Sunday, February 26, 2006

The joys of home ownership

Woke up this morning (da-DAA-da-dun) to the sound of growling (Meadow, at our old foster Brutus, who was hiding behind her from the new foster Sunshine), whining (Brutus, at the cat, for walking around on the bed), meowing (the cat, at me, for having the gall to sleep until 6:30), and finally, rushing water.

All but the last are normal morning sounds. All but the last have organic sources without the ability--or at least the inclination--to cave in the ceiling of the downstairs bathroom.

I'm the type who blows little annoyances way out of proportion. Getting a red light when I'm in a hurry because some idiot in front of me was driving 5 mph under the speed limit--blood pressure, through the roof. Discovering the milk is bad in the middle of making pancakes--disaster that will ruin my life forever.

But major catastrophes, such as, oh, I don't know, the hot water pipe bursting and causing major water damage to the lower level of our house, I take in stride. I'm even able to count the ways in which it could have been worse:
  • It could have happened at 3am instead of 6, when I probably wouldn't have heard it until our basement was under 100 gallons of water (or however much our hot water heater holds).
  • It could have happened while I was in the bathroom, drenching me with scalding hot water.
  • It could have happened while we were away.
  • It could have been the cold water pipe.
  • We could have had a decent basement ceiling instead of those lame drop ceiling tiles that give way at the slightest pressure, thus allowing the water to land on the floor where it could be sopped up, instead of traveling through the bowels of the home, exacerbating our existing mold problems.
There, that's enough. I'm sure I'll be less sanguine once we get the bills from the plumber and the contractor.

Which reminds me: Angie's List is a great source for finding out which home repair companies in your area have provided satisfactory (or unsatisfactory) service. Membership allows Joe and Jane Homeowner to fill out reports on companies they've tried, grading them on things like price, workmanship, punctuality, and professionalism. The Los Angeles Times called it "The Zagat's of Home Improvement."

They just opened up in the Baltimore/Washington area and are offering a free one-year membership to B/W residents. It's coming to New York in March.

Now let's see, Water Damage contractors....

UPDATE, for those who care, 2/27/06: Good news--The plumber said we could use hot water anywhere but in the upper bathroom shower/tub. Yay, we have clean dishes! Yay, I have clean hair! Bad news--they have to rip out part of our wall (behind the vanity) to replace the connection fitting, and it's going to take them all day and cost a bundle.


Oh, man.

Good luck. What did the insurance company say?

Posted by: Blogger Sharon GR at 2/26/2006 4:38 PM

Insurance covered my hot water heater when it burst and all the damage it di. Do you have hot water now?


Posted by: Anonymous Anonymous at 2/26/2006 4:47 PM

The insurance company said, "Hi, this is the answering service. Here's your claim #. Happy Sunday."

We decided to wait to call the plumber tomorrow when they wouldn't charge us extra for the weekend.

We shut off the valve to the pipe that we suspected of bursting, so we probably could safely turn the hot water back on, but I'd rather not take any chances, especially after finally getting all the water sopped up. Thankfully, Chris has the gym as a shower option tomorrow morning, and I can wait until after the plumber leaves. Good thing it's winter and very cold and dry. Literally, no sweat!

The dehumidifier is running full steam (Hah! Get it?) and making the basement nice and toasty for once. So we'll be warm for watching tonight's weird-ass Olympic closing ceremony. Clowns + Fellini = nightmare stew.

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 2/26/2006 6:12 PM

It's times like this I'm glad to live in an apartment. Not only do things get fixed right away, but we don't have to pay for it either.:-) Good luck Jeri.

Posted by: Blogger Unknown at 2/26/2006 11:36 PM

Thanks, Kathy. My first apartment had no hot water heater when I moved in, and for a week I had to heat up my own bathwater on the stove. Luckily it was the middle of the summer.

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 2/27/2006 7:26 AM

Ouch that's tough.

Posted by: Blogger Unknown at 2/27/2006 7:41 AM

Yikes, Jeri. Good luck with this.

Posted by: Blogger Rob S. at 2/27/2006 9:31 AM

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