Saturday, July 9, 2005

Splashing in the Water

It's fun to splash water when you're in the pool. Playing in a creek is nearly divine. Having water in your laminate flooring stinks.

We were sitting down, watching the BBC News on public television, when Milady went to see why the kids' blanket on the floor was wet. As she stepped on one of the the boards, water started bubbling up out of the floor. I just about cried, and Milady started to too.

We were up until 2AM this morning, pulling out 40 now-ruined boards of Pergo laminate, and cutting holes in the ceiling to track down the leak. We checked, and it looked like either the toilet or the shower in the main bathroom were leaking. Since we had the floor off for almost 2 weeks before doing the floor downstairs, we know the water was a recent (less than 2 weeks) event. We mopped the floor, brought down the laminate we were going to use upstairs on the hallway, and started running the dehumidifier to try to dry out the whole place.

This morning, I rushed out at 8AM (which is Way Too Early on a Saturday) to get marine caulk so we could rush to recaulk the master bathroom's shower (which was down because some caulk had broken loose) so we could shut down the main bathroom. Then I started cutting out the walls of the shower, since I knew that they needed to go. Our neighbor came over and pointed out that our homeowner's insurance would cover it, so now we have our first insurance claim. This is good, since the subfloor in the bathroom is pretty much mush.

Particleboard is sawdust that has been glued together to form a hard board. It's really strong stuff, but it has a bad flaw: its glue is water-based. Get it wet, and the glue washes away. You'd think that even an idiot would know better than to use particleboard in a bathroom. Nope, that's the subfloor in my bathroom at least. Once I'd cut out enough of the shower walls, I could tell that the shower had been leaking behind the walls, and most of the subfloor, even under the tub, is now mush. We took pictures galore (to prove the damage to the walls), and then took the tile walls outside to throw them away. We're going to keep the wet (now dry & warped) boards until the adjuster can see them, since we didn't get water pictures.

Assuming that the subfloor under the tub is as bad as the subfloor all around the tub, I'm hoping that the insurance company will pay for pulling it all out (including the tub) and replace the entire subfloor. I'll even trade vinyl shower walls for a new tub. Of course, I don't want to get anything undeserved or unnecessary, so if they'll at least pay for the drywall, flooring, and the bathroom subfloor, I'll be happy.

At least, I will be happy if I can get my hands healed up. I managed to cut myself while trying to open the marine caulk. It's a nasty cut right in the middle of the tip of my right thumb. I can barely grab anything, and it looks nasty.

At least we will have to fix the main bathroom now...

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