Episode 11: The flood in the Gathering Room

Sunday, July 28, 2013
We were finalizing the checklist we got from Wilkes County to get the certificate of occupancy for The Gathering Place building that we noticed some water on the new hardwood floor. We quickly tried to pick up the water and thought it might be a leak from the newly installed sink and faucet.  Our workers looked for the possible source and checked out all the water connections and tested with some running water.  I was not there for the whole process but after a while they thought they had repaired it.

The next day we found some more water not just in the kitchen but on the other side of the wall in the bathroom. They now had to tear into the walls to find out if there was a pipe in the area.  They found the problem.  When the last wall cabinet was installed a screw punctured the water pipe. Water was originally trickling but then there was a sudden burst and water was flowing pretty freely everywhere. The water was turned off immediately and we began to look at out hardwood floors, only 5 weeks old.
The floor was curling up at the seams the entire length of the building.

I drove immediately to Elkin, NC to get a dehumidifier and two commercial blowers.  These were placed in the building and ran 7 nights and 7 days in an effort to mitigate the damage.  We were hoping we would not have to tear out the floor.  But after a week things did not look much better.  So we finally called the insurance company to report the claim.

After the adjuster came by to review the damage she put us in touch with Premier Restoration  out of N. Wilkesboro came out to quantify the damage.  The humidity meter registered still registered over 50 after our efforts to dry the room out.

Last Monday on July 22, they packed our furniture and moved it into two storage units on wheels that they parked nearby.  Our hardwood contractor came with two workers in tow and tore out the entire floor in one day.

The restoration team took a humidity level reading twice a day from Tuesday evening through Thursday morning when they declared the sub floor to have reached the required humidity reading. Thursday our hardwood contractor was supposed to travel to VA to pick-up the flooring materials from the manufacturer and return Friday morning to replace the water barrier and the flooring.

At 8am on Friday I was expecting my contractor.  No show. By 10 am I am trying to get a hold of him and finally got him on the phone.  I asked him where he was.  He stated he was on another job.  So I asked him why he was not here doing my job.  His excuse was that no one had called him to tell him the sub-floor was ready.  We did not need to do so because we were told it would be ready Friday morning and I myself made the arrangements with him. So I was pretty upset we had lost 5 weeks already.  Finally I got through to him, and he agreed to pick up the wood on Friday, deliver it the same day.  He had told me earlier that he had a job on Monday, so I was wondering when he would get to my job. He could tell from the way that I was asking the questions that I was not pleased at all with the state of affairs.  So I asked all the tough questions to get to the bottom of the situation. Questions such as:

  1. Why  was he was starting another job when mine was 1/2 completed and scheduled.
  2. He tried repeating the excuse that no one had called him to tell him the floor was dry
  3. I reiterated that there was no need for that since we had agreed between us he would bring the would on Thursday, and start installation on Friday. 
  4. Nothing had changed since that agreement, and I called him out on it, and told him he had better finish my job before starting that other one.
  5. He whined for a while then agreed to deliver the wood on Friday and do the job on Saturday.

On Saturday they started installing the hardwood floor.  At about 1 pm he informed us that his nail gun had broken down and that he needed a replacement part. If he was able to get it, he would be back on Sunday.  I had little hope he would keep his word but, lo and behold, he actually showed up Sunday morning to finish the job.  I think the fact that he had already sold me three hardwood floors before and the promise of six more in the future must have caused an attitude adjustment. It is standard practice for contractors to start multiple jobs and go from one job to another, string everyone along, so they do not lose a job.  I detest that practice and if I find someone doing that they will never be hired again!

I am out $1,000 for the insurance deductible.  I have a saying when there is nothing I can do anymore. I say: “It is what it is!”.  To me it means accept the facts and move on.  So that is just what I did.

This coming Monday my cleaning lady is coming to clean the building. I have already contacted premier Restoration to move my furniture back in the building and return us to normal. Our appliances have to be reconnected as well.  Then final tidy-up and we are done!

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