What was your worst disaster?

klimkmAugust 2, 2003

What was your worst home-related disaster?

Ours was when we put a second story on our home. The GC watched the weather report which said it was not going to rain. They pulled the roof off, tarped it up. That night we got three inches of rain. And the people who tarped up the roof - didn't do such a hot job - although to be fair - there was quite a wind.

I woke up at two in the morning - rain was dripping through the hole in the ceiling where we had the ceiling fan above the bed. It was hitting the ceiling fan blades and whipping all around the room. It was dripping on my forehead and all over the bed.

We had buckets and tarps everywhere. Called the GC - told him my house was a rainforest. He showed up at 7am the next morning. He ended up replacing the drywall ceiling in the most of the house (his cost).

Which means we had to move all our belongings in the house into the garage. Which was not fun. And I was 8 months pregnant at the time.

I would love to hear all your stories. I am sure there are some doozies out there.... Please share!

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I was 5, sitting at a table in my room, coloring quietly with my little sister.

The plaster on the ENTIRE ceiling fell off the lath and dropped onto us, the table, the cat (who was out the door before the stuff hit the floor), and everything.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2003 at 11:45AM
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See, I knew there was some doozies out there. Oh my goodness, I hope you weren't hurt!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2003 at 1:01PM
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Mine are relatively small, but I guess they add up: Going down to the basement and putting my entire leg through a step...a fire in the dryer...a fire in the dishwasher...my two-year-old son knocking a glass gallon jug of maple syrup off the kitchen counter (it smashed on the floor, sending syrup everywhere, including through the old boards of the floor down to the basement)...bats in the house...then bat bugs...the infamous cat turd disaster...and I suppose I'll include the dead snake I found in the kitchen yesterday.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2003 at 3:43PM
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I should also relay my snake disaster - this happened during the infamous second story remodel. The workmen would leave the doors wide open during the day when they were working on the house. And then leave for the day and leave the doors wide open - furnace blasting away since it was November. GREAT... Anyway, I live in a rural area with garter snakes, and because these idiots left the doors open, one crawled on my front porch and into the house. I found it in one of the bedrooms in a corner. YUCK...

    Bookmark   August 3, 2003 at 4:13PM
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klimkm -
We were sitting there, immobilized by fear, when my mom and the entire bridge club came dashing up the stairs to see what had exploded. OK, but too scared to even cry.

Not my disaster: A friend had an unrenovated 1920s house, sat on the toilet and took a shortcut to the crawl space. Fortunately the bathroom wasn't over the basement he didn't know the house had. He found the basement later, when he removed some ancient layers of flooring and found the patch over the stairs.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2003 at 12:38PM
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Earthquake of 1994 in Los Angeles. I was living in an apartment in Culver City, and the plate glass window in the dining room came inside the dining room. I had a large bookcase with a lot of stuff on it in the living room, and everything went flying across the room. Although it was a two bedroom apartment, I slept on the sofabed in the living room (ala MTM) and kept a guest bedroom and used the other bedroom as an exercise/weight room.

The kitchen was a real disaster with everything on the SE wall cabinets on the floor, while the NW cabinets stayed closed. There was a definite direction to the movement, which was basically from East to West, but a bit from South to North. The kitchen floor was covered with molasses, oil, flour, broken glass, etc., and the plastic bottles of water that I had save for emergencies were destroyed. The first thing I did was to pick my way through the debris and broken glass to fill another jug with water from the what might remain still in the pipes. Fortunately, I was able to get enough water from the pipes to fill a gallon jug, but after that there was none. Also there was no electricity, no gas, and of course no way to flush a toilet.

At least it wasn't a tornado.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2003 at 8:32PM
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Wow - an earthquake!
I always have a gallon of store-bought water in my home for emergencies just in case. We all take our water supplies for granted but when it comes right down to it, that is what we all need the most.
I haven't had too many brushes with natural disasters. Severe flooding once - but that was at my Mom's old house. See I knew everyone's disasters would make mine look like small potatoes...

    Bookmark   August 6, 2003 at 12:03AM
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Last night I had a minor disaster!

We're trying to get DD used to going to bed early since school starts next week. So we did it finally! All of us were actually down at 9:30.

Then around 9:45 we heard the sound of shattering glass! Scared the jeebers out of us! So DH and I creep downstairs. We hear water dripping, and turn on the kitchen light.

I had a flower vase, that was kind of dirty so I had filled it with soapy water. Well - I guess the glass was not good, and all on its own, it had shattered! And man, water and glass were EVERYWHERE. How does such a relatively small amount of water go so far?

So I started cleaning up. The more I cleaned the more water I found. Floor, counter, inside a couple of drawers.

Then, I opened the lazysusan corner cabinet. And somehow, all the water had run off the counter edge, into the susan cabinet.

I had to empty the cabinet, take the susan contraption apart, and mop up water. How in the HECK the water spread so far I will never ever know!

I know it's not as bad as an earthquake or roof leaks, but it was definitely a disaster! And now I feel better since misery loves company! LOL

    Bookmark   August 6, 2003 at 8:03AM
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In the middle of the night we awoke to a hissing sound we didn't recognize. As we stumbled down the hall to find the source of the sound we stepped into inches of water. The hose to the washing machine had burst and we had a gusher going in the laundry room. We had water everywhere; in closets, under appliances. It was awful! We now have a mesh hose to prevent this from happeneing again.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2003 at 10:42AM
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This isn't so bad, but it is weird.

My husband had a 70 gallon tropical fish aquarium, with one lonely blue tang in it. One morning when I was up before all other civilization because I had to do some homework before I went to work, I noticed the fish swimming sideways. I turned on the light and found out why- the water was missing, except the bottom 2 inches. But the truly weird thing is that I couldn't find the water. Not on the floors, not on the walls, nowhere! Now I'm not a morning person by any stretch of the imagination- I've gotten to work 45 minutes away without remembering the trip at all, but I know what I saw. So I very calmly walk upstairs, tell Dave "The water is gone from the aquarium and I don't know where it is." He just layed there for a moment, trying to figure out what I meant. So I repeated myself, as I couldn't think of another way to describe what I was at that time: "the water is gone from the aquarium and I don't know where it is." Then he actually managed to say "WHAT?!" Not being entirely creative with words, I repeated again "the water is gone from the aquarium and I don't know where it is."

By this time, it's obvious to Dave that he has to go look to see what the heck I am talking about. So he throws on a robe, walks downstairs, and sees 90% of the water gone from the aquarium, but no puddles. He gets to work setting up a smaller aquarium for the traumatized fish.

It turns out that he had cleaned the aquarium the day before, and apparently one of the filter hoses came loose and leaked out the water. We guess the water ran down to the crawl space between the floor and the wall, because we never did have to clean up a drop of water.

We still have the traumatized fish, but a snake now lives in the aquarium.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2003 at 10:40PM
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Just found this forum, and was intrigued by this thread.
Our worst: having the toilet tank continue filling without our knowledge and leaving our house to go shopping. When we came back, we had a first-hand look at Niagara Falls spilling over from the second floor to the first over the stairwell.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2003 at 6:09PM
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I found what looked like droppings spilling out of the air/furnace vent on my breakfast room wall. I called my pest guy to come out and ID the droppings. He was no expert so he put me in touch with a termite guy. The termite guy came out and did an inspection and examined the droppings and pronounced the house termite-free!

What I had was a wall infested with oriental roaches! Hundreds of them! I had to have the paneling removed, the drywall ripped out, and the insulation thrown away. I had the pest guy come out and thoroughly spray the inside of the wall before the insulation was replaced. Since the pest guy had been coming for several years I didn't understand why I had this problem! After another few months of crappy service I fired him. He kept trying to convince me that all services are the same and I wouldn't be any happier with anyone else. Wrong! I have a GREAT pest service now!

Fortunately, these nasty critters prefer to live outside.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2003 at 3:20AM
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Yeah - bug related and water related disasters number among the worst in my book.

The worst bug one for me was this: We were buying our first house.I had to go through the closing on my own because my husband was out of town and it could not be rescheduled. So I am going on the final walkthrough with the realtor - the house has this closet and I open the closet and there are hundreds of yellowjackets buzzing around this closet. I scream and hurry to shut the door.
What had happened was this: the closet was on an outside wall and the wasps had chewed their way into (betcha didn't know they could do that) the closet through a tiny hole in the outside eave. And nested in the eave, eventually getting into this closet.
The owner had been absent for three months - out of country - prior to the closing.
I closed anyway (I really wanted the house) and the second I finished closing I bought a wasp bomb. Killed them all - and patched the hole where they were getting in. Luckily I was not stung.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2003 at 10:08AM
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Ever have an oil fired furnace backfire?

It fills the ENTIRE house with a black greasy soot.

And the house in question was 21 rooms, 10-ft. ceilings throughout...

It took nearly a month to clean everything.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2003 at 12:16PM
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I am afraid I would have to move if that happened to me, kframe.
The roaches would force me to leave, too. I am not scared of almost any pet, insect or bug (I even like snakes), but roaches make me almost physically sick. I start shuddering and get goosebumps just looking at the picture above.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2003 at 7:32AM
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I lived in a tiny one bedroom apartment, and about a month after I moved in, I woke up and heard the sound of running water. I got up at 4am to discover that the entire floor of my apartment was under 1" of water. A pipe had broken in the bathroom. I managed to find a way to shut off the water and started bailing as much water as I could with a 1 cup measuring cup (I didn't have anything else). I tried to get as much water up off the tile part of my bathroom floor but left the carpeted section of my apartment alone since it had acted like a large sponge. The next morning I called my landlord and he sent some water damage guys over who set up a giant blower in my apartment to dry out the carpet.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2004 at 2:05PM
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This is a pet related one...
A few months after building my house, I got a border collie puppy. When the pup was about 6 months, while I was getting ready for work one morning, I heard wild yipping, crying etc, and a loud racket. Flying down the hallway was the pup with a floor register stuck on her foot. As best we can figure she must have been trying to figure out what was down the hole where the register was, and her toe became entangled. As she ran, dragging the register, the damage to the toe became worse, cutting an artery. There was blood everywhere - ceiling, floors, walls, you name it. It looked like an axe murderer had been there. When she finally saw me, and came to me for help/comfort, I was able to get the register off her foot. But, I knew I couldn't keep the bleeding down and drive her to the vet at the same time, so had to call my Mother to come and drive me to the vet. He was able to sew the toe up, and the dog was fine except for a crooked toenail on that foot. But, it took us the rest of the day to try to clean up the mess. You know how if you drop a container of milk they say it goes everywhere? Try having a running 45 lb puppy with a bleeding foot artery. Talk about EVERYWHERE.

You know on the detective shows on TV where they use luminol to show blood stains that someone has tried to cover up with paint or cleaning? I have always wondered what someone would think if they came into my house and used luminol!!! There would be latent blood spray patterns everywhere!

My other dog also chewed up a remote control for the TV in the middle of the livingroom floor - getting battery acid black stuff all over the new carpeting. Another rush trip to vet - dog was ok... and a call to Stanley Steamer who somehow managed to get all the stain out.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2004 at 8:29PM
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I live in a twenty-two story condominium. All the A/C units in the building connect to cooling towers on the roof. Each unit has an "water-in" and a "water-out" hose that each connect to the A/C unit. Because the cooling towers have to have enough water to circulate through the entire building, we're talking about a LOT of water.

A couple of guys live three floors below me. About four months ago, they finished a complete renovation of their apartment. The renovation cost over $400,000. One week after the renovation was over, one of the cooling tower hoses broke off their A/C unit and flooded their 2000 sq. ft. condo with three inches of water. Four of the floors below them also had significant water damage.

The flooring in their apartment was some special imported wood. The wood floor planks were about one inch thick. When the wood got wet, it swelled and pushed the bottom of the sliding glass door frames outward. Seven doors were warped beyond repair. The water soaked, and completely ruined, their new kitchen cabinets. The water soak into much of their furniture. The first three feet of drywall had to be replaced in every room.

Damage (being payed for by insurance): $250,000+

    Bookmark   April 17, 2004 at 12:30AM
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Pipes freezing. Thankfully they didn't burst, it just forced them apart wherever they joined so new olives and a bit of plumbers tape and that was sorted. Only problem was that they froze on new years eve / small hours of new years day, so by the time we had sobered up from the previous night's celebrations and woken up they had thawed and peed water all over the carpet. Never mind, at least it cleaned up the stain from where the cat had been sick.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2004 at 8:58PM
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