A recent home we purchased was nearing the end of the project and we had already scheduled the Open House. Winter had been mild until now when the snow, ice, and low temperatures rolled in. One early morning we received a phone call from the neighbor saying their yard was being flooded by our house! How could that be? We heading over right away only to discover that the plumbing under the kitchen sink had burst and flooded the house, crawlspace, and now was pouring into the yard! Normally we keep all plumbing inside the house but for some reason the plumber had placed this pipe inside the walls under the kitchen sink so the low temperatures outside caused the pipe to freeze and break even though we had the temperature set at 60 inside the house! Sure it was just a little leak, but here is what happened all because of that little leak.
The new tile in the kitchen was covered with muddy water, the new laminate in the living room was covered in soaking water, the crawlspace now had two feet of water and of course, the temperature dropped outside and made it nearly impossible to cleanup. We turned off the water and began mopping up what we could. We turned on fans, turned up the thermostat, and added several dehumidifiers to the house and crawl space. Of course we began pumping water out of the crawlspace as fast as we could but the outside temperature was making that difficult because everything was freezing. The yard looked more like an ice rink then a yard!
We called in a company to clean out the septic tank because it was now full from all the water flowing out of the house and into the saturated yard. Thankfully they came quick and began the process but they couldn’t get the tank cleaned out as the water was pouring back in as fast as they were pumping it out. They kept at it until the flow finally began to trickle in and we thought it was taken care of. We moved the Open House plans to the following week and rescheduled the cleaning and staging of the house. We were finally back on track!
The team arrived to begin the cleaning and staging. They began distributing things to the various rooms for staging only to discover water leaking from the toilet! We received the phone call and sent our crew to check out the toilet. Our guys arrived the next morning only to discover that the septic tank was full again and was now starting to back up into the house, but thankfully, had not reached the carpeting. So the septic tank company was called back out and began pumping again, and once again, the water seeping from the saturated yard filled the tank as fast as they pumped it out. And of course, the crawlspace had water in it again, but at least it was not raw sewage…just water. This time we weren’t as lucky, the vinyl floor could be cleaned and the kitchen floor was again full of muddy dirt again, but worst of all, the beautiful laminate living room flooring was ruined and had to be removed, and a whole new floor had to be laid.
The Open House was now just a week away and we already had all the ads placed and paid for, the invitations mailed, and everything set – we just had to get this house done! Yes, we all felt like quitting, it wasn’t fun! But Mother Nature decided to give us a break and stop the rains, the flooding, and mud. She even allowed the temperatures to rise into the 60s and help dry everything out. Somehow with all the events and setbacks we managed to pull it off just in time. And you know, I think even the house said “Thank you!”
Moral of the story – If you are thinking about flipping a house, things like this happen no matter how hard you plan! You have to roll with the punches and have a sizable reserve for these unforeseen events and pray you never have to use it! It’s just all part of the fun of rehabbing houses!