It was a normal Tuesday.
Or I thought it was.
It was my roster to be in the office.
Finished my 9 to 5 grind.
Picked up the kids from a friend’s house.
But little did I know, our house will be welcoming us in a swamp!
“Mummy, daddy must have cleaned the floor really well!” I vaguely heard the kids said.
I initially thought they were just making their usual remark.
Then I started to realize something is different.
I could not believe my eyes when my feet touched the warm water covering the tiles and carpet extending all the way from the dining room, living room, and both the kids’ bedrooms.
Half of the house was drenched in warm water!
And the culprit?!!!
The kids forgot the tap! That was the first thing that came up to mind.
But I was wrong.
As I entered the bathroom, my eyes and ears were drawn to the gushing sound of water coming from the undersink cupboard!
The flexi hose connecting the tap and the water fixtures decided to sneakily bust-up when no one was home.
My heart stopped and for a second it felt like I was drowning together with the tiles and carpet.
And what a stroke of luck!
I just finished tidying and organizing the kid’s bathroom undersink a few weeks ago!
If there is a slight consolation on this… Fortunately, I did not use costly products for this project…thanks to Kmart!
But it is not my main concern at the moment.
It’s actually the flooring, the skirting, the walls and some of our appliances and furniture that got soaked up in warm water.
I want to share with you below the lessons we learned and continuously learning from this recent home misadventure.
1. Know the basics
Do you know where your main water shut off valve is? Your main electricity switchboard? If you happen to be the less interested household to manage this type of things, I encourage you now to at least get to know the basics of where they are situated and how to switch them on and off for situations like these. Embarrassingly, my brain didn’t work straight away and I could not remember where the main shut off valve is. I could not get hold of hubby when the incident happened and I even had to dial a friend.
2. Inspect critical house fixtures
In this case, the flexi hoses. If you have a similar water system configuration, please do check these flexi hoses as often as needed and look for signs of rust or fraying (which of course we had no idea prior to this big lesson)…and have it replaced if it is due for replacement by a plumber if you can’t do it yourself. Don’t wait for a mishap like this to happen.
3. Insure home and contents
Insurance is something we all cringe at paying but we still do without a miss and yet we don’t wish to use it but it will feel like it’s a massive relief when we do have it in times like this. Thank God, we have insurance we can rely on! It makes a lot of difference when you are with the right insurance company. So far in the process, the insurance company we are in has organized all the necessary restoration, assessments, and estimation. At the time of this writing, no formal work has started as yet.
4. Be patient
As we are relying on a third party to act on our behalf, requiring several people and processes to coordinate together, it does take time. Be prepared to be patient and get used to the eyesores for a bit. Due to the amount of damage, it is not a speedy process but at least it’s progressing.
5. Assess house plans
Since moving into this house, over 7 years ago, we haven’t done any huge renovation. Maybe, it could just be the perfect timing to refresh and update some of our house fixtures. Could be a blessing in disguise. Although, the insurance will only cover what is required and estimated by the assessor and builder, we may need to look into possibilities of updating the types of materials we want to use in the future on the affected spaces since we are already in the process of changing it.
6. Beware of blowing the budget
We all know it’s easy to blow up a budget on every renovation or build either from scratch or not. Understanding the budget allotted by the insurance on the areas we need further upgrade will help define the workable budget we are willing to spend. Getting ready to spend (more) money but limiting it to a degree. Always reminding ourselves not to be carried too much away.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” – Benjamin Franklin
As they say, it’s easier to stop something from happening in the first place than to repair the damage after it has happened. But things do happen and sometimes we have to learn from the hard way. Because had we known, we will try our very best for sure to prevent it from happening.
Now that we know, we are happy to share these home learnings with you just so you don’t have to experience all these hassles that we are going through right now.
I will progressively update this post as we go until we complete the journey of our first major home insurance claim.
Please feel free to share your own experiences and learnings relevant to this post in the comment section below.
Let’s inspire and help each other to get pass through this kind of hurdle.
Again, thanks for your time in reading this post. Until my next one.