I’ve had so many questions lately about the flood, things we did right, things we did wrong, if we had to do it over again, things we would do differently…all of that. As much as I would like to say I have all the answers, I don’t. I am married to someone though who has a lot of them!! He’s a State Farm agent with a construction science degree, so basically, he was the right guy to have at home the night it rained in our house.
I gave my sweet hubby some of your most FAQ and today, he’s answering…
Hello everyone, Andrew here. The past couple of weeks have been pretty crazy to say the least, but I want to start with this: It could always be worse. Growing up in Southwest Missouri in the early 90’s, I witnessed real flooding. I remember frantically moving people who lived close to the river, to higher ground. I remember us as a community cleaning up the mud out of the town general store. So as I write this post, I humbly keep that in the back of my mind. There are so many things that are way worse than what happened our home, and in the end, our home will get repaired and put back together, so it really is not that big of a deal.
HOW DID THE FLOOD START?
When we started drawing the plans for the addition, 3 years ago, rain during the short amount of time our roof was off, was my biggest fear which is why, besides my normal homeowner’s insurance policy, I also bought a builder’s risk policy too. I actually thought about being the general contractor on this project myself, but taking off the roof and being exposed was way more risk than I wanted to take on (not to mention, being GC is a big commitment and I don’t have a lot of time). The weather had been cooperating with us really well when construction began. The forecast for rain was only 10% for almost 2 weeks. The Friday night the storm came, it was listed at 10%. It literally started raining at around 8:00 pm and didn’t stop until 6 am. Shay and I never went to sleep that night. The temporary roof they had built just didn’t hold up. Water was coming under the flashing around the 3 chimneys, down the walls, the lights, everywhere. They had built temporary crickets, but with the volume of water that came down it was just too much. A light rain wouldn’t have been bad, but this was a total downpour for about 10 hours.
WAS THERE ANY WAY TO PREVENT WHAT HAPPENED?
Not really. Usually summers in Texas are super dry, but from that Friday until Tuesday we received nearly 5 inches of rain. (Which is really unheard of this time of the year.) The temporary roof they installed should have held, but the volume of water was too much.
WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY IF YOU COULD?
Great question, and there are so many ways to go with this. You could always say not do the addition, but that doesn’t seem like a great plan. Honestly, it was the best weather forecast we had seen in months, so there was no reason to think it was a poor time to have the real roof off the house. Without being able to predict the future, there really isn’t anything I would have changed. Wait, there is one. When I was running around like crazy trying to contain the rain, I slipped on the bathroom floor in my flip-flops and hit my toe on the wall. Any day now I should be losing my nail (my MIL is shrieking right now because she hates toenail injuries). Dang. I shouldn’t have had flip flops on.
WHAT DID YOU DO THAT HELPED MAKE THINGS NOT AS BAD?
We moved all the furniture and rugs to one side of the house as fast as possible. We had every towel and bucket we could find (down to the teapot!), and tried to save what we could. You have to concede at some point that there is going to be damage, the question became how could we minimize the damage? My goal was to not lose the whole first floor…….and for the most part we did by saving the dining room, library, guest bedroom and most of the kitchen. Granted the floors in the kitchen and hallways will have to be redone, but the moldings and sheetrock are all good.
WHO SHOULD YOU CALL IF IT’S RAINING IN YOUR HOUSE?
Someone who mitigates water damage. I always call Serv-pro, because Shay’s cousin Brandon owns 3 franchises in the DFW metroplex. The faster they can start the drying process with fans, dehumidifiers, and high powered vacuums the better. They have to dry it and then clean it or you will have a house full of mold.
DOES INSURANCE PAY FOR THIS?
Insurance agent here. You will need to ask your own company whether or not your policy provides coverage. Some companies out there have exclusions. As far as my State Farm policy, of course, it covers it. From the rugs, to the walls, to us staying somewhere else while the floors are being refinished and replaced…..all covered under my policy. State Farm will pay replacement value for all of the damage. Now, if I only had a more competent State Farm agent. HA!
HOW LONG DO YOU THINK IT WILL TAKE TO REBUILD?
The answer I tell Shay…..October. The answer she is about to read……11/15.
WHY ARE ALL OF YOUR FLOORS DAMAGED IF THEY ALL DIDN’T GET RAINED ON?
In Texas most true wood floors have a plywood base, and then the oak planks are nailed on top of the plywood (they don’t lay the wood directly on the concrete). They scrape and stain the wood after it is all nailed together. That rain coming down the wall was going under the wood planks and under the plywood.
ARE YOU MAD AT YOUR BUILDER?
Nah. Look they can’t control the weather. They did everything they could to protect us. I think they expected me to blow up, but at the end of the day, what’s that going to do? Nothing. Control what you can control and work the problem at hand. And let me add this, in today’s climate, I think we could all use a little more grace and patience with those around us. Even though my mom says I am perfect, I have come to realize in 39 years that I am not (kidding, she knows I’m not perfect!). Blowing up on someone for a mistake intentional or not, does nothing but blow your witness for Jesus. I try not to do that.
WHAT ARE TOOLS/SUPPLIES YOU SHOULD HAVE AT HOME IN CASE OF WATER DAMAGE?
The air-movers (fans), are a great idea. I am actually going to buy two of them when this is over. Even little leaks need to be dried out. Home Depot or Lowe’s buckets (those big plastic ones) are so handy to have for a variety of things including catching water. I had 6 of those in the garage. Other than that, we had a ton of towels. More than anything though, great friends and neighbors who came running when we needed help.
Most people that know me really well, know I have a hard time asking for help. Right now, two things stick out in my mind, and I get emotional even thinking about them. First, the Slaughters and all their kids running around with our kids grabbing towels and buckets doing everything they could to soak up water at 11 o’clock on a Friday night. They dropped everything to help to come right over and help. Erika even fed our more than challenging gluten-free family for the next few days.
The second thing that sticks out was Shay’s group of friends. I have seen them in action many, many times over the past 15 years, but when each one of her friends showed up the next day taking load after load of towels to launder, it really hit me emotionally. Her core group of girls has weathered so many storms, and even though they were just towels, it meant way more than that to me. Those ladies and their husbands had our backs. Even though we are living in a little chaos, this will pass. But those memories I will hold onto forever.
Back to Shay:
Okay!! Thank you, Andrew!!!!!!
We’re still a work in progress over here (BIG TIME!!). I posted a little tour of what our home currently looks like on IGTV last week. You can see it HERE. If we can offer any advice or help anyone else as a result of this, we’re so happy to do it.
I hope you guys have a great Tuesday!! I’ll see you tomorrow! xx