Flooded and Floorless
A humbling experience for yours truly.
My home is currently a disaster zone. 80% of the downstairs flooring has been removed.
The good news is at least it’s quiet. After ripping out the laminate, the flooring guys set up nine industrial fans and dehumidifiers running 24/7 for three straight days to thoroughly dry the underlying concrete.
The other good news is that our downstairs is built on concrete, so we thankfully still have a solid floor.
How did this happen?
It started in one spot on the floor, where if you put your foot on a piece of the laminate water squished out. I assumed the kids had spilled something—as they are wont to do.
Then, it spread. The floor started to feel squishy and some parts even made a squishy sound.
Our realtor suggested that it was some hidden HVAC leak. We have the main unit in a utility closet downstairs. We looked all around but couldn’t find a leak.
We called out the HVAC crew. A guy pulled a pipe out of the unit and gallons of water started gushing out. The inside had gotten clogged up and the unit responded by pumping water under the floor.
The good news is that the HVAC guy installed a float switch that will turn the unit off before it does that again, and insurance is paying for most of the damage.
The only thing that really sucks now is that we’ve had to move most of what’s downstairs and we’ll have to move everything again when the time comes to install a new floor.
Needless to say, it’s been a humbling experience, and I hope it serves as a reminder that home maintenance should be foremost in your preps.
I asked the HVAC guy how to prevent this, and he just said to keep your filters changed every month, which we do.
The upside of all of this is the shocking amount of competence displayed by the HVAC company, the flooring company, and our insurance company. It seems like competence and customer service have gone out the window since 2020, but for once everyone is on top of their game.
Lessons and Takeaways
If you have an indoor HVAC unit, get a float switch installed so this does not happen to you.
Keeping contact with your real estate agent is smart because they almost always know the best people to call for repairs.
Home maintenance is key and you can’t be anal enough about it. It doesn’t matter how much rice and ammo you have if you don’t have a roof or a floor.
Most importantly, it’s important to keep perspective.
I was just at a friend’s house, and she—like any good housewife—was apologizing for how “dirty” her floor was. I responded, “At least you have a floor!” She laughed. Then another friend chimed in, “At least you have a place to live!”
Turns out, he’s temporarily between one lease ending and the other beginning. He’s fine, and our mutual friend offered her spare bedroom in case he needed it, but it really put things into perspective.
“I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.” — Hellen Keller