Thursday, June 26, 2014

Water Damaged Kitchen

It has been a rough week.

Tuesday morning we discovered we have a major leak in our kitchen. We thought it was the dishwasher because we had run it the night before and there was bubbling in the laminate floor at some of the joints near the sink area. But it turns out it was the drain pipe in the wall. It was running down the wall, back into the house and onto the kitchen floor under the sink area, and the "floating" floor and underlayment was sucking up all the water.  The footings of the base cabinets was also sucking up water so nearly all the base cabinets are water damaged as well.  CRAP!

I could live with the ruined floor.  No big deal.  These old Florida houses have Terrazzo tile floors so it isn't a big deal to remove the laminate and just be back to the old tile floor and replace the laminate floor later.  But with the cabinets being ruined, that made us realize we needed to see if our homeowners insurance would help cover some of the cost for the replacement cabinets.

We've never made an insurance claim before, so we weren't sure if this would even be covered (1965 pipes), but we called anyway and they sent over a water damage mitigation guy to do an initial assessment.  He removed all our kick plates, drilled holes here and there, and discovered all the base cabinets along that wall were toast.  (Although I don't know why all the drama of drilling and removing kick plates - it was visible if you just look in the cabinets - geesh.) So he set up fans and a giant dehumidifier, which is pumping out heat like crazy (just what we need when our AC is already struggling in the 95 degree heat), and said he'd be back on Friday.  Uh, ok.

The adjuster called back Wednesday morning and said he would be here on Friday also.  Uh, ok.

Meanwhile, we can't use the kitchen sink until the plumber can fix the leak, which he can't do until the adjuster comes.  If you've ever had your kitchen sink out of commission, you know exactly how difficult life is without it.  Crud.

We're praying our homeowners policy will at least cover the cost of the replacement base cabinet "boxes".  It's anyone's guess how well that will turn out. Add in (or rather subtract) the $2500 deductible and I rather doubt we're going to get very far.  But miracles might happen!

The difficult part about all this is that hubby just doesn't feel well so I know we're going to have to hire someone to install the replacement cabinets. We also need to try to salvage the countertops so we can reuse them.  The doors can also be reused, so we can save a bit of money there by just needing to reorder the "boxes".

We had remodeled the kitchen in 2005 and it still looks amazing.  The cherry cabinet doors have "aged" and they look better as the years go by.  So we will definitely be reusing those doors so they match the aging of the upper cabinets.

It seems to me that the "footings" to cabinets should be made of, or coated in plastic so that if water gets on the floor it doesn't get absorbed and ruin your cabinets.  Geesh. Seems like a no brainer.  But what do I know!

Since the furnace (aka dehumidifier) needs to run until Friday, last night we decided to move the refrigerator into the dining room and put up a tarp between the kitchen and dining room to try to contain some of the heat that is pumping out of that machine. Moving the fridge was an ordeal. Hubby thought the water line to the ice maker was off, but apparently the shut off valve isn't working right, and water when everywhere!  At some point, I opened the kitchen window and stood holding the line so water sprayed out the window!  WEEEEEE!  I was amused, but hubby not so much.  He shut the main water line off and found a valve out in the garage to add to the ice machine water line to close it off. Something else for the plumber to fix.

When we turned the main water back on, the spare bathroom toilet decided to malfunction.  It won't stop running.  GAAAH!  So while hubby tried to fix that (without luck) I went to get chinese food.  At this point it was 9:00 PM.  Ugh. Another thing to add to the list for the plumber.

And then our older son called and said he and his wife were flying into town tomorrow night (tonight) for the weekend and oh, did I forget to tell you that? Ah, yeah!  So that was a nice surprise.  I now have a helper to get the damaged laminate floor removed after the adjuster comes tomorrow!  Timing!  He'll be thrilled!  Ha Ha.


  1. Oh my gosh . . . forget Chinese food. After all that I'd be headed to the liquor store!

  2. That made me laugh out loud! Needed that. Thank you!

  3. Sinks are important; without it, work in the kitchen grinds to a halt. Your adjuster must have been taking his time looking at your kitchen. I hope it results in you getting your insurance to replace all of the ruined cabinets. Has he show up by now, and finished the assessment? Or did your plumber get to the root of the problem first? Either one or the other is good, as long as they get that leak fixed ASAP! Good luck!

    Levi Eslinger @ Capital Plumbing & Heating

    1. Leak was discovered Tuesday. Plumber found leak in the drain pipe in the wall Wednesday. Adjuster didn't show til Friday at noon. Plumber fixed leak yesterday (we had to wait for adjuster to proceed). Claim Mgr says another week for claim to be processed. Screw that. We're doing what we have to do to get our kitchen back to normal. Building cabinet boxes today, reusing the facing/drawers/doors and patching the wall.