The flood(s) of 2009--Inside and out

In honor of good projects gone bad, here are some of ours. (Although, to be honest, I think that EVERY project we have ever done has some major kink along the way...)

We decided that we needed a new washer and dryer.((Please note that this story begins in March/April)) Ours was about to die and I thought I wanted to do cloth diapers and wanted that "antibacterial" option if our clothes were going to be washed with baby poo. Since we were redoing, we thought it was a good time to redo the entire laundry room. I had wonderful dreams of washboards hanging about the room with cute signs that said things like "Laundry" and "suds". The first step involved removing the shower stall from the area. We never used it. It was placed beneath the air vents so the entire time you showered, you froze. And, the water heater wasn't good enough to support two showers at once. So this one was getting the boot.

All smiles at this point, haha!

We gutted the room and got to work. Then, while I was off getting a haircut one Saturday morning, I arrive home to the cat running down the driveway to greet me, yelling and panicking. She was a bit of a "drama" cat who talked a lot anyway so I didn't think much of it. Then, I see Dustin in knee high wading boots. I knew he was going to be removing pipes to get started and I thought "there's no way there was that much water in those pipes". I was greeted at the car with a "Hi, Honey. Your hair looks awesome...." and then "...promise me you won't be mad?!" I rarely get mad, so I thought this was a bizarre question. I walked into the house to find inches of water in the entryway. I walked to the kitchen (which was carpeted) and "SQUISHED" as I walked. The cat followed along, telling me all about it along the way. While working in that room, his elbow slipped and shattered the main water line into the house-- above the valve to shut it off in the house. He called the water company. The man they sent didn't know where the outside shut off was; unfortunately, we didn't either at the time. For over 30 minutes, water was pumped at full blast into our home. The downstairs is built into the ground, so our "basement" is the laundry, a bathroom, the kitchen and living/dining room. All carpeted, all saturated. (And I still believe "saturated" is an understatement!) We shop vac'ed gallons and gallons and gallons and gallons of water out of the house. I joked "I wanted an indoor pool, just not in the kitchen".

That disaster was under control.....
Then the rain began.

The outside soon began to look like this; the inside followed shortly thereafter.

We realized that the way the laundry had been, it was covering up (not intentionally we don't believe) some pretty big leaks. Once we had removed the shower stall pictured above and the closets that were on each side of it, we were able to see the water enter. And enter. And enter. There was a drain located under the washer, where the shower used to be. We never knew the water was coming in because it was draining towards the drain under the tub. Plus, the room was carpeted at the time and that managed to mask it even more since the room was only used for laundry.


(pretend this isn't sideways, haha) This is the "almost finished" room. Note the fan, towels around the washer and the puddle that makes up 95% of the floor.

Another day, another flood--inside our home...
Before we could do anything, we had to find the source of the problem. We knew it was water, obviously, but where was it coming from? We thought that perhaps it was originating from the bathroom next door to the laundry. We hoped, anyway. We thought there was an old window there and hoped it was leaking. Easy fix and insurance would maybe pay. So, we started there. And discovered this...

We decided that we didn't want to die from some strange mold. (Seriously though, some molds can be deadly. We didn't want to take any chances) So, project was put on hold and the bathroom was sealed up until we headed out to buy great big masks......

At least we keep our sense of humor =)

We gutted the gross bathroom and discovered a window! A perfectly sealed up window! =(. I soaked the room in bleach and we shut the door; we needed a break. A few days later, another rainstorm. I hung out in the bathroom all day waiting to see where the water was coming from.

The main source was to the right of the toilet-- closest to the laundry room. And, it was coming from the wall/floor joint.

So, this meant that we had a foundation leak rather than a window leak. Since we always try to save money, we decided to DIY and rented a backhoe...

And then began digging up our back yard. Please remember the initial goal: a new washer and dryer, haha.

We dug a 50' trench along the back side of our house. Eight feet of it had to be dug by hand because we weren't sure where the water line was exactly. (luckily, we still don't know! It isn't at 4' apparently!) Then we put in gravel and black drainage pipe that had "socks" on it to keep out the dirt. More gravel and then soil. The good news: We fixed the leak! And then it rained again. We need to put another drain pipe in between the AC unit and the landscaping wall (you can see it in the backhoe photo). And, we discovered that we have a slight leak in the ceiling from where the toilet vent goes to the outside. I'm STILL waiting on the roof guy to fix that.
This is the place where I would post a "finished" photo of the laundry room and bathroom. However, until we get 100% of the water stopped, they are on hold!

We did go ahead and rip up the kitchen carpet and put down (shhh) sticky tile. I didn't want to do it, but I have seen it places and it looks great. We didn't want to put a lot of money into it right now, so it is the perfect fix for the next few years.

(Ignore the messy counter, please) Now, I just need to touch up some of my White Ivy (like behind the trash can) and paint the lime-ish green on the backsplash. (I need to dig out the before photo of the kitchen. It was all 100% wood when we moved in. I spent 7 12-hour days painting to get to this. (I've planned on painting the green for 3 years now... but I recently discovered primer that primes glossy tile!)

As I typed all this, it has been POURING outside. Let's hope for no water in the house :) This journey is not done quite yet, but we are THISCLOSE! I'm so over wanting an indoor pool now!

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