Rain, rain, go away: Chicago mom deals with water damage

This is what water mitigation looks like.
 
 

By Jennifer Evers

Member of the Chicago Parent Blog Network
 

I enjoy a good rainstorm. Maybe even the kind that brings some thunder and lightning. I love to just relax and listen to the rain on the windows. Even last Thursday night, when the sky turned a strange color, the wind blew and the rains just poured, I was relaxed and comfortable in my new home, enjoying the company of my boyfriend’s parents that are visiting from out of state and staying with us.

 

Until Friday morning when we discovered there was water in the basement. Where my in-laws (yes, that’s what I call them) are staying.

 

I don’t know what I was more upset by. That there was water, or that my family was going to be inconvenienced because of this.

 

Yeah, it was the water. My family loves me. We will make it work.

 

Welcome to my freak out.

 

SONOFABISCUIT there is water in the basement of my new home!!!!

 

Ten years in my last home and I never had an issue like this. There wasn’t standing water – yes, I know it could have been worse – but we had seepage along 75 percent of the perimeter of the basement.

 

It’s not finished. THANK GOODNESS. But I had finished carpet remnants all over one side of the basement to make my family more comfortable.

 

All of it was wet. Along with all of my dress clothes that were in a portable closet that for some reason fell over. In a puddle.

 

FREAKING OUT!!!!!!!

 

Trying to pull it together, I realized that there were things that needed to be done:


Call the insurance company.

Depending on how the water accessed your home, it may be covered under your homeowner’s policy. Depending on where you live, you may be required to have a separate flood insurance policy through FEMA – although most basement flooding due to a thunderstorm doesn’t fit in this policy. Because my water was considered “seepage”, it was NOT covered under my insurance. I was left to figure out the next steps on my own.

What the heck is “water mitigation?”

Basically it’s cleaning up and disinfecting the water-soaked areas. I asked Facebook, and my friends answered with recommendations. By Friday afternoon, I had a company out that assessed the situation, and set up equipment (seven high powered fans and an industrial-sized dehumidifier) to dry out the basement. In addition, they sprayed down all of the carpeting and rugs that were wet with a disinfectant/antimicrobial agent. It took three days for everything to be completely dry, and I’ll need to steam clean the carpeting after.

Decide what went wrong.

This one can be tricky. In my case I was very lucky in that when I was scheduling the water mitigation service, the technician on the phone stated that my situation sounded like a “classic sump-pump failure.” Instead of calling around to basement repair companies and taking my chances on paying thousands of dollars for services that I may not need, I managed to put the pieces together with help from someone that deals with hundreds of basements a year. What they said made sense - there was a significant amount of rain in a short period of time. My nine year-old sump pump couldn’t keep up and the drain tiles became overwhelmed. Seepage typically happens in this situation OR when there is a critical issue with the structure of the drain tiles.

See if you can prevent it from happening again.

Keeping my fingers crossed that it was just a sump pump issue, I called my local plumber. I’m now the proud owner of a brand-new sump pump and a state-of-the-art back-up system (which I had at my old house – DUH!). The only way to know if I guessed correctly is to see if it happens again. #PrayingIWasRight

Clean up.

My basement currently looks like a “Sharknado” blew through it. Everything is pushed towards the center of the room, and any sense of the immaculate organization that I had is completely gone. It will be days before we have it back to the way it was, if not weeks.

 

In the meantime, I’ve sacrificed my bedroom for the sake of comfort for my in-laws and I am happily sleeping on the couch. I’ve realized how grateful I am that they were here (for many reasons, of course). If not for them discovering the water when they did, it would have been several days or more before we had any indication of the water under the carpeting.

 

Then it’s a whole different ballgame.

 
 







 
 
 
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