Starting over with floors

marti8aJune 28, 2013

Tears are stinging my eyes as I write this, and maybe I should wait to ask, but I thought it might pull me out of my depression to start working on a plan.

I came home from a vacation last night to find that a water line under the sink had come loose and ruined a lot of the flooring and a few other things. We're on slab and the engineered wood flooring in the dining room and hall is toast. The restoration service pulled a lot of it up because the water had gotten under it and was trapping the water under the walls.

They said there is a chance, though slim that our new kitchen tile might pop loose, so we are waiting to see about that.

They drilled holes through the bases of all our kitchen and laundry cabinets to push air through and pulled up all the baseboard. The sides of the cabinets are plywood and I haven't been able to get to them to see if they are damaged.

I can see that the plywood sides of 2 of the 3 sections of my china cabinet seems to be separating near the bottom.

The bases of my bedroom chest and dresser also got wet and have swelled. The sides of those are plywood also, so we're watching to see if they delaminate or shrink back down.

We are going to replace the flooring in the formal living room which we use as dining room, the hall, the foyer, and 3 bedrooms plus 5 closets. The tile in the kitchen and laundry seems ok at this point and the berber in the family room is fine.

This is the 4th time we have had water damage in this house and I am seriously thinking about just having the house put back together, sell it, and move. That could be depression talking and I'll feel differently tomorrow, or next week when these deafening fans are gone.

So here are my questions.

1) Would you put wood flooring throughout or just in the foyer, formal living, and hall, with carpet in the bedrooms? Dh likes carpet under his feet when he gets out of bed, and I would rather have wood for allergies and cleaning.

2) If selling, would you put in built in china cabinets or free standing?

3) Also if selling, would you make any structural upgrades while the house was empty? The upgrade I am thinking of is to move a wall in the master bedroom to make the tiny 3'x5' closet into a 5'x6' closet but will make the bedroom smaller, from 12'x16' to 12'x14'.

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Just wanted to tell you how sorry I am that you are facing this level of damage. What a horrible sight to see upon your arrival home.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 6:35PM
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Heartbreaking. You are facing a huge task and upheaval of your family life. Take a deep breath. We had a major house fire years ago and I understand what you are feeling.
My advice would be to not make any decisions for at least a week,sometimes we just don't know where to START. Then make a list of the things you want to change,now is the time to do it, once things start going back together you will start to feel better. I know I was terribly depressed until all the fire damage, which was gutting every room but the kitchen,was out and into the dumpsters.
I'm with you on all hardwood floors so much earlier to keep clean,get a rug for hubby's side of the bed. Lol.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 7:27PM
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Oh bullydosmom, that is far worse than just water damage. At least everything over 3 inches above the floor is ok and no smoke damage here.

I'm trying to see the good side. We didn't really like the wood floor we had, so this is a chance to get something better. We want to put wood on the ceiling in the formal living room but it was going to be a hard to protect the floor from the scaffold, and now we can do that. We need to paint and that too is a hassle with all the furniture in a room, so that will be easier with all the furniture out.

The insurance adjuster told dh we could get a hotel room, but after being gone, I just wanted to be home, so dh set up an air mattress in the garage office. It's great for one person, but two roll to the middle. Dh made it before I got home and didn't put any mattress pad under the sheets or any blankets and the a/c was too cold. I felt fine the whole time I was gone, but got off the last plane with a sore throat which was worse this morning. So I woke up this morning tired, miserable and depressed. We're pulling a couple of twin mattresses into the family room tonight. With the doors shut, it's not any louder than the window a/c in the office so it's got to be better. If not, I'll give up and go to a hotel. Either way I hope I'm out of this funk tomorrow.

I think it's time to dig into the Ghirardelli chocolate I brought home for the kids.

This post was edited by marti8a on Fri, Jun 28, 13 at 21:00

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 8:57PM
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I feel for ya. I remember you trying to decide on your kitchen tile. It was all DIY too, wasn't it? What a shame!

It just happened to us too. We finished our kitchen remodel a year ago and had just finished painting upstairs and down. We had visitors for a week, and the day they left, the level switch went out on our upstairs washer and flooded most of the carpeted rooms upstairs. It came flowing down through the kitchen lights. Fortunately, the only damage to the kitchen was the ceiling, but the entire downstairs ceiling needed skim coating. We have to replace drywall upstairs and down, all the upstairs carpeting, and refinish our hardwood hallway/powder room. Twenty minutes of overflow resulted in an insurance claim of over $20,000. Farmer's Insurance and the restoration company they recommended has been terrific, but the noise and heat generated by the fans and dehumidifiers and being confined to one area of the house while they make repairs has not been fun.

We've heard so many stories of water damage since we had it happen to us. Our insurance adjuster told us that most of his claims are due to a DW, washer, or ice maker leaking.

There are ways to protect your home from water damage. First, turn off the water when you're away from home. It seems it always happens when the homeowner is on vacation. Turn off the incoming water to your washer when you're not using it. Don't run the washer or DW while you're not home or before going to bed. Replace the cheap hoses that come with appliances with reinforced hoses. There's also a water sensing system that will turn off the water at the main outlet when sensors under your appliances detect water. We are looking into a system called The Water Cop.

Marti, I hope you had water damage insurance, but from what I have been told, the insurance company may cancel your insurance if you make a second water damage claim. I sure hope that's not the case for you. I am very paranoid about having this happen to us again!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 9:16PM
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oh marti! that is so much worse than I thought. I thought it was just the kitchen.

no wonder you're depressed - and what a mess to come home to.

I'd definitely do whatever it was you wanted done (ceiling, painting etc) to take advantage of this bad situation. And wood floors with a nice thick runner next to dhs side of the bed.

Also, increase the closet size. a 12 x 14 bdrm is plenty big enough - a larger closet is much needed. My bdrm is 13 x 13 and is plenty big. I love my 4 x 5 closets. You will also. The 1' less in the bdrm won't be that noticeable but the added 2' in the closet will be!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 9:21PM
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may-flowers, that is good advice. The washer hose popped out of the wall drain not long ago, but I caught it early. I wish I had had an alarm, but I just never got around to buying one. The water to our washer is really hard to reach, so not really possible to turn it off between using.

Our insurance guy told me about all the possible leaking things under the sink, and I'd never even thought of the dishwasher or ice maker. We think this was the tubing going to the water filter. When dh bought the filter system, he was dubious that anything that easy to install could be safe. But we don't know which of the many things under there was the problem. Dh just turned off the water as fast as he could.

Yes, we've done a lot of the diy, but mostly the prep and woodworking. Dh will do easy plumbing like connect the hose to the back of the fridge, but someone else can do anything that requires a torch or multiple fittings.

I haven't mentioned to dh about increasing the closet size yet, but our neighbors said they lost a sale on their house because the buyers said the closet wasn't big enough. (and theirs was bigger than ours)

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 10:19PM
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Marti, so sorry for what you are going through. The shock of it all is going to be with you for a few days, but take your time and think it through as everything dries out and you are able to fully assess and digest the work that needs to be done. We had a similar situation with plumbing break above a ceiling in a lower level floor where we had stored all our photos and family history documents (years of geneaology research destroyed). So I send hugs to you as a former and fellow sufferer. We had time to think it through as we finished cleanup of our disaster and were even able to make a better place out of the repair stage.
Take your time to make your decisions and allow yourself and DH time to discuss all your options. By the time everything is repaired and refurbished you may have a much better place. Not easy, I know. hang in there and
keep us posted on your progress. best wishes

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 6:41AM
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Oh no! What a huge mess! I was just about to post and ask about your painting project.

First...just breathe. This is not the worst possible disaster. No one was hurt, and it doesn't sound like anything irreplaceable was lost. A huge hassle and headache, yes, but not the end of the world. Being sick and tired certainly doesn't make it easier.

Second, you don't have to make any decisions today. Sleep on all of the decisons, get some good rest, take care of yourself, and give it all a few days.

If it were me, I'd do all wood. If your DH really insisted, you could do carpet just in the master, but do the rest in wood.

I have no opinion about the china cabinet without seeing a picture of the space. A built-in is always nice, but free standing gives you more flexibility.

Yes to expanding the closet! Our house was built in the '70's, and all of the bedrooms are generously sized with dinky little closets. There's only so much furniture than can or should go in the room, but it's hard to complain about too much closet space.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 1:08PM
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How are you doing today, Marti? How many days will you need the fans?

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 7:51PM
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Much better today. We pulled a couple of mattresses into the family room and shut the doors. It's not quiet but not any worse than the window a/c and more comfortable than the air mattress.

The fans will be here until Monday when the guy will come back out to check. He said today they should be done by then.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 8:11PM
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Just wanted to add my empathy.... We all live busy enough lives without something like this completely derailing us. Take a deep breath....

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 8:11PM
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franksmom, our house was built in the 1980s, with small bedrooms and small closets. Small everything really. I'm going to get some bids and see how much it will cost to to expand both bedrooms and closets. I don't think it will be too much considering the roof is already there.

I looked around some today and there isn't anything we would consider buying, so I guess we'll stay here.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 8:23PM
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The fans were removed Monday and we're still waiting to hear from the adjuster. He seems to have taken a 4 day weekend. Meanwhile the hall and part of the living room floors are rough and uncomfortable to walk on.

Meanwhile, I've been talking to dh about the floor and other changes I want to make. He doesn't really want wood floor in the bedroom, but I think it will be better for his allergies and easier to clean. But I am reconsidering wood floors in the other two bedrooms from a selling point. Would buyers with small children (our home would be considered a starter or downsize) want wood or carpet in kids' rooms? As a parent, I wanted carpet to make it better for them and to muffle the noise of plastic toys being dumped out of a tub.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 9:36PM
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marti, I am so sorry you have this trouble in your life. Sending you lots of good thoughts, and virtual chocolate.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 10:33PM
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Thanks, it's not so bad right now but I'm ready for a clean floor to walk on again and I'm ready for other things to stop breaking down at the same time.

Do you all know of any brand engineered wood flooring that is so popular that it is not likely to be disconotinued next year? Then we can carpet the bedrooms now and put wood in later if wanted.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 10:28AM
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Marti, I've followed your saga. My sympathies! Household Disasters is right below Home Decorating and I always wince when I click on it by accident, LOL! That kind of stress can just stay away.

I don't think you'll be able to rely on any manufacturer to keep a line available indefinitely. Go ahead and put wood everywhere. Area rugs with a pad will provide a cushy area for anyone who wants it.
We just pulled the last of our wall to wall up last week in preparation for tiling. The amount of dirt underneath it convinced me, again, that it just isn't for me. And it holds odors, eeeewww.

I'm planning on tiling the bedrooms, too. Right now they are painted concrete with large area rugs and I have young kids and live in a hurricane area. The heck with resale, I'm putting in something that can withstand environmental changes and I can clean well.
As for some cushion, I like area rugs because I can roll them up and take them for a deep cleaning every few years. I think your DH would appreciate that point.

That's just my perspective. I hope it helps you resolve one decision, at least :)

I hope you get your house back to normal soon!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 10:59AM
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Double post

This post was edited by alex9179 on Sat, Jul 6, 13 at 11:53

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 11:51AM
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I did not see this thread until now. I am so sorry this has happened to you, marti8a. You hear these horror stories and can't imagine what it must be like to come home to this.

On another forum here, I don't remember which one, someone posted a link to vinyl floor planks that were absolutely waterproof. There was a youtube video demonstrating it. It s called Supreme Click Elite Waterproof vinyl flooring.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 12:49PM
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