did to my theater:http://www.hometheat...?g2_itemId=3411
We called the insurance co ASAP and they sent someone out with in hours. When it comes to water damage time matters. They vacuumed for hours and then left blowers running for days. We had replacement insurance and in the end they paid out $19,000.00. Then they put us in a high risk category and wanted to dump us Posted Image

Things to look for:
  • Throw away all carpet matting.
  • If the backing can be pulled off you carpet they should replace it.
  • Downstairs they originally cut the bottom 18" of sheetrock out. Then it was decided to gut the whole basement.
  • Check out your HVAC ductwork. The fiberglass flex hose can hold water for weeks.
  • Take pictures of everything.
They argued about replacing my 4805 projector because it still worked. Upon opening it, connections were already corroded and you could see that water had been running through it. We asked for arbortration to settle the dispute and they said that it is cheaper to replace the projector than go through the arbortration .
Remember it is your house not the insurance co's. I was getting slow response from SafeCo Insurance, so I emptied the house and started the demolition myself. (the reason for the pictures). Also if you are going to do any of the repairs, they need to pay you for your time and labor. I hung the sheetrock and did all the repainting. I had my house back to normal in 6 months. If I waited for them, it would have taken much longer.

#6 of 15 OFFLINE   ZacharyTait

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Posted December 04 2006 - 07:14 AM

Posted Image
This guy wanted for questioning. Posted Image

I hope everything turns out okay.

#7 of 15 OFFLINE   Mort Corey

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Posted December 04 2006 - 09:50 AM

After everything is dried out (and before you start repairs) you might want to consider having a mold inspection performed. Some insurance policies exclude or limit mold remediation but you still don't want to take that chance.

Even if the insurance company gets on your nerves (and they likely will to some extent) don't go off half cocked thinking you'll take your business elsewhere. Once you present a claim (and especially for water damage) your property is listed on CLUE (data exchange) and you'll find your options pretty limited until you're claim free for about five years. Maybe not fair, but life ain't fair either.

Mort

#8 of 15 OFFLINE   Bryan X

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Posted December 04 2006 - 10:49 AM

Very sorry to hear about the flooding. I can imagine how sick you must have felt when you walked inside.

When we go on vacation, we usually shut the water main off for peace of mind.

#9 of 15 OFFLINE   CRyan

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Posted December 04 2006 - 11:55 AM

Yeah man that sucks. I am always worried when I leave the house for an extended period of time. We do shut off our water when we leave. EVERYONE should do this!!! My parents have had two plastic nuts under two toilets break and cause extensive water damage. Ever since that happened, I always turn it off. You can do it at the meter if you dont have an inline valve in the house.

#10 of 15 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted December 05 2006 - 12:28 AM

Quote:
I am always worried when I leave the house for an extended period of time. We do shut off our water when we leave. EVERYONE should do this!!!

Not necessarily. We've experienced two floods in our basement due to sump pump failures -- the first one was due to a power outage, and the 2nd time the sump pump died. After the 2nd flood, we had a backup sump pump installed that is powered off city water pressure. If I shut off my water, then my backup pump will not run if either (1) we lose power, or (2) the primary pump fails. The odds of us losing electrical power are greater than having a burst pipe.

After dealing with two basement floods (our basement is finished), I feel your pain, Vlad. I hope you get everything repaired with minimal hassle.

#11 of 15 OFFLINE   Jay H

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Posted December 05 2006 - 01:35 AM

If you turn off your main water supply, do you think you'd better off turning off your water heater (assume gas)?

If there was a catastrophic leak in your water heater, do they have a safety mechanism so you wont be trying to heat a big airtank or would it empty and then go Boom!

Jay
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#12 of 15 OFFLINE   DonRoeber

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Posted December 05 2006 - 02:07 AM

Good luck, this process isn't fun. I have a second floor clothes washer. Once it broke mid-cycle. Fortunately, I was just napping in the other room, but I only noticed it when the water started streaming through the fire alarm the floor below the washer, setting off the alarm.

Thankfully the entire thing was covered by homeowners, so I wasn't out anything. I got my ceiling, walls and floors repaired, then new carpets and new paint. I only had to pay for a plumber to come and check everything out to find out where the problem was, and for the HVAC guy to make sure my heater didn't get water inside of it. It all worked out, but wasn't fun at the time.

I got very lucky, as my entire DVD collection (about 1k titles) was about 3 feet away from the aforementioned fire alarm.
Luckily, right at that moment, an unconscious Argentinean fell through my roof.

He was quickly joined by a dwarf dressed as a nun.

#13 of 15 OFFLINE   Vlad D

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Posted December 07 2006 - 12:58 PM

I've been so busy this week that I haven't had time to post an update. First I want to thank everyone for their advice and support.

The water extraction company placed 17 blowers and three dehumidifiers in the house plus one in the garage. They have been coming everyday and checking the moisture levels in the walls and moving the blowers around, and tearing out more baseboards. They tell me that the walls should be dry in about another day or so. I'm hoping so because they make a lot of noise. Plus they make the downstairs area very hot. My AC is running constantly and it can't cool down the first floor, upstairs though is a freezer.

The adjuster came out yesterday and took pictures and measurements and documented the damage. She also took a list of the personal property damaged. She wants me to get my computer checked out by a technician, since it seems to work even though it got wet, to determine if it can be repaired or needs to be replaced. I should have just told her it didn't work. Just about all my furniture is made of wood, so she is sending out a company to inspect them, again to see if the can be repaired or have to be replace. I also asked her about a mold inspection and she said it wasn't necessary because in her experience the water didn't sit long enough to cause mold. I'm not quite sure I believe her so I'll probably get an independent mold inspector to come out.

That's about it for now. I'll keep everyone posted on any new developments. Thanks again for the support.

Vlad

#14 of 15 OFFLINE   Eric_L

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Posted December 08 2006 - 09:23 AM

I found an independant inspector here; http://www.aiha.org

If they cleaned up as quickly as you suggest then I think you're fine. Retty much need to pull out the bottom 18" to 48" of drywall everywhere it got wet. Replace the baseboards and you're good. Everything else you mention is a loss. It does not take much humidity in a case to affect your hard drive. I would back it up yesterday. the cost to repair your system will not be worth it.

Now is the right time to be looking at any improvements you always wish you had done in that area. In-wall speaker wires maybe? When we repaired the hurricane damage to my home I added about $70,000 of imporovements (fireplace - built in entertainment center, etc.) at the same time. Still paying for it. May as well make the best of it when you can though.

#15 of 15 OFFLINE   drobbins

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Posted December 08 2006 - 12:02 PM

Quote:
I've been so busy this week that I haven't had time to post an update. First I want to thank everyone for their advice and support.

The water extraction company placed 17 blowers and three dehumidifiers in the house plus one in the garage. They have been coming everyday and checking the moisture levels in the walls and moving the blowers around, and tearing out more baseboards. They tell me that the walls should be dry in about another day or so. I'm hoping so because they make a lot of noise. Plus they make the downstairs area very hot. My AC is running constantly and it can't cool down the first floor, upstairs though is a freezer.
Reading this gave me flashbacks of our house last year. http://www.hometheat....d.php?t=210606 Our whole living area was torn up. We spent the first few nights in a hotel, then I sent the wife & kids to her mothers while I did the work. Luckily it was summer and the kids were out of school. Are you still living there or have they put you up in a hotel? Has the whole situation sunk in yet?





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