January 2, 2021 archive

About the #@!% Flooding

Thursday, 17th December, evening.

I guess, I won’t forget this date too quickly. Patrik already mentioned this disaster in his latest post.

It was after five p.m. I came home from work and fed Odin. After I filled his water bowl, I realised the sound of water running. But where did it come from?

The source was quickly discovered: Under the kitchen sink. When I opened the drawer there was water running and quickly flooding the bottom. It ran behind the kitchen combination, dishwasher etc.

It was an unreal sight and I thought I must be dreaming!! What has happened? Where is the water leak? Where does it come from? WHY THE HELL DOES THIS HAPPEN TO ME!?!?! WHY!!

I went down to the cellar and saw that the water already leaked through the ceiling, flooding the fuse box, and the floor! WHAAAAT? NONONONOOOOO!! STOOOOP!!!!

I run upstairs and tried to find an emergency service number. To my relief, I even found one and with shaking hands dialled their number. The guy I talked to was calm and asked me if the water was clear! Me, already with a panicky voice, said, Yes, clear and please come and help ASAP! It turned out that the company was for waste water emergencies only! *arghhh* And they didn’t have a contact number for my problem, sorry…

I then called my brother André,  meanwhile shaking and hysterically. He has a certain amount of know-how with building sites, and hopefully a phone number for my problem. Running between the kitchen and the cellar – I still couldn’t believe what was going on – I tried to describe to him what had happened and what I saw! He told me to find the main water valve in the cellar and close it. I also should open all the water taps in the house, in order to reduce the pressure! What? Even more water? Was he crazy?!?!

He then gave me a mobile number for emergencies! It seemed to be the correct one. I quickly was connected to a service technician. Again, I described the problem, between sobs and pleadings. He promised to be with me in twenty, latest thirty, minutes! “Please, please, come quick, please hurry”, I cried.

 

Then I called my brother and told him, someone was finally coming. The waiting was almost unbearable, must have been the longest 25 minutes in my life!

Meanwhile, the water was still running with the same pressure. No difference with the open taps…. The thick blanket I had put under the kitchen sink was soaked long ago. The result of my helpless attempt, trying to stop the flooding into the living room….

It came as no surprise, though, that one of the fuses failed and suddenly parts of the house and cellar stood in dark! GREAT, WHAT BLOODY NEXT?!!

Finally, my “saviour”, had arrived! I heard his car, teared open the door and rushing him inside.

He quickly found the source of the water leak: The tube under the kitchen sink was ruptured. He turned off the main plug (for the first time I saw where it was…) and finally, the water stopped running. What a relief, I almost hugged him – my hero!

We then inspected the cellar more closely and he managed to get the fuse going again! *yahoo*

Next, he fetched the industrial wet-dry vacuum cleaner from his car and started to suck up the water as best as possible. He asked me to get some towels and we dried a much as possible.

It was a feeling beyond words, having this calm guy here, telling me what to do and acting reassuringly. He even tried to call an electrician he knows, in order to fix the fuse box. Unfortunately, he was busy at another emergency and couldn’t make it to my place.

Well, about an hour later the service technician was finished and advised me to call an electrician and a company, specialised in dehumidify houses, first thing in the morning. Of course I also had to call our insurance.

I paid the bill with my card (a bit over CHF 1’300.- *suck*), and thanked him exuberantly!                                                                 It was 7.30 p.m. when he left.

I quickly sent a WhatsApp to my boss, telling him shortly what had happened and that I won’t be able to come to work the next day. Then I called the insurance – a girlfriend of us – and described the misery. I also sent her the photos I took (I’m still surprised that I had thought of that!). She told me, who I should call the next morning and that she’ll forward the photos.

Finally I was calm enough to call Patrik and tell him what had happened! He was supposed to come home the next day.  Welcome to the jungle, darling!

After a shower and finding Odin (the poor cat was hiding upstairs, afraid of the noises and the fuss), I was ready for bed, absolutely exhausted!

The next day I managed to get hold of the humidity removal company and the electrician. Both arrived between nine thirty and eleven in the morning. I also spoke to the insurance company and discussed further steps.

It’s a massive damage, that much is clear! Since the water had destroyed the wooden floor, a new one will be necessary. The fuses in the fuse box had to be completely replaced and the floor still has to be dehumidified –  a big project. Holes will be drilled into the floor and hoses will be installed, who will dry the inside of the cement.

Well, Christmas came and Patrik and I enjoyed a calm and cozy evening and Christmas Day. Actually, our friend Pascale from Luxembourg should have joined us and stayed until new year, but due to Covid-19 travelling became impossible. What a shame, but on the other hand it was good, she wasn’t here, on our cozy building site!

The work on the destroyed floor will continue next week. The insurance assumes the damage will cost between 40’000.- and 50’000.- Swiss Francs…… YIKES!!

The only “good thing” of this disaster is that we will get a brand-new floor! Plus I’m glad this happened last week and not on the evening of the 24th. Or even worse: Imagine this had happened while Patrik and I had been on vacation…… Unimaginable!!

So, even it was horrible, it could have been worse, right? In any case, I already had my share of excitement, enough for the whole 2021!

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU!

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