You know how when something is going SO well, you can’t help but wonder when the shoe is going to drop?
That’s kind of where we were at with our home renovation last week at about this time. Everything was lining up schedule-wise; our move (which we’re doing in phases) was going well, all was full steam ahead.
My husband said, “I think I might install the new toilets in the house myself.”
(Note: I highly recommend spending money to install new toilets in any used home you buy. Because…ick.)
Now he’s successfully installed several toilets before, but Gigi Know-It-All said, “Let’s not put another task on you. Let’s just pay a plumber to do it, because if something happens and there’s a leak, you don’t want to have to deal with that.”
Being the wonderful husband he is, he agreed and hired a plumber – a friend of our drywaller. The drywaller had referred us the fabulous painters who did our staircase, and we felt good about it.
Until this happened.
That would be water damage.
The plumber improperly installed the toilet in the Jack and Jill bathroom that is directly above the master bedroom.
The water flowed out of the toilet area, soaked Boy Wonder’s entire carpet floor, and began running down into the master (the dripping water through the ceiling fan being the dead giveaway).
Boy, did I ever feel like a jerk for not letting my husband install the toilets. Hell, he could have caused a major plumbing leak just as good as the next guy!
Fortunately, our hardwood floors had not yet been installed in the master.
The resulting mess meant drywall repair in three rooms, new tile in the kids’ bathroom, new carpet in my son’s room, and a lot of other ancillary crap. Not to mention we had to find a new plumber to go back and re-check Plumber 1′s work.
So here are a few things I can say I’ve learned about water damage:
We found our water damage within a few hours of it happening. We were able to quickly turn off the water supply, avoiding further damage.
Assess The Damage.
Fortunately, our drywaller has a background in water damage restoration. He was able to utilize special equipment that gets inserted into the drywall to determine whether the wall has been compromised and needs repair. Without his equipment, we might have also replaced Little CEO’s drywall just to be safe, but his equipment told us that those walls were dry.
Dry It Out Completely.
Once we figured out where all of the compromised areas were, we rented high-powered commercial fans from Home Depot to blast on the wet areas. Over a period of days, we were able to sufficiently dry out many of the areas so that construction could proceed.
When In Doubt, Replace.
It’s way less expensive to replace drywall, ceiling fans, or carpet while you’re in the midst of dealing with the leak than to try and do a short-term fix or patch and have it cause further problems later, like mold – which you don’t want under any circumstances.
By the time I publish this post, all of the drywall should theoretically be fixed and we can proceed with the next stage of renovation. Please, drywaller, don’t let me down.