Water damage in new house discovered at possession :(
We closed on our new (to us, the house is 3 years old) house 1.5 weeks ago. When we got the keys and walked in to our new home for the first time with the realtor, and rounded the bend the the kitchen...:(.
The previous owners left 2-3 weeks before we closed and a leak had started in the hot water line, sometime after that, under the kitchen sink and destroyed the hardwoods, some cabinets, and the carpet in the storage closet. Mold was also starting to grow, so they did a "flood cut" in some areas of the drywall. There was a toe kick vent under the sink, and water just poured down that as well. So there was also secondary damage to the crawlspace, insulation and ducting. We had an inspection prior to purchasing, the leak was not there at that time. The sellers turned off the water heater completely before they vacated the house and the plumber said that the change in temperature in the line likely lead to the leak.
We are a military family and we waited a very long time to find our forever home. We have lived all over the world in some pretty horrible housing. We finally got to pick a place to live that we love and we have this to deal with now. I KNOW it will be OK, and there are a lot worse things that could happen in life, but I am still pretty heartbroken.
We had to go ahead and move in. My husband is still active duty and this was the only time we could be sure he would be around for the move. Their insurance is covering the water mitigation and will cover the repairs, since they were the owners when the damage occurred. They will NOT however, cover us for loss of use. We could not pay for the mortgage and alternate housing.
The mitigation included holes being drilled in the sublfoor to get air flowing through it to dry it out. The kitchen was enclosed in plastic sheeting. Heaters, blowers and dehumidifiers ran for 24/7 for 7 days straight (one of them ran off of our 220 for the dryer, can't wait to see our electric bill). They kept the heaters in the kitchen set at 100.
The excessive heat, and dehumidifiers dried out all of the caulking on the backsplash and around the trim. It also ruined the finish on some of the cabinets. The cabinets with mold on them were removed, but the counter was braced under it and not removed. New boxes will be built and retrofitted into place and the original cab faces in the affected area will be put back on. I am told I will never know the difference, but I am not so confident that this won't look frankensteined.
I know you are not 'disaster experts', but I'm wondering if you guys can help me think of things I should be sure to have the contractors fix, or advice design choices/how to improve the look of the kitchen, since some things will have to be changed anyway. I feel very much at a disadvantage here, we are the party most affected by this, but because it is not our insurance, we have no say, and are out of the loop. I feel very vulnerable.
I know nothing about granite, but could the finish have been affected by the drying out extremes? It almost feels kind of rougher? I can feel some pits (?) in the veining. I have no idea what granite it is, Could be my imagination ;)
I'm was never a big fan of the light floor and the warmer knotty alder cabs together anyway. The adjuster has not said if they will replace the hardwoods (they run through almost all of the first floor) or just patch and repair them. If we have to keep the floors, I am thinking of having them paint the cabs out the same as the trim color (Devine Whip, very similar to BM Marscapone, IMO), since they will need to be finished anyhow. I've read on the House of Fifty blog about how she did the same thing with her knotty alder, she had the knots filled. Then I guess i'd pay to have the cabs on either side of the fireplace painted to match too?
Should I ask them to repaint the walls? Again the excessive heat and moisture loss from the drying process, I'm worried what affect it will have on that as far as durability over time.
If they do paint the cabs, I'm thinking of a cheaper crackle white subway too instead of the travertine bs. That would have to be on my dime though, because the bs appears fine except for the crumbling grout caulk.
If we do get to pick out new floors I will probably go with a warmer/darker color. I do love how hard these floors appear to be. They are a prefinished engineered maple.
I know this is a jumbled mess of a post, but I am 100% overloaded right now. Sorry...
If there is anything you can think of that I should be doing/have the contractors redo, that isn't obvious, I'd sure appreciate some advice. I know i will need to make some decisions soon, and I love to pick some things out that goes better with my style if I can. I've posted some pics so you can get a feel for the space. The furniture you see, is not necessarily what will stay (the dining table belongs in the dining room obviously, when we can access it, it was affected too.) The blond table is just acting as my kitchen counter ;)))
From May 7, 2013
From May 7, 2013
From May 7, 2013