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Epic pipe fail…

Let’s start with a pretty picture of crochet stars before we head into what’s been happening to me.

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Friday morning I went away for the weekend to Birmingham where I was part of the mentor team for a training weekend. I had a great time. On Sunday morning, Damon put his washing in and went to bed (he works night shift). He got up at 5pm to find the kitchen floor a bit wet. He assumed we had a problem with the washing machine, cleared up the floor and forgot about it til I got home, when I went into the kitchen and discovered about 6×2 feet of the carpet in the diner half of the room was sodden. Not just damp but saturated. I asked him about this and he said that he had felt it was a bit damp but had left it. I was very cross and assumed he couldn’t be bothered to clear up properly. I spent ages with towels…

I phoned the washing machine repair man on Monday, got an appointment Tuesday. Noticed on Monday morning and evening and Tuesday morning that the damp patch had got bigger and that no matter how hard I pressed towels on to it that it made no difference.

This afternoon while waiting for the washing machine repair man, I phoned the company we bought the carpet from and the very helpful man advised us to immediately remove the underlay as that was effectively acting as a sponge and would simply rot, not dry.

The washing machine repair man came, inspected the washing machine and could discover no fault at all. However he did discover a constant leak coming from the pipe to the kitchen tap behind the washing machine…

I phoned our plumber. He’s my Mum’s best friend’s son in law and absolutely wonderful. I trust him absolutely. He came and fixed the leak in a jiffy and then had one of those conversations with Damon that made me feel a bit sick and then switch off. Apparently the plaster on the back wall is ‘blown’ and needs replacing and they couldn’t see how far along the problem went; the immediate adjacent kitchen unit ditto; the vinyl floor covering is lifting and the floor underneath is likely to be damaged; the skirting board is rotten; the partition wall (its part of the arch and has a little radiator on the other side) may be compromised… the leak had been there for a long time quietly and insidiously leaking away.

It got worse. I asked Damon to help me remove the underlay so we could try and get the carpet dry. When we lifted it and removed the really sodden stuff we discovered the damp went much further back on the underside of the rest of the underlay. As the plumber had said, water has a way of getting everywhere. His theory is that the water has been leaking and pooling under the carpet for ages and that on Sunday for some reason that an amount that had built up spilled out onto the lino and actually showed itself through the carpet.

Damon then decided two things – we just needed to get rid of the carpet and we would do that tomorrow, and that he would ring our household insurance and start a claim. There’s a ยฃ350 excess for water damage but this is going to cost a lot more than that!

I therefore took a day off work tomorrow and stood down my friend who owns a cleaning company and owns a carpet cleaner that sucks up water, which I thought might be a good plan on ours. Damon then discovered we have to leave it down, no matter how much it stinks, until the assessor comes. They’re going to ring us to *make an appointment* in the next 24-48 hours. It niffs already, its going to be mighty fine by the time they do arrive!

So, this evening I have given Damon a list of shopping that includes a lot of anti smell and nice smell products! And some things for me to complete my homemade Christmas decorations…

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As there is going to be a lot of time spent on cleaning and tidying over the next few weeks (and probably months), I have mentally given myself permission to stop working on Christmas gifts. I have ordered a toy black Labrador for my godson (who adores Mollie) instead of the star blanket, which I will finish sometime and keep for next year. I haven’t decided yet whether to give my sister her shawl at Christmas and then give Mum her bathmat when I finish it, or keep them both till both are finished. Maybe I’ll give them a New Year gift! And my stepsister didn’t know about the grey shawl so I will just buy a present and save this one for next year. All I have to do therefore is finish sewing in the ends on the waistcoat and block it; and finish making my Christmas wreath and decorations!

Oh and tidying and cleaning and sorting. As I’m asthmatic and can’t sit in the damp, I am going to make myself a crafting den in our spare bedroom instead of on the kitchen table, which is going to involve quite a lot of tidying up and getting rid of junk. But hey, I have a day off and no pressing crafting to do…… trying to look on the bright side now, but earlier in the day I could have cried buckets!

38 thoughts on “Epic pipe fail…

  1. Oh wow. My sympathies on the leak. There is no good time for that. And you are smart to decide on alternate Christmas gifts–I’m ornery enough to try and finish them anyways. (If it helps, my kitchen garbage disposal failed and flooded the kitchen less than 2 hours before Legs’ graduation party. I feel your pain.

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    • Oh my, at least we don’t have a party happening! I can cope with a leak, it’s the time it will take to dry out… I probably will finish my Mums thing before the New Year but I have an unfortunate streak of realism when it comes to my crafting speed (slow! I just do it a lot!) ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  2. So sorry to hear your water woes – what a complete pain. Very sensible of you to take away any crafty pressure to finish things on time (though I am pleased you’re going to finish your Dad’s waistcoat!). Hope things are resolved quickly for you.

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  3. Omg, I’m so sorry! I’ve been through a pipe break and fortunately my dad was able to repair it, but our whole basement was flooded. It was awful. See if you can get some big fans to keep air flowing and maybe a dehumidifier. Ugh, sorry you have to go through this!!!!

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  4. If I were there I would come around with a bottle of wine and we would repair to the spare bedroom, sit on the floor and drink it whilst intermittently crying over this horrid event and laughing about – well, something will be funny about this later! How extraordinarily smart of you to immediately know to let go of those handcrafted gifts – not lost, just put aside until peace resumes. I am really impressed with that – it shows that under pressure you instinctively know how to do the right thing to get yourself through a crisis. Claire for Prime Minister!!

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  5. Oh my, what a disaster! Hopefully it will get sorted in time for Christmas for you. Don’t give up completely on the making – it’s a great way to relax and give off feel good endorphins:)

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  6. Ack, how awful! Hope it gets sorted quickly, we’ve had a slow roof leak for months, which the landlord has been ignoring. Can highly reccomend cheap bleach in hot water for effective mould removal!

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  7. My sincere sympathies… but don’t cry. you have enough water already! I would just forget Christmas gifts entirely if they aren’t already made or nearly made and make things in your own time and give them when they are completed. Gifts are much more fun when they arrive unexpectedly. Just give everyone an IOU and they will understand.

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    • Luckily there are only three, everything else is made! Two are easily resolved and I have decided to give my Mum & sister their now traditional handmade item at New Year instead. I’m a happy crafter now as I can spend any time I have free to craft making Christmas decorations!

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  8. Oh Claire what a nightmare. These little disasters always seem to happen in winter don’t they ? When everything is so difficult to dry out. I’m sure It will all get sorted out in time but until then keep on crafting. P.s In my world chocolate and wine always works well for in the midst of chaos, it may not repair the situation but it certainly helps lighten it !!!

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  9. Yikes! Hope it all gets sorted soon. I hear you on the allergies. It’s always something during a holiday season, and it sounds like you’ve got the gifting thing under control. Know that this too shall pass.

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  10. Oh dear, what a sorry state of affairs! Were you hosting a big Christmas dinner this year? Looks like you might be down the curry house!
    There’s not a lot to say that hasn’t already been said.
    One day at a time and as they say, not very helpfully, worse things happen at sea.

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    • Thanks! We’re all sorted short term, tidied up, stinky carpet gone. Just waiting for insurance and then it’ll be the quotes, work and so on. Which will take ages. But we’re on the getting better from now on in. I hope!

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    • The Christmas aspect doesn’t worry me as apart from the couple of projects I’ve mentally put aside (a very freeing thought) it’s all organised! The assessor came today and after she had gone Damon got rid of the stinky carpet and underlay and all that now needs to be done is a good hoover and an ever better mop of the tiles underneath. The only small concern is that the assessor has recommended a structural survey… it’s just waiting for it to dry out and for (hopefully) the insurance company to pay up! I am definitely in a better place now than I was yesterday!

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    • I think drying out the plaster & floor will be the time consuming thing. Damon keeps saying the upside is we get our kitchen flooring replaced and we can decorate. Im not quite there on the positive thinking yet ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  11. holy cow! the things I miss when away from wordpress for a few days. Gosh, I hope that your insurance covers all of it, and that you are able to make it right. Of course you get permission to hold off on making stars!

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