Return to The Leaky Cauldron

Well… S and I are back in The Leaky Cauldron. Yep, winter and plumbing has snatched our flooring away for the second Christmas in a row.Last Thursday I came home to find puddles forming as I walked across the dark bamboo flooring that was our living room floor. I was instantly furious and overwhelmed. These floors were just installed in February of this year.

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Thank goodness for insurance, but seriously? S and I process stress very differently. I tend to get so angry and full of rage that tears begin to fall freely as frustrated thoughts cross my mind. S shuts down and tends to be on the calmer side when things like this happen. My mind immediately painted everything red as I looked down to see the water soaking my sock. I’d JUST got home from work and this was the last thing I wanted to deal with.

 

I realize how lucky S and I are to have a roof over our heads – how lucky we are to even have a home to worry about in these situations – but we’re allowed to be angry. We’re allowed to be frustrated. This whole mess is just #tooSOON.

 

The day after I was more out of my feelings and could think straight about round two of no floors, a destroyed living room, and living mostly out of our bedroom. We’ve been in contact with our housing association, the emergency plumbers the evening of the leak discovery, and more plumbers sent over from our housing association. At least we still have full access to our kitchen this time…

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(Our living room, currently.)

In the end, we shouldn’t be responsible for any of the damage. We have four units in our row of condos and it’s been confirmed that three of the four units were having strange plumbing issues. The reason for the leak was due to the main sewer lines in housing complex clogging up. Our water heater floor draining system didn’t have anywhere to drain so it created its own relief. Our neighbors had water coming up in their showers and toilets, so clearly this can’t be a resident responsibility.

 

One of the gentleman who came by to check on our water heater and drain the main lines explained how there was feet upon feet of paper that was backed up inside the main sewer lines. Great. We’ll probably need to spend a few nights in the hotel so they can kill any rogue bacteria that the water brought into our home – this is coming from our restoration contractor.

 

We’re hoping the turn around is fairly quick this time, since we aren’t having the entire downstairs remodeled again. Thankfully it’s just the floor and the dining room and kitchen areas are safe. Things definitely could have been worse.

 

So sorry for my absence! Life just never stops, does it. Oh! This happened the night after S finished his master’s program in accounting – the first free night he’s had in a very long time. We’re looking forward to some chill, hopefully, in the near future.

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2 thoughts on “Return to The Leaky Cauldron

  1. I sympathise with your experience at this point. I can say this because we bought a mobile home in a residential resort park in 2007. We thought we had made a rather good deal as the people agreed to sell it to us for 20 to 30 grand less than the going price in our area. They were a highly christian couple as they took every opportunity to remind us. Why they even took us to church dinners, and to the church christmas play.

    A week after we bought the place the refigerator fell through the floor. Seems termites had eaten the floor area under it out. The couple assured us that they had gotten a termite company out to the place and kill all them pesky critters.

    Over the next six weeks I kept falling through the floor in different spots throughout the house. Seems there was floor damage here and there , but everywhere there was a hole, they simply nailed the carpeting down around the hole strenthing it for walking. Until it gave. In each place Ron took up the flooring, replaced the joists and placed down new decking and new flooring.

    Then we decided to replace a sliding glass door to the enclosed front room with nice fancy french doors with lots of window panes. Well after we peeled the outer wall off , Ron got upset. I was not understanding. He said Scottie look at the header of the center beam. I still did not understand. He said it is crushed. It shouldn’t be. He said we had to take off the entire wall. We did , the entire inner wall was gone. Not a 2X4 in place. The entire thing eaten away by termites. The entire outer wall. So Ron rebuilt it.

    Then the bedroom bathroom floor fell out. Ron replaced it. The bathroom off our bedroom had a shower and a toilet. Days after he replaced the floor it started to sag. He knew something was very wrong. He was getting depressed. Sure enough, he cut into the bedroom side wall, and water came spraying out. The pipes had let go. Or to be clear, they had been letting go for years. The entire bathroom had to be ripped out, and the footer, the entire 2×4 walls showed extreme rot and mold.

    MOLD

    So Ron ripped out the entire bathroom, and bleached every internal wall and footer and headers he could reach. We thought we were in the clear.

    Thanksgiving day we were to have over 40 visitors to our home. The church behind us had agreed to loan us the tables and chairs for our carport to hold everyone. Ron was feeling in his glory because he loved having big dinner parties. The morning before I stepped into the tub of our only working bathroom. As I turned the tap, it broke off and shot water out of the bathroom across the hall and into the wall. I screamed for Ron.

    He shut the water off. The only way to get the tub out was to cut it out. The taps were built in. We had to have a bathroom for that many people. So Ron cut the tub out with a saws all. Went running around and got parts, put the whole thing together for the time being. Just to get through the next day.

    During the party Ron disappeared. That was not like him. He loved these big gatherings. I continued to play great host, getting more and more worried.

    I excused myself and went into the house. Past the working bathroom to our torn apart bedroom bathroom where I found the love of my life drenched and upset , up to his arms in sewage. Seems one of our guest ( we can only think that is the reason it happened ) plugged up our only working toilet. When Ron cleared it it cascaded into the torn up bathroom in our bedroom and waste water was flowing into our bedroom. Ron begged me to leave it to him and go back out and entertain our guests and play host.

    Then for a few months it seem to settle down. I was finally allowed to go back to work, even though my doctors did not think it a good idea, but I wanted to so badly, I threatened to do so against their direction if need be. I should have listened as it nearly killed me. I still have never recovered.

    So I was working at the same place as Ron, an ICU in a hospital and we worked the same hours and days. The only way Ron and my doctors would agree. One day we came home to find the whole kitchen floor gone. When you stepped in the door, there was no where to go. The entire kitchen floor was gone. Seems the pipes under the floor were copper, and in florida copper pipes corrode. They started spraying the sub decking which was pressboard. Once it gets wet it swells and then dissolves. Crap. Ron took a few days off work and built a new kitchen floor.

    Then we found new problems. We started asking people in the park about the history of our home. They asked us did we ever question the lifetime metal roof over our main home. No we replied, in fact after we bought the place we had it extended to the areas not covered. Then we found out that during one of the hurricanes our roof was ripped off. The people were seasonal and did not really care. So they left it that way for 8 months. During that time every time it rained it ruined the home.

    Ron on hearing that went over the home very carefully. Something we would have done if the people we had bought it from not gone to such great lengths to show us how great Christians they were and how totally holy they were. The damage Ron found scared him and he has built new homes and done remodeling for years. The entire house had mold in the walls. It had floor had massive rot and damage under every window. Every wall was in some way about to collapse. He went under the house and took out the insulation and found leaking pipes.

    Remember we had given up My wonderful fully loaded GMC dually truck and 40.4 foot RV with 5 slides and a back den for this house. I sacrificed them for this disaster Ron wanted. It was almost the end of our relationship.

    Ron explained that the only way to save the home and the investment we had into it was to gut it totally. Only two walls showed no mold. Our back bedroom wall and the half wall in the livingroom. Everything else had to go, floor, walls, we would have to live in a huge mobile home shell as he rebuilt it.

    So we did , He gutted the entire place. Gone was the card games we held. Gone was the dinners ron loved. Gone was socializing. The people we use to invite to our home and we to theirs soon stopped inviting us when we stopped asking them to our home. Ron felt betrayed. But still every day he did not have to be at work, with every dollar we earned, he fought to rebuild the house, all on his own as I was losing the ability to walk, and when not at work was in bed, struggling. He was getting desperate.

    Then the doctors told him I had to stop. But I was driving myself as hard as I could and wouldn’t listen. Then the last year I worked I spent as much time in the hospital as I did work. They told ron if I wouldn’t quit they would be forced to commit me to save my life. I was so sick. I would work one day and then on the way home fall asleep, I would come into the house and stay in bed for the next day, raising only to go to work the third day. Ron was frantic, everything spinning out of his control. He made a choice. He told me one day to either accept I couldn’t work or he would ask our boss to fire me. I refused to stop, and so I got fired.

    So here was Ron looking at rebuilding a home with a very ill lover and a loss of half the household income. Things came to a stop as he spent the money to get me back to living health.

    Then as he worked overtime and odd jobs he got the money to put up walls and then floors. He built me the office I have now for my computers, game machines and my candle making equipment. He built a huge master bathroom and a second smaller one for guests. He put together a house as best he could. He is already planning to do the kitchen, moving a door and setting up a kitchen of my dreams, lengths of counters , big new appliances. He has already done so much.

    You have to understand something. Ron is 61 going on 62 this next year. He has had a heart attack, a stroke, and he has M.S. I have all my problems but still try my best to help. How great it feels just to do the dishes sometimes.
    Why this long story? Well I know how these things can hit you, how it hit us. But I also know how much love can overcome it. Don’t be angry, don’t despair, Heck if we can face this at our age, you young guys could do so much better than us.

    Be well. Know I care. Best wish. Hugs

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