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Old 11-24-2008, 04:46 PM   #1
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I think I should start that novel

I have always wanted to write the Great Canadian Novel, and I think I should start as I have a lot of material right here in my home.

Some of you know we had a sewage flood almost two weeks ago and we own a townhouse in a leasehold complex (means we have a management company instead of a strata council). Anyway, they took 18 hours to call the plumber and DH had to bail sewage water from the two bathrooms and storage room for 7 hours - 50 gallons worth! Then all they did was have someone clean the carpets and leave air blowers which blew the sewage bacteria into the air and gave me a horrid asthma attack.

Well, our insurance got involved and decided that the carpets, floors, vanities and even parts of walls have to come out. They also left two huge hepa filters and dehumidifier that is not only drying the carpets but our planlts and air too. My skin is cracking and I am drinking a ton of water. Not to mention the constant whir of the many fans 24/7.

Today I have a guy in a hazmat suit who has taped himself into our storage room and now one of our bathrooms with danger tape and plastic and is using a jack hammer to take up the floor. Why you ask? Because it turns out the floor has asbestos in it!!!! He has one more bathroom to do and will have to come back because they haven't taken the vanities out.

Then in my living room and bedroom I have a bunch of people packing up my books and stuff (they won't tough my fragile things) to send to storage until they can tear out the remainder of the carpet (the affected pieces are now gone). They were supposed to pack up the storage room too but because the floor guy was coming at 8 am we ended up doing it ourselves yesterday.

I am also waiting for a guy to come later today to tear out 2 and a half feet high of wall between our ensuite and bedroom closet and the same between the storage room and hall. The also have a small patch in our main bathroom as well.

Then we wait until they decide how much they will pay out for flooring, etc. and all the stuff we lost (not much considering, thankfully).

I am making this my own thread because it is not a vent. Things happen and I am actually beginning to laugh about it all. And, looking on the bright side, we get basically new bathrooms, new flooring in all but two bedrooms (we may just have them do it at the same time.)

....and who knows, you might all be buying my novel in a few months when I hit the best seller list!

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Old 11-24-2008, 04:57 PM   #2
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Other than that, how was the play Mrs. Lincoln?

Good thing you can laugh. Crying would only add to the moisture/water. Hope you get back to normal within a reasonable period of time. Hang in there.
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Old 11-24-2008, 05:01 PM   #3
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Thanks Katie, and I love your comment!

By the way, they just finished packing my cookbooks.....9 boxes worth....they say that is a record!
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Old 11-24-2008, 05:08 PM   #4
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This reminds me of our house fire. All the brand new stuff on insurance, including a new bathroom suite. This was not supposed to be replace but the taps & fittings were gold coloured. The plumber attempted to remove two grab handles from the bath and landed up breaking the bath. The suite was peach coloured & purchased when we did our extension 14 years ago. This is no longer fashionable & peach baths are no longer available - so they had to change the whole suite - toilet, shower tray & cubicle, bath & basin so they were all the same colour. A great pain but hey, a new suite. Bad news was that the plumber was useless and failed to fit the basin taps properly and we have recently discovered a slow leak that has damaged the floor & ceiling below it!!!!
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Old 11-24-2008, 05:28 PM   #5
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Girl, I'm just worried what will happen tomorrow!!! Next thing you know, they will have a plastic bubble over your house!

Come on down to Texas... weather is decent, just watch out for the big hole in my yard!
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Old 11-24-2008, 05:38 PM   #6
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Well, it ended up to be 10 boxes of cookbooks!

Oh Sattie, I feel like I am IN the bubble already. Do you know that I had to put a mask on to use the bathroom?

Oh, and they told me that the carpets and flooring won't be done for TWO weeks at least. I am so frustrated and depressed I let them take all my Christmas decorations and stuff to storage - I am not putting anything up until I am not living in the twilight zone any more!
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Old 11-24-2008, 06:55 PM   #7
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My total sympathies, LP.

My DH manages the construction companies for the insurance companies who do this kind of work. Some of the stories he tells are well... unbelievable!

Take care! Go to the doctor for written proof you're suffering and make sure that's submitted to the insurance company. Between asbestos, mold and your asthma, it pays to make sure there is plenty of documentation.

LL
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Old 11-24-2008, 07:08 PM   #8
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LP, i'm right there with LL, definitely document those asthma attacks! if your rented house is making you sick, that's a problem management needs to be prepared to pay for, if necessary.

wishing you the best of luck in getting this done as quickly and painlessly as possible!
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Old 11-25-2008, 12:49 AM   #9
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Thanks LibraryLady and Fireweaver, I really appreciate your concern.

Actually our house is not rented, we own it. The land is leasehold and there is a management company involved, but we own our unit. However, we have an insurance clause that covers anything the management/strata won't, and then our insurance will go after theirs if they see fit.

On Tuesday I did go to my doctor and she gave me a note saying that my asthma had in fact been worsened by the affects of the flood and that I had to go on steroidal medication because of it. She also added into the note that I am recovering from serious leg surgery and can't do much lifting, etc. This note is on file with the restoration company and our insurance company and I have the original here.

This is why they had the team come in to pack for me, and why the extra precautions with the asbestos.

Oh, and the latest update....when he removed the floors he found even more wall damage than they originally suspected. The two adjusters and the contractor will be out tomorrow to take a look and assess it but it does not look good. There is now a good chance that we will have to vacate as early as Wednesday and this is difficult with our dogs and our border....who is studying for his final exam which is on Thursday.

But GIG and I know it will all work out.
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Old 11-25-2008, 01:14 AM   #10
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Heck Laurie... sounds like you could possibly end up with a new house before it is all said and done.

I can't even imagine the disruption it has caused you and even how you are coping with it. I would be beside myself! I'm amazed that you are keeping your spirits about you. I'm praying for you sweetie... I just can't even imagine what this is like for you.
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Old 11-25-2008, 01:56 AM   #11
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I hate that you are having to go through this Laurie. I can't really add to what has been said, but I can say that we are keeping you in our prayers (as always). Make sure you get out and see some Christmas decorations at the mall or at friends' houses! You need a bit of visual cheer now and then!

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Old 11-25-2008, 10:51 AM   #12
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Thanks, Barbara, and everyone else. I really appreciate all the care that comes from everyone at DC. My main purpose for starting this thread was not to make another "woe is me" plea, but more to help myself find the hilarity in it all and share the adventure with you - it is my way of staying sane!

I am surprisingly calm now...as if there isn't anything else that can get me down. That is so healing and is what gives me strength.

I really AM finding this whole thing funny. Maybe that is a coping mechanism but I will keep it! As I have said before, I am finding joy in my trials and the knowledge that He is in control.

I wish I had been able to take pictures of yesterday to share with you, but I can't wait to upload what our new home looks like.

Oh, Barbara, I DO have my favourite Christmas "chandelier" of lights that DH bought me a couple of years ago from Ikea hanging in the living room, I kept my big snowman mug for my morning tea and evening hot chocolate WITH a candy cane and we are putting the outside lights up on Thursday. So we will have our little bit of Christmas, and I am very hopeful that we will have all our stuff back in time to have this house filled with its usual holiday charm! I will look forward to putting up every little ornament when the time is right.
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Old 11-25-2008, 11:08 AM   #13
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Take notes of what the hazmat suit looks like, maybe you can go as "that guy" next year for Halloween!

LL
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Old 11-25-2008, 11:12 AM   #14
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Laurie

I think you are great. I found it is much better to look beyond the present and look to the future - renewed things and new stuff.
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Old 11-26-2008, 11:50 AM   #15
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Chapter 2 - The Crappy Plumber

Okay, this whole flood thing is getting so surreal and I am really starting to have fun with it. HONEST!

After the hubbub of Monday settled down, we thought we were okay for awhile....that is until I tried we found out that the hazmat guy had not nicely unbolted our toilets to remove them, but he had rocked them back and forth until he could just pull them off the bolts (I did mention he was a BIG guy!). One flush and flood city all over again. Well, not close to the original, but still, water all over a now bare cement floor! Oh, yeah, and he left the glue on the floor which WE ended up cleaning up while mopping up - a sticky yuckky mess.

DH fixed the two toilets well enough to get us through until the floors are redone.

We were just pulling into the parking lot of Costco yesterday when the adjuster called on the cell phone to see how things were going. DH mentioned the poor job the asbestos guy did and the adjuster asked if we were certain we didn't need a plumber now. We said no, they were working and there was no point.

An hour and a half later we get home to find a plumbing truck in front and noises coming through our windows. The border had come home and I guess let the plumber in. The dogs are getting so used to having to be locked up when people come that one ran into our office and the other into our bedroom and the border just had to close the doors on them!

But the plumber was really not a happy camper. He said that he didn't know why he was called when he will just have to come back and do it all again (we told him we felt the same). And was mad that we weren't home when he arrived, not believing that we didn't know he was coming! He also told us one of the toilets was a cheap piece of junk and needed replacing. We told him it worked fine before this all happened. He just seemed to be unhappy with the world.

Well, he left and our border went into his bathroom (the one with the crappy toilet) and came out with a very strange expression on his face. He said that when he went to flush it the whole thing shook. We went in and tried it and it did it again. Then it cracked from one bolt hole straight through to the other and mini flood number 2! All three of us were so stunned it took a minute to turn the water off!

So, I am now waiting for the adjuster to decide if they are going to pay for the toilet to be replaced, or to charge it to either the hazmat guy or the irate plumber.

So now we can add at least one toilet to the list of new items we are accumulating. Maybe I can't put up my Christmas tree, but I sure am getting a lot of presents!

Oh, are you wondering where the plumber came from? Apparently the hazmat guy called the restoration team leader (not the adjuster) and told him we might need a plumber because for some reason one of the toilets didn't fit properly when he put it back!

Hope you aren't getting bored with my story, but I figure everyone could use a good laugh!
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Old 11-26-2008, 11:59 AM   #16
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lol... you should send this all the a newspaper or something. It's quite the story!
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Old 11-26-2008, 05:34 PM   #17
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omg, LP, i'm glad you can laugh about it! i'm busy being horrified on your behalf! a friend's mom once hired a contractor to renovate the kitchen...he took apart the kitchen (as in, no cabinets, knocked down a wall, pulled up the floor to concrete) while waiting to get the checks cleared from their house & others that were supposed to pay for materials. then he skipped town, leaving several people with useless parts of their homes. and of course, the family's money had all gone to pay the contractor, there was none left to hire ANOTHER contractor, so they could only piece back their kitchen over the course of a couple of years. that was the worst house story ever, but this may just take the cake!!!
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Old 11-26-2008, 05:44 PM   #18
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Thanks Fireweaver, I know people are a little shocked at my attitude but if you knew the things I have survived through the years you will know why I have learned to take it all in stride.

A friend's mother had the same thing happen to her with the kitchen - the guy gutted it and her bank account and jumped ship. It was horrible!

At least in our case the insurance is the one looking after the bills and the contractors. The only money I have put out was for new shower curtains, bath mats, towels, etc. and they have assured me those bills will all be paid and if they aren't well, at least I don't have to pay for the carpets, toilets, floors, etc.

As for living in this situation, I just keep telling myself how great it will be when they are done.

Oh, the moldy wall got removed this morning and with the dehumidifiers and hepa filters running non-stop my asthma has been well under control.
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