Monday, January 25, 2010

Storm Watch 2010

We had been hearing about it for about a week. January 21st was supposed to be the worst storm the Phoenix area had seen in recent memory, bringing more rainfall than all of last year combined and nearly hurricaine force winds. When the fateful day came, we found out that they weren't kidding! The rain kind of piddled all day until later in the afternoon but then really got going. We had heard on the radio on the way home that the winds in Chandler had gusted at 60 mph. Our first thought was "Oh no. Our poor roof!" And we were correct. When we got home, we found this:

In the house we could hear sections of loose shingles beating against the roof. The sound was sickening because we knew what was going on up there! But all we could do was ride it out and hope for minimal damage to the roof and pray that we didn't get any leaks. We did have one spot that started leaking, but overall we felt like we weathered the storm pretty well.

After some deliberation, we decided to go ahead and make a claim on our homeowner's insurance for the roof damage. After calling the insurance company to schedule the adjuster, Andrew, with the help of our neighbor, climbed up on the roof to attempt to tarp over the damage to prevent any more water getting into the house, since more rain was expected that night.

Since he had stayed home for the day to deal with all of these joys of home ownership, he took some time to really survey the house, and noticed that there was about a 15 foot stretch of carpet along the south wall of our living room that was wet. Because this wall borders our covered patio which didn't get wet in the storm, we figured the water was getting in through the walls, but didn't really think a lot about it.

When the insurance adjuster came out yesterday afternoon, he told us that they would replace the entire back of our roof, and he asked if there was any damage inside, so we showed him where the carpet was wet (it was STILL wet on Sunday afternoon). The adjuster (who is so super nice!) called out a company called Service Master to come and inspect our drywall and carpet to make sure it all dried properly. They had a little machine to measure the moisture in the drywall, and whenever they touched it to the wall, the thing would light up and go crazy, meaning the wall was plenty wet inside. What happened next, we never would have expected... I'll just show you.

Your eyes are not deceiving you. About 50% of our drywall is missing from our living room wall! They also ripped up our carpet, took out the pad, removed our baseboard and all of our wall insulation and set up some high power fans and a dehumidifier to dry out the wall. Holy crap! Fortunately (although that word doesn't seem to adequately express how we feel) our homeowner's insurance is paying for EVERYTHING to put our house back together, minus our deductible. If we wouldn't have torn out the drywall and mold would have grown, that would not have been covered which is a whole other nightmare, so we're happy to be inconvenienced for a time now, at no significant cost to us! In addition to what is shown in the picture, they will also have to remove a 15 foot section of our ceiling along the wall, which means they will actually end up scraping our entire ceiling (the "lovely" 80's popcorn) and redoing the whole thing, as well as painting our entire living room. While all this work is being done, we will be put up in a hotel room for a few days, but it sounds like they will put us in an extended stay apartment type hotel, like a Residence Inn or something so we should be okay.

So our adventure over the next couple of days is to live in our house without using the living room, as it is pretty much uninhabitable right now with the fans blasting (quiet it ain't!) and furniture moved about to make room for all the equipment. Hopefully everything will be dry by tomorrow and so we can at least have our house back (for now) and so we can try to get our roof replaced before we get too much more rain. In the meantime our roof will be professionally tarped, but that doesn't really give us the peace of mind that an actual roof would! I'll continue to update on the progress. I still can't believe that this is happening! But thank God for insurance, and just for His overall protection over our family. This may seem like a big deal, but at the end of the day, we're all safe and that's what really matters. Everything else is just stuff!


Lea said...

Having been down the road of water damage more than once, I can totally commiserate with you! It is no fun at all! The great thing is that yours is covered (as was ours, with no deductible, since our house was brand-new at the time). It's just a big pain in the butt! Hope everything is back to perfect soon!

becky said...

Glad to hear your insurance company is taking care of you guys! Last May 8th in So. IL, we had and inland hurricane, officially called El Derecho, tear through the town. It pretty much devastated the town. We were also lucky as everyone was safe. My mom lost all of her trees and had about $20,000 in damage to the house. We lived off of a generator for 7 days! I am glad that you all are okay ;).

Jen said...

Wow, I wonder how much the damage will cost?!!!!! I mean to your insurance company, not you! Crazy!!!!

Hope the repairs all go smoothly!!!