water damage

¡Agua – Ay Chihauhua!

by on Aug.11, 2009, under God is testing me, water damage

For those of you following my blog – remember back in March when we had a horrible water leak? We were in the middle of getting our house foundation leveled and we had to deal with a flooded house. Finally it all came to an end…or so I thought. Other little things popped up like, the water heater finally died. Something else to do with water…

My mom is staying at our home this week because both of my kids do not have summer camp and “Nana” wants to take care of them before they start school next week.

For the past two mornings, Nana has gotten up and graciously hand watered our hay (lawn) in the hopes of delaying it’s inevitable demise due to the ridiculous heat we’ve been having.

I got home today from work and Nana tells me, “¡Ay que susto Heel-bear-toe, la agua se prendio solito hoy en la manaña!”

Chew on that for a moment…

“Oh what a fright Gilberto! The water turned on by itself this morning!”

“What?” I asked.

“Si, la agua…”

Okay I won’t do that to you again.

She said that during the day the water turned on in the back all by itself. My wonderful little girl Emmy went to the back and turned it off. Both my Mom and Joaquin were dumbfounded on how the hose suddenly just turned on!

I then turned to my little hero, “Emmy, was the hose squirting from the end or from the reel.”

“From the reel Dad.”

Hmph…I went out to investigate and sure enough – the BRAND NEW HOSE I JUST BOUGHT YESTERDAY AT HOME DEPOT WHILE I WAS RETURNING THE BOLTS FROM MY FAILED DOLLY MODIFICATIONS had a tear in it. Click on the image for a larger view.

“Maybe Max chewed it.” Joaquin asked.


“Maybe the heat just tore the hose?” Emmy asked.


“Ala mejor fue una culerbra…” Nana asked.


Maybe in a final act of desperation, the yard decided it didn’t want to die. It squeezed the pipes under the house in the hopes of applying too much pressure so the hose would burst and water would spray all over the grass and it would be saved.


Maybe my Mom just forgot to turn off the hose at the valve and it burst because it was a cheap hose and under the sun/heat? Click on image for larger view.


Thank god they were home, heard it and turned it off.

…God is testing me again…


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A little peace of mind?

by on Mar.25, 2009, under Family, Home repair, water damage


When my boss heard about the water leak we had – he mentioned you could purchase some sort of “shut off” hose. Today while the workmen are digging holes in my yard (foundation) I went over to Home Depot and looked through all of the replacement hoses for the toilet. Ever since the water leak  – we kept the water shut off at the toilet and it was time for me to replace the hose. 

I looked at all the hoses and a white label with blue lettering FloodSafe” caught my eye. The hose “shuts off” if it detects a sudden flow of water –  you know – if the plastic cap to the tank happens to break. 

It was about $3 more expensive but that is such a small price ($7 each) to pay for some additional peace of mind. I bought two and installed the first one and will put the 2nd one on the other bathroom toilet later. They even sell some for faucets too. I’m sure I’ll be going back to Home Depot to see if they have any for the washing machine hoses as well. Every little bit of insurance helps. 

So I’m passing this along to all of you reading this post – check your hoses to see if they are “FloodSafe” hoses – $3 dollars additional is such a small cost.  

I’ve included a picture below and here is a link to the manufacture’s site – you can see the difference on the hose connector that hooks up to the shut off valve. 



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Water Damage!

by on Mar.24, 2009, under Family, Home repair, water damage


Sorry for not posting sooner. We had a major water leak at our home last Tuesday. One of our bathroom toilet hoses broke and it looks as if it had been running for most of the afternoon. Thankfully it was clean water. 

My wife got home first and shut the water off and I was 10mins behind. I quickly began to vacuum up the standing water while my wife called the insurance company. My kids were real troopers – they ran around picking up all they could off the floor. My sister even came over to help vacuum water but we realized it was just too much water and we called a water extraction company and they showed up an hour later.

back porchtolietthe bedroom

click on images for a larger view

The water extraction team finished around midnight that night, pulling up carpet, removing the pad (which is like a sponge) and removing baseboards. Then they put in some dryers and de-humidifiers to suck out all the moisture. These blowers had to run for about 4 days straight. The didn’t pull the last one until just yesterday.

Only three rooms were spared. The dinning room, kitchen and my study. But I’m thankful it was only water. While the house dried we stayed at my wife’s father’s condo to rest. It was close to the kid’s school so we took them to school the next day and practices – we tried to keep them on a schedule. I would then periodically come over to the house to check on it. Man those blowers were hot. 

chair water levelthe hallwaythe blowers

click on images for a larger view

Wednesday I was busy all morning making phone calls and scheduled insurance adjusters, contractors and dealing my work. Our house is in such disarray when the big fans and de-humidifiers were blowing through the house plus all of my son’s clothes are on his bed since we had to rip out his closet shelves to pull out the carpet padding. These drying machines were big and they even tripped our breakers once (while my wife and I were at the house trying to assess damages on Wed) and that scared me so I pulled all my external drives and brought them with me to the condo. My drives are my life.

On Saturday we all came over to pick up the wet stuff and wash it. Then on Sunday I was able to stay in my house. The wife and kids still stayed at the condo. 

So now on Tuesday, I begin my vacation because I’m having the house foundation “leveled.” Yes, that added an extra wrinkle to the problem.

See, you don’t want to put down new carpet or sheet rock if the house is going to be raised! You might get a wrinkle in the carpet or sheet rock may crack. So…we are proceeding with the foundation work. We can’t fix the carpet or sheet rock until the house is raised. The five day construction begins today and will finish next Monday. I”ll post about that too. 

It’s crazy – all this coordination. Thank goodness I work at a job that requires me to juggle multiple projects with some wicked deadlines. Friday, Monday and Tuesday were spent with plumbers, carpet and construction guys. Now to submit it all to the insurance for payment. Then to begin our personal belongings damages.

One thing I’m glad is it was not a fire. We’ve lost some items but I’m glad we still have our home. 

And it’s funny – this has happened to a lot of folks. When I mention it to them, they nod their head and recount their stories. Then I mention the house foundation, they laugh and start to tell me, “When it rains, it pours.”

…well I know we need the rain…but I’m tired of getting wet. 


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