Monday, March 3, 2014

Yesterday (March 2) marked one month since the flood in our home.  I owe you an update!  It has been a most harrowing and frustrating month!  We finally started ripping out a bit more of the cabinets in the kitchen.  The insurance adjuster (independent contractor) has told us that he feels the cabinets can be pulled out, the walls, floor etc dried and the replaced.  This is what we found:
 Moldy boards.  This is what happens when wood is left wet for several weeks in Houston.
I don't know how you feel about it - but rest assured this stuff is NOT going back in a home I plan to live in!  That's just nasty right there! The boards are not intact but I am not surprised.  Our home was built in 1985 so they are nearly 30 years old!  
Our beautiful Santa Cecelia Dark granite broke when they pulled it.  Our contractor warned us that it was a strong possibility.  He was careful but it is the thicker granite (good stuff) and the weight was just too much for the thinner pieces.  I am hoping some of the larger pieces can be re-purposed to use in one of the bathrooms.
This is what our kitchen looks like now. The water meter that Service Master uses to tell them how wet the walls and floors are underneath, still pegs out when placed on the travertine tile in the kitchen, and the ceramic tile in both the master bath and the boys bathroom upstairs (the scene of the broken pipe).  Insurance assures us a good cleaning is all that is needed!  Ummm....NO!!!  I don't want to deal with the mold growing under there in a few months!  This is what the crown molding looked like before they tore it out of the formal dining room.  That finished molding consists of  FIVE pieces of hardwood that have been hand milled on site to make the finished piece  - our contractor has told me this - I'm not really that savvy on building design!  I can count though and I know that five individual pieces came down not counting the corner columns.  The insurance has allowed .87 per linear foot to put MDF back up there.  Needless to say, I saw red when I read that!
This is what the same room looks like now.  All that beautiful molding came down and then the walls, ceilings and insulation came down.  You can see straight through into the kitchen. 
 This is what I was referring to on the moldings.  This piece is the chair rail that came out of the formal dining room.  No MDF here!
This is the master bedroom.  The floor is out and you can see the shoe shelves from the master closets laying on the floor.  
I could show you other photos of large, empty, echoey rooms but I think you get the idea.  The rooms that were effected are: formal dining room, kitchen (with attached pantry), breakfast area, great room (with attached wet bar), master bedroom, master bath, two master closets, office, two upstairs bedrooms and the bath that lies between them.  The unaffected rooms are: guest 1/2 bath, one upstairs bedroom, upstairs hallway and game/media room upstairs.  Insurance is completely stalled out.  They say things that should be ripped out could be simply scrubbed down and kept in place.  They say we can replace hardwoods with MDF.  We are not interested in their way of doing our repairs.  So this is how the house has looked for nearly two weeks.  

Tomorrow we have another walkthrough with the insurance adjuster.  He is not happy to have to come back out.  I do not care!  He needs to do his job correctly!  Our home is our largest investment and we are not interested in a patched together mess of a home.  We have several people coming to assist us in protecting our interests;  our realtor (Karen Cline) is coming to speak up about the fact that if the kitchen cabinets or the ceilings are simply patched it will decrease our home value, a different building contractor is coming to let the adjuster know that the work cannot be done for the $38k that they are offering, Chris - the awesome guy from ServiceMaster is coming with his amazing water meter to prove that there are still wet boards behind the bits that the insurance guy wouldn't let us rip out.  We have hopes that things may go a bit better tomorrow than they have in the past but they aren't very high.  We fear that our next step will be to contact an attorney and the Texas Insurance Commission.  Any prayers you could send our way would be greatly appreciated!

We are plugging along okay in the tiny little apartment.  It is a tight fit and I am most eager to go home but it works for now.  I think I  will be able to cope much better once they start rebuilding.  While it just sits there in this state, it is very hard for me to deal.  As I mentioned, prayers are greatly appreciated!