May 18, 2010 Leave a comment
No really, the roof went bye-bye. Here in the valley of So. Cal, where I live, we had a nasty wind storm. It was awful! It was so bad that it blew the entire roof off of the back part of our house, knocked out our power for two days (and the people next door for one), then the rain started and nearly flooded our office and den, and we had to move everything to the rest of the house. The reason we went longer without power was because our roof knocked the top of the pipe that holds the power cables to our home. We were very lucky that my uncle (who just retired from PG&E) came over and moved some of our roof because he found that it couldn’t be moved all the way over to have a tarp placed over it. The reason being that if anymore slack was given to the cable a ‘live wire would hit the ground wire and could start a fire.’ My uncle called in the danger. When PG&E got here the next morning they told us that we would need an electrician but that they stopped the potential fire hazard. About 18 hours later we had electricity. Once we were able to get power our insurance called Service Master out to start the clean up and demolish our badly damaged walls and ceiling. We already had the office, which was hit the worst, as near to empty as we could get it. The den had a few things removed from it as well, but most of the stuff in there my aunt helped us tarp. When Service Master was halfway done we were cut a check for the half of the damage that was very apparent, but not for the walls, ceiling, or insulation (Service Master had not pulled all that down yet). We found out that our insurance was calling the crazy winds a ‘catastrophe’ because of how many places had been damaged. Truly, all any of this means to us is that it’s a lot harder to get a hold of the guy handling our claim and he works over 90 miles away.
We were told that we needed to hire the people who were going to do the job and pay them when from the check we were cut. We hired a roofing crew that also did drywall. Right after the men from Service Master were done pulling everything the roofing crew started on the roof and a massive rain storm came in. The drywall guys came in and removed all of the work they had done and our roof had a tarp placed on it. It pooled quickly up there and soon it was raining in our office… again. The guys came out with another tarp and we had two tarps up there. Soon after both tarps were place it started raining in the den as well. A few new spots started to leak. There was no more that could be done… rain water was just going to come in. A tarp was placed on the floor in the office along with roughly a dozen large, medium, and small tubs to catch what could be caught. Another large tub was placed in the den. The door frame to the kitchen started leaking light drops but because a tarp was hung in that doorway there was very little we could do besides some towels on the floor. When the rain cleared out about 2 to 3 days later the men came out, the roof was finished, and about 2 days after that (to make sure the wood frame was dry) they started on the interior. We tried to get a hold of the man handling our claim but failed over and over until about 10 days after trying, when we called a different person and they were able to get him. His phone had been broken and his work had not bought him a new one. He had just found this out and was sorry. By the time we talked to him we didn’t even care about reporting the new damage, which would be hard to tell where the water had leaked since the moisture would not be in the walls any longer, we just wanted to know when we were going to get the check for the other half of the work. He informed us that as soon as Service Master sent him the info. We waited on that for another week. We paid that portion out of our own pockets since we hired this group, we had too. During the wait we steam cleaned the carpets our self to save money. After waiting way too long for them to cut us our check, we called again… after 3 calls and finding out Service Master never sent them the info, the claims guy felt it was taking too long and went off of what I told him was the work they did. I did my best to describe the damage. After I was done he said he would call in a few days to tell us when the next check would be here. I debated telling him about the new damage that had been done, but the thought of Service Master coming out here again and taking over my kitchen, den (which also has the washer and drier in it), and office was just more than I could deal with. I’m sure that if had them back out here and they saw the new damage we could get a new carpet, but my husband and I just want our house back. This has been over a month now… a month of not having a den, office, living room (them walking in and out and it being used for storage) or even kitchen (since they had to use my kitchen for a walkway to the den and some of the outlets were used for fans and my sink when they were drying it out). Plus my washer and drier are in den, so that “room” too. We just want life back to normal… well normal-ish. Unfortunately that won’t happen for a few more weeks because there are boxes upon boxes in the living room that were removed by Service Master to get out of the way, that need to be gone through, furniture that needs to be put back, and clothes that need to be washed… mountains and mountains of clothes, towels, blankets, and other things waiting to be washed. One of the upsetting things is that Service Master didn’t need to pack any of that because they decided that the ceiling it was under was dry enough. And Service Master placed a number of items outside (that got very rained on) that should have NEVER gone outside. We had a nice, large place in the living room for everything. We don’t understand why they decided to place it elsewhere. We have found that as long as we can help it we won’t go with them again and if we get a ‘how was our service form’ it will not be top ratings. I hate doing that because I’m sure there are people there who do their job right, but the clean up crew that boxed everything made many mistakes and so did the first demolition crew. In the boxes we have looked through we have found things broken and some of it is un-repairable.
We did get the check this Saturday. It’s a good thing we didn’t hire anyone to do the carpets and that the people we went with lowered everything by about 10%, because if not we would have lost more than the $1,000 deductable. As it is if we replace the things broken by Service Master we will be spending more.
Enough complaining though, we are so happy and relieved to have our house near back to normal. We have the office desks and internet and computers all up again. And we are being forced to clean out a bunch of stuff… so this is all good. We are cleaning with detail and the place is starting to look really great. And I am very happy to be back online, able to blog, tweet, post, and research again!