Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Digging Out

It's been an interesting (read: nightmarish) few days in Casa Del Brakke (hence the quiet on this blog). We woke up Friday morning (after the coldest night we've seen here in years) to find water all over our laundry room, in the kitchen and in the family room (soaked through the drywall between it and our laundry room). This once happened before when we were gone for a weekend; we came home to a water soaked main room after a pipe in the wall froze. It was an awful experience that was instantly brought back to memory upon surveying the scene Friday morning.

This time, though, it didn't turn out to be a pipe. See we have this whole house water softener in our laundry room and, near as we can figure, either something happened to the drain in the laundry room floor or the drain hose of the softener somehow became dislodged. More likely the latter, but I have no way to account for how that would've happened. At any rate, when the softener regened in the wee hours (a process that I'm told uses a ton of water) the water went everywhere. And so my Friday was spent moving furniture out of the affected areas (including my whole home theater and PC setup) and calling in a drying and restoration crew to assess the damage.

When all was said and done our carpeting was saved but the water managed to go under our tile floor in the kitchen and laundry room and now it must be replaced. Did I mention we just put new ceramic tile down in the kitchen a mere six months ago? Yeah. This f$#^ing blows alright. See, we live on a slab and because the slab isn't precisely level the guys who installed our floor decided to leave the existing vinyl flooring in place and evidently vinyl flooring has a layer of paper underneath and paper will mold when, say, the contents of Lake Michigan manage to seep underneath it (as is the case). I was wary of this notion of leaving the vinyl in place at the time, but as I don't know sh$% about such things I let it go. I kinda wish I had put up more of a fight over it now.

What are ya gonna do?

So it's been four days of industrial strength dryers (think Princess Vespa's hair dryer in Spaceballs) blowing at full power in my house. This is not a pleasant way to live. Fortunately for my wife and kids we were already planning to spend the weekend in Michigan. I stayed home and made extensive use of my noise cancelling headphones. (Did I mention I recently sent the bedroom TV back to the manufacturer for repairs so I had to set up a makeshift entertainment center in the heart of the dryers?) The good news is that the headphones worked very well. The bad news is that three straight days of wearing headphones all day long is not at all comfortable for one's ears. I did escape for a bit on Saturday to a buddy's house for some Settlers of Catan and Arkham Horror (we won!), which are two great, great boardgames.

Anyway, most everything is dry now except a few bits of carpet, which, hopefully will be finished tomorrow so that we can start the process of having our floor torn out. Of course, the fun isn't remotely over yet because on Friday my wife is going under the knife for a laperoscopy (sp?). (Anyone know much about endometriosis?) It's a fairly routine procedure, but surgery is surgery so I'm not exactly looking forward to seeing her go through it. How the procedure and recovery goes will determine how much blogging I get done next week.

In the meantime, I wish you all better luck than I'm having; and if you happen to have a water softener at home, make sure that drain hose is well-secured. ;)